ABC is calling on a few heroes.
After the monster box office success of "Marvel's The Avengers" and other superhero movies in the franchise, the network is hoping some of that same magic can translate to the small screen.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," co-created by "Avengers" writer/director Joss Whedon -- who also directed the series premiere -- is kicking off a brand new Tuesday night lineup for ABC this fall, a night which used to be anchored by the "Dancing with the Stars" results show.
Clark Gregg is back as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) Agent Coulson -- one of the main links between the various Marvel movies -- who is tasked with leading a new team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle the various strange occurrences that happen once aliens invade and a team of heroes battle them in New York City. (Think "Men in Black" or "The X-Files" with superheroes.)
Of course, Coulson's return comes as something of a surprise because (SPOILER ALERT) he was killed by Loki in "The Avengers."
The premiere contains an explaination of how Coulson survived -- at least, the explanation as far as Coulson knows.
It's just the first of what's sure to be several plot twists to be part of the series, in typical Whedon fashion.
While Whedon prepares to direct "Avengers: Age of Ultron," he brought in some trusted people to run the show day to day. You might just say he trusts them like family: his brother Jed Whedon and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen ("Dollhouse," "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog").
Jed Whedon, Tancharoen and, separately, Gregg spoke with CNN on the cusp of the show's premiere.
CNN: So how much fun is it to play in the Marvel sandbox?
Tancharoen: We've always been fans of the Marvel universe, and we're big fans of the Marvel movies. To be able to play in a universe with such a long history is something we're very excited about doing.
Whedon: You have these really human emotions and predicaments amplified by superhero elements, for us it's a perfect fit.
CNN: It seems like Coulson is darn near immortal now. How surprising was it to learn of his resurrection?
Gregg: He's like a cockroach; you can't kill him off.
When it came to do that "Avengers" [death] scene, it was an emotional day. I had played this part for four movies, and I loved so much what Joss had written for that. I wasn't sad, but I found I was really emotional about it. At the end they were saying, "It's a comic book, so [he might come back]," but I thought, "Oh they're just being nice. Just trying to smooth my path to the next world."
Soon after I thought,"Well, I guess I need to start dealing with this, don't I?"
Then I get a call from ["Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." executive producers] Jeph Loeb and Joss. They say "OK, you might not be so dead. Here's what we're thinking ..."
It was such a spectacular take on why I might not be dead. And the idea of doing a TV show created by Joss -- who created "Firefly" and "Buffy," which I love -- was exciting to me.
CNN: How do you best describe the show?
Whedon: The show takes place within the Marvel cinematic universe, but it's about being a regular person living in that world.