'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD' versus 'NCIS' in the fall: Joss Whedon is ABC's secret weapon

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ABC is bringing a big gun to the Tuesday night fight this fall, scheduling what is arguably the year's most anticipated new series -- "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- opposite one of TV's most watched shows, CBS stalwart "NCIS."

"We believe that 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' is particularly good at 8 because we think it's going to recruit a whole new audience coming in," ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee said during a conference call today (May 14) to discuss the fall schedule. "We think it has a built in audience obviously because it's associated with the amazing 'Avengers' franchise and we don't necessarily think that audience is the same as 'NCIS.' We have high hopes for that at 8 o'clock on Tuesday."

"We don't normally talk about testing but it tested so well in all four quadrants [men and women both over 25 and under 25]," Lee revealed. "Of course it's [executive produced and co-created by] Joss Whedon. He made 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' He knows how to create not just great television but great television with relationships at the heart of it."

"Not only does ['S.H.I.E.L.D.'] have great relationships and humor but also it has the promise of the Marvel franchise," Lee continued. "It brings a sense of wonder and excitement and adventure. We think it's driven by character and it's gonna bring a wider audience to us."

Here's ABC's official summary for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.":

Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel's feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson's team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
Photo/Video credit: ABC
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