Earlier today, Disney-ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige and Avengers Director Joss Whedon announced a sweeping plan to the television network's programming for the 2013-2014 season during Disney's 2013 Investor Conference.
The plan will affect a broad majority of the network’s scheduled television programming by bringing them into the Marvel universe through a series of crossover events with the upcoming Avengers tie-in show S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whedon, who has signed with Disney to direct the sequel to The Avengers and the recently completed pilot for the upcoming television show S.H.I.E.L.D., noted that the plan mirrors current releases by Marvel Comics for their major events. “With each major story line other stories in ongoing books are brought in, featuring characters that might not otherwise be seen in the main event.”
The press event announced the green light for a 6th season of ABC’s popular show Castle, which follows a mystery novelist who teams up with a New York City Homocide Detective. Richard Castle, the show’s titular character, is portrayed by Whedonverse alum, Nathan Fillion, who’s appeared in numerous productions by Whedon, said by way of a statement that he “was thrilled to be collaborating once again with Joss”, who’s come to the Castle team with a number of ideas for how a cross-over event will appear. “Rick Castle is going to be so excited at the idea of working alongside the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. Details of the show’s crossover are currently under wraps, but is expected to appear at some point in the 3rd quarter of 2013.
The group also indicated that other shows would likely be brought in, at least tangentially. “We’re working closely with the writing teams of Once Upon A Time, Scandal, Red Widow and Rookie Blue, all of whom are excited to be working with one of Disney’s highest-profile projects.” Sweeny noted. The shows, which are relatively similar in theme and subject matter, won’t otherwise connect to one another, although Sweeny stated that they’re not ruling out other shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal or Body Of Proof. She refused to elaborate on how shows currently under consideration for pickup would fall under this plan.
Feige closed out the press conference by stating that S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to be an exciting experiment for the television industry, and that this plan will “allow fans to keep in touch with their favorite characters and storylines, as well as the opportunity to explore a wide range of new shows.” Cryptically, he stated at the end of the Q&A that “All options are on the table,” when asked if the superhero characters of the Marvel Universe will make appearances in S.H.I.E.L.D. and the other shows.
Image: composite Disney/ABC