Joss Whedon's <I>S.H.I.E.L.D.</i> May Have Killed ABC's <i>Weird Desk</i>

Less than a week after it was revealed ABC had granted a straight-to-series order to the paranormal-mystery series Weird Desk, Deadline reports the network has suddenly shelved the project, and suggests Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. may be to blame.

While executives liked the concept and scripts for the X-Files-like Weird Desk, which centered on a clandestine governmental organization that investigates paranormal and occasionally extraterrestrial occurrences, it quickly became clear production would not be able to start in time (while still being low-budget) to make ABC's summer schedule.

However, Deadline also contends there may have been concerns within both Marvel and the network that the premise of Weird Desk hewed a little too close to the hotly anticipated S.H.I.E.L.D., which of course focuses on the global espionage and law-enforcement agency that’s helped to provide the connective tissue between the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "There is speculation about objections from Marvel, one of Disney Co.’s most prized possessions, to the new project," the website writes. "As a result, the network decided to put a pin in Weird Desk."

Whedon will direct the pilot, which he co-wrote with his brother Jed Whedon and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen. The project, which begins filming next month, so far stars Clark Gregg as fan-favorite Agent Coulson, Ming-Na as Agent Melina May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Gemma Simmons, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz and Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward.

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