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ABC's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' to Screen at D23 Expo

The Joss Whedon "Avengers" follow-up will screen Sunday at the Disney conference.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Pilot Episodic Clark Gregg - P 2013
ABC
"Marvel's Agents of SHIELD"

ABC is bringing something special to this weekend's D23 Expo: the highly guarded pilot Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Thus far, Marvel's first scripted drama series has been closely guarded -- a rarity for a broadcast pilot as networks typically send screeners to critics in May following the upfront presentations.

STORY: Joss Whedon's 'Agents of SHIELD' Screens Entire Pilot to a Deafening Crowd

Instead, Marvel and ABC have kept the Joss Whedon pilot under wraps. The first time many in the industry were able to see it was in July at Comic-Con, where the pilot had its world premiere. ABC and Marvel also delivered the pilot for a screening at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour on Sunday complete with a warning for the assembled press to not take any photos or video recordings of the episode.

Jeph Loeb, head of television and an executive producer on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will introduce the screening on Aug. 11.

D23 is held annually in Anaheim, Calif., and features a weekend lineup of content from both movies and television. For more on the conference and screening, go to D23Expo.com.

STORY: 'Agents of SHIELD' Cast, Creators on Movie Synergy, Joss Whedon's Involvement

S.H.I.E.L.D. is based on Marvel Comics' secret intelligence organization, which has appeared in countless titles, including Iron Man, Captain America and The Ultimates since being introduced in the 1960s. The military law-enforcement agency's moniker stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division, which has also evolved over time in the comics.

The series picks up where Marvel and Whedon's big-screen movie The Avengers left off and features Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson's mysterious return after getting killed off in Whedon's film. How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders reprises her role as Agent Maria Hill in the pilot.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit