S.H.I.E.L.D. will be a sequel—not a prequel—to The Avengers

Ever since we found out that Clark Gregg would be reprising his role as Agent Phil Coulson in the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, we've been wondering if Coulson did indeed survive the events of The Avengers or if the television series would function as a prequel to the films. But ABC president Paul Lee has revealed that the series is set after The Avengers. Coulson lives!

Talking to IGN, Lee had this to say about S.H.I.E.L.D.'s relationship to the other Marvel films:

There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York.

Nick Fury, you sly, manipulative bastard.

The challenge, Lee continued, will be balancing the distinct TV series with the universe already created within the films:

This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They're following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it's part of the world, but we're going to be very, very careful that we don't tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that's what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He's built a world for us.

No, it's Not a Prequel: ABC President Confirms S.H.I.E.L.D. Takes Place After The Avengers [IGN via /Film]