01/10/2013 04:09 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

'S.H.I.E.L.D': ABC President 'Hopeful' For Joss Whedon Pilot, Talks 'Last Resort' Cancellation

One of ABC's most buzzed-about pilots is easily "S.H.I.E.L.D" and Paul Lee, the network's entertainment president, shared some more information about the Joss Whedon project at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Thursday.

Lee said he is "very hopeful" about "S.H.I.E.L.D" being picked up to series after fast-tracking the pilot and praised Whedon's script, noting it had "some great male/female relationships and humor," as well as all the action the superhero genre provides. Lee added that Whedon is "great to work with and very excited to be [back] on television."

ABC is hoping that the show will be accessible to men, women and children, allowing for a co-viewing experience that will "bring the whole family together" the way "Once Upon a Time" has for the network, Lee said.

While ABC was disappointed that the male-skewing "Last Resort" didn't connect with their core female audience, Lee promised that Shawn Ryan has a "great ending" for the series, and that in the future, they'll make more of an effort to ensure their new developments cater to both men and women. "We try to give as much space to our showrunners as possible," Lee said, "[but] that doesn't mean it isn't our job to say 'we do need to make sure we have really engaging and emotional stories to our women audience.' It's not our job to offer solutions ... but it is my job to say 'can you give us more emotion?'" -- something that "Last Resort" apparently couldn't accomplish fast enough.

The HuffPost TV team previously assembled our wish list of actors to populate "S.H.I.E.L.D.," pulling from a pool of the usual Whedonverse suspects and a few fresh faces who we think could tackle the dramatic and action-packed concept, should ABC decide to go ahead with the series.

Our Dream Cast For "S.H.I.E.L.D."