Coulson Never Died As SHIELD Is Set After The Avengers
Lee states the new show comes after the events in the movie, specifically after the battle for New York (via IGN).
There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York. 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.
With that news we can also put together that Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg who is returning for the S.H.I.E.L.D. show, didn't perish in his skirmish with Loki.
If you recall the exact scene, Coulson was last scene getting worked on by medics, so obviously they saved him.
We also recall that Nick Fury used Coulson's "death" to unite the Avengers, which is something that he must have felt he had to do in order to achieve victory, and also tells us a lot about his character and the lengths he will go to succeed and fulfill his mission. Perhaps that dishonesty will play out in future movies as Samuel L. Jackson will be having a larger role in Captain America 2, with Captain America being one of Coulson's heroes.
Of course there is also the possibility that Coulson was in on it, as he is a covert operative of S.H.I.E.L.D -- and a high ranking one at that.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series begins filming this month with the pilot set to air in the Fall, directed by Joss Whedon.