The death of Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson in "Marvel’s The Avengers" was a major emotional moment in the saga. So, the question of how he would reprise the role to lead the rest of the cast in the upcoming ABC series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has always been one of speculation.
Now, a source for /Film claims they have knowledge of how this will be pulled off on screen. Here's an excerpt from their report:
"In the pilot, it’s revealed Nick Fury faked Agent Coulson’s death on purpose to motivate The Avengers. Some S.H.I.E.L.D. members were in on it, but The Avengers were not. Their security clearance wasn’t high enough. Coulson was forced to hold his breath as part of the ruse and that’s a point of contention among his colleagues.
After the fact, Fury moved him to a remote location until things died down, and then he was reinserted into duty at the time of the show.