Noah Wyle Noah Wyle

Sci-fans have seen aliens ravage Earth many times before, from Independence Day to V. But TNT's Falling Skies will be different. It won't be about those meddlesome aliens. It will be about what happens after our extra-terrestrial friends have left.

The Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies, which debuts next summer, picks up six months after an alien invasion has wiped out a sizeable chunk of the human population. Did they leave any parting gifts? Well, that's the big mystery, and the characters will be trying to wrap their heads around what happened just as much as the audience will be, co-executive producer and writer Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) said at a Comic-Con panel Friday.

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Noah Wyle stars as a Boston University American history professor whose wife died in the invasion. One of his sons has been captured by aliens. He's got beef, and fortunately, his expertise in the American Revolution makes him a natural leader in the battle against the aliens.

Producers said while the series is filled with action, its story is about humanity. The survivors are grappling both with a radically different world and the threat of another invasion.

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"How do you rebuild a society from scratch when you're constantly under threat?" Wyle said. "[They] become the architects of the next Constitution. If something hit the reset button, what are the aspects we'd want to retain from the life before?"

Wyle admitted he didn't want to like the script. He had little interest in starring in another television show after a long tenure as Dr. John Carter on ER. But the story compelled him, as well as the attachment of a certain marquee producer.

"When you're doing an alien show, it's nice to attach your coattails to Mr. Spielberg," he said.