So far we've presented a bunch of trailers as part of the MediaWorks Guide to Summer TV -- a series of video cheat sheets to help you stay on top of the cultural/media conversation about shows premiering on TV this summer -- largely because they were groan-inducing (e.g., Fran 'The Nanny' Drescher + Gay Jokes = TV Land's Latest Original Sitcom and Yes, Rapper/Actor Ice-T and His 'Outrageous' Wife Coco Now Have Their Own Reality Show). Because everyone knows that bad TV can be as as fun -- or even funner -- to talk about than good TV.
But the new big-budget alien-invasion drama "Falling Skies," debuting this Sunday at 9/8 C on TNT, might just earn a place in the cultural conversation on its actual merits. For one thing, Steven Spielberg is an executive producer. DreamWorks Television appears to have put serious budget behind put this sci-fi spectacular, with a cast headed by Noah Wyle and some potentially kick-ass special effects, judging from the trailer. And Turner Broadcasting System International, which owns most of the foreign broadcast rights, is giving the series a major global push: It'll be available in more than 180 million homes across more than 75 countries.
Here's TNT's pitch:
"Falling Skies" opens in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force.
Which is why it's good that Noah Wyle has manned up with an especially scraggly, post-apocalyptic beard.
The 10-episode first season opens with a two-hour "series premiere event." What are you (and/or your DVR) doing Sunday night?
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.