Jeff Jensen
June 10, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What it’s about From executive producer Steven Spielberg comes a new kind of close encounter with alien life — except these robo-enhanced ETs aren’t here in peace. Skies, premiering June 19, begins six months after the war, with the invading aliens occupying the ruins of America, and mankind organized into resistance movements. Your hero is Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), a history professor and widower with three sons. Says Wyle, ”It blends two different kinds of sci-fi that I like: metaphor for our world today, and mystery.”

What to expect ”We didn’t want to do the dark, devastating postapocalyptic version of the premise — we wanted to do a show about people hanging on to their humanity,” says coexec producer Mark Verheiden. So while Tom will clash with an Army man (Will Patton) on his team over combat and survival strategies, he’ll grow close with a pediatrician (Moon Bloodgood). Meanwhile, the aliens are abducting teens — like Tom’s son Ben (Connor Jessup) — and using biomechanical harnesses to turn them into slaves. Or are they? Hints Wyle: ”By the end of the season, we’re going to find that we were radically wrong in our assumptions about a lot of things.”

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