14. Falling Skies (TNT)
Stars: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Drew Roy, Jessy Schram, Maxim Knight, Will Patton, Connor Jessup, Terry O’Quinn, Brandon Jay McLaren
Premiere date: June 17
Last summer, in quiet, inconspicuous fashion, TNT’s Falling Skies delivered some of cable television’s most addictive entertainment. But are enough people actually tuning in to feel the same way? Apparently so, since TNT felt confident enough to grant the Steven Spielberg-produced sci-fi/action series a second go-round, and we couldn’t be happier.
Starring a commanding Noah Wyle as a college professor turned alien-hating freedom fighter, Falling Skies imagines a world full of battered civilians rising up to rail against fast, military-minded aliens with heavy firepower. The special effects are sharp (unlike Spielberg’s other high-concept 2011 show, the rightfully scrapped Terra Nova), the acting and writing are consistently on-point, and, in a bit of analysis that should make the angriest Walking Dead naysayers' ears and eyes perk up, the mayhem has gone down briskly and frequently since the pilot episode.
Having gained in quality with each subsequent hour last year, Falling Skies is primed for an knockout return. The question is, who shares our enthusiasm? —M.B.