Noah Wyle returns to TV this summer in TNT’s sci-fi show Falling Skies. Wyle will play a former schoolteacher who now leads the few remaining survivors of an alien invasion. TNT offered him many choices of new shows, but Wyle said his son decided for him.

“I’ll tell you honest to God, the meeting I had was with my eight-year-old son,” Wyle said. “I had four scripts on the table. I said, ‘Do you want to see your daddy be a lawyer or do you want to see him be a detective or do you want to see him be a doctor or do you want to see him be an alien fighter?’ That was it.”

TNT was eager to get Wyle back on television, after their series of Librarian movies, and the telefilm Pirates of Silicon Valley. “It felt appropriate to duck away for a little while and focus on my kids and look at other things to do and sort of stay away from television for a bit until ER had been off the air for a couple of years. Michael Wright at TNT was very generous about showing me a lot of the stuff that he was going to be putting in the pipeline and this immediately rose to the top in terms of my level of interest.”

Looking back on ER, Wyle is comfortable leaving it behind and moving on to saving the world. “Wrapping up ER was an incredibly rewarding synchronistic experience. Getting to play with some of the original plays, having Rod Holcomb who directed the pilot come back and do the finale, was pretty great and left me off with a really nice feeling of satisfaction and very few regrets for the whole thing.”

Falling Skies starts Sunday night on TNT.