Steven Spielberg Colonizing ABC With Alien Invasion Drama Whispers

By David Wharton | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

CloseEncountersThe little green men are coming! Okay, so I’m not sure at this point whether any of them are little, green, or men, much less a combination of all three, but one thing is for certain: we’re about to get invaded. At least twice. Yesterday we told you about Colony, an alien invasion series in the works for the USA Network, from Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse. Well, now that show has some competition, as ABC has ordered to series The Whispers, a new science fiction invasion series produced by Steven Spielberg.

There aren’t many details available about The Whispers just yet, but we know the show involves unfriendly aliens who want to destroy and/or conquer our planet, and that their plan somehow involves using children. Heroes‘ Milo Ventimiglia stars as a man who wakes up on the streets of Washington D.C. with no idea who he is, but with a series of strange tattoos that could lead him to answers. Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) plays the tattooed amnesiac’s wife, Claire, and Revenge’s Barry Sloane is playing a Department of Defense investigator who stumbles onto something big.

The Whispers has been in development for a while now, originally under the more generic title of The Visitors (not to be confused with the Vicious Brothers’ alien horror flick of the same name, which has itself since been renamed “Extraterrestrial”). The pilot was directed by Mark Romanek (who also helmed the excellent and underrated Never Let Me Go), from a script by Soo Hugh (Under the Dome).

ABC has a long history of airing solid genre shows, having been the home for classic or cult-classic series such as The Outer Limits, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and the ahead-of-its time Max Headroom. But it’s been awhile since they had a clear-cut science fiction hit. There’s no question Lost fit that description, but the ABC shows that tried to recapture that lightning in a bottle include such short-lived affairs as the V remake, FlashForward, the Night Stalker remake, Invasion, and Defying Gravity. (Of those, only V lasted more than one season.) Hopefully The Whispers will be more in the vein of Lost, and less like…well, the rest of those.

Spielberg’s sci-fi TV track record is hit or miss. Over the years he’s produced some good (Taken), some bad (Under the Dome, Terra Nova), and some mediocre (Falling Skies). But he’s also partially responsible for Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, and Freakazoid, so he gets a free pass from me when it comes to checking out new stuff he’s associated with. In addition to Whispers, Spielnberg is also an executive producer on the Halle Berry sci-fi series Extant for CBS and the Halo TV series, rumored to be headed for Showtime.