Have you ever wondered if aliens are real? Ever wondered if there was any truth to those stories that people have been abducted by aliens? Those are the sort of questions that lay at the heart of TBS’s upcoming comedy, People of Earth.
The series focuses on a support group for people who believe they have been abducted by aliens. Held in the basement of a small, local church and led by a downtrodden therapist (who happens to be an abductee herself), the support group draws in a wide cast of characters from all different walks of life. The show explores the dynamics of this unique group, their vulnerabilities, and how each of them came to believe they were abducted.
Here’s the thing, though. Aliens are real. And some of them really have been abducted.
People of Earth was created by writer David Jenkins and pitched as “a Greg Daniels comedy” blended with a “JJ Abrams magic box” show. It just so happens that Greg Daniels really is attached to the project – along with Conan O’Brien and a bunch of other really talented showrunners and cast members. We had a chance to sit down with David, Greg, and actors Ana Gasteyer and Wyatt Cenac at San Diego Comic-Con this year to discuss the series.
David told us a little bit about how they came up with the idea for the series. After hearing about alien support groups he became intrigued with the idea. He did some research online and was struck by the vulnerability – and the normality – of these groups and realized they could be a good vehicle for telling some very personal stories.
We also learned a little bit about the aliens we’d see in the series. There are there different types: the ‘Greys’ who are your standard grey aliens, the ‘Reptilians’ which are (as you can imagine) reptilian aliens in fake human bodies, and the ‘Nordics’ – tall, blonde aliens. We also don’t have to wait too long to get our first look at them as we’ll see them in a flashback within the first episode.
The pilot was actually filmed about a year ago and the cast is just now getting started on filming the series proper. There are going to be ten episodes total this year which seems a bit short but David Jenkins saw it as a useful framework for writing the series. He told us, “I definitely want to have more story than episodes.” And I think that’s something we can all agree on!
People of Earth sounds like an amazing series. I love the idea of using a sci-fi setting to tell such a human story about people and their vulnerabilities. I can’t wait to see the show – and especially to see the aliens!
Check our videos below for the full roundtable interviews!