'Falling Skies' will return for a fourth season of alien battles

'Falling Skies' will return for a fourth season of alien battles
Noah Wyle fights the alien invaders in "Falling Skies." (Ken Woroner / TNT)

Noah Wyle will continue fighting alien invaders for another year. TNT announced on Tuesday it had renewed the alien invasion drama "Falling Skies" for a fourth season.

The series, which is currently midway through its third season, is expected to return for 10 episodes in the summer of 2014.

Wyle stars as a college professor who slowly transforms into a war leader while leading a rag-tag group of human freedom fighters against a seemingly all-powerful alien force that has effectively conquered the planet Earth.

In its third season, "Falling Skies" has managed to build its audience, with episodes averaging a total audience of 5.8 million, up from last season's 5.6 million per episode, making it the top cable drama of the summer among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

The series has been a rare TV success for executive producer Steven Spielberg, who has seen previous TV science-fiction efforts, including "Terra Nova" and "Earth 2," suffer early cancellations.

Robert Rodat, who wrote Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," created the series, but it has had different showrunners, including Remi Aubuchon, who ran the show for the second and third seasons but left before season four to write a novel.