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JUN
29
6 MOS

HBO's 'The Leftovers': What to Expect From Series Premiere

The drama debuts at 10 p.m. Sunday with a worldwide mystery, famous faces and "Gary f—ing Busey."

Update: Read our full Q&A with Damon Lindelof about the pilot's toughest scene here.

HBO's The Leftovers is just hours away.

The drama — which takes place three years after a mysterious event caused 2 percent of the world's population to disappear — boasts big names on the creative side, with the series co-created by Lost's Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta and a pilot episode directed by Peter Berg.

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Onscreen, Justin Theroux stars as a troubled police officer, with Amy Brenneman, Michael Gaston, Chris Eccleston and Liv Tyler also in the mix. Here, we break down three things to look for when the show airs.

There will be no answers … and that's a good thing for Lindelof

The show will not address the "why" of the mysterious disappearance. Lindelof has been upfront about this since he began doing press for the show. He recently told THR that after Lost, he'd be experiencing "a tremendous amount of anxiety and worry" if they were promising a big reveal down the road. The why was not the interesting question to him: "How they move on became the more interesting tapestry to weave."

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There are plenty of differences from the book

The novel was written by co-creator Perrotta, but the show won't necessarily be slavish to the source material. THR's Tim Goodman wrote this in his review: "The Leftovers has, in a number of ways, differentiated itself from the book, so any expectations that the series will end the same way should be tempered — though the book's conclusion was, for many readers, itself maddeningly vague."

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Famous people are among the disappeared

There's a pilot scene in which people are at a bar, watching anniversary coverage of the disappearance. An in memoriam segment for the disappeared includes pictures of Condoleezza Rice, Salman Rushdie, Shaq, J.Lo Gary Busey and Pope Benedict. The bartender's response? "The pope I get. The pope. But Gary f—ing Busey? How does he make the cut?" Now, this is not really important to the plot — but does demonstrate the very real feel of the world the Leftovers team has created.

For a closer look, check out the trailer at the top of the post, and stay tuned to THR.com following Sunday's premiere for a Q&A with Lindelof about the episode's biggest scene.

The Leftovers premieres June 29 at 10 p.m. on HBO.

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch