In “The Leftovers,” demonstrators protest a town's tribute to its vanished residents.

In “The Leftovers,” demonstrators protest a town’s tribute to its vanished residents.

*HBO’s newest drama series “The Leftovers” explores how life would continue on earth after two percent of its population suddenly disappears.

Where did those two percent go? Why were the other 98 percent left behind? Was it indeed a global “rapture”? These questions linger over the show’s 10 episodes, beginning with Sunday’s series premiere (June 29).

Set in Mapleton, New York, the story begins three years after 140 million people have vanished…and the world is already vastly different.

The-Leftovers-season-1-episode-1-interview

Justin Theroux (R) in HBO’s “The Leftovers”

Justin Theroux stars as Kevin Garvey, the town’s chief of police and father of two trying to hold his family and his town together amid the new world order.

The series is based on Tom Perrotta’s acclaimed novel and brings him together with showrunner/writer Damon Lindelof (who returns to television after “Lost”) and director/executive producer Peter Berg.

Now for the elephant in the room, or rather … under the dome.

“The Leftovers” has more than a few similarities to CBS’ adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “Under the Dome,” which begins its second season the following day (June 30). Both shows are based on a popular novel, both begin with some supernatural incident in a small town, and both follow its residents as they cope with the aftermath.

Below, Damon Lindlof tells us what he sees as the main difference between his “Leftovers” and CBS’ “Dome.” [Language gets salty at the end, so NSFW.]:

“The Leftovers” premieres Sunday (June 29) at 10 p.m. on HBO.

Watch the trailer below: