Although his last two critically-acclaimed television projects ended in quick cancellation, writer/producer Kyle Killen is still hotly in demand. In a competitive situation involving multiple networks, ABC has handed his newest creation, a drama entitled Influence, a put pilot commitment.
The creator of short-lived series Awake and Lone Star will write and executive-produce a provocative workplace ensemble that follows the complex relationship between two brothers who run an innovative agency that specializes in using the real science of human motivation and manipulation to solve their clients' problems. One brother is a slick ex-convict, while the other is an expert in human psychology afflicted with bipolar disorder. A further wrinkle in the concept is that sometimes the brothers use their abilities to pull each other's strings.
Having learned from his previous television experiences, Killen has shifted away from complicated, non-linear narratives on this project, although the theme of duality that was evident in both Awake and Lone Star is represented in Influence in terms of the bipolar character.
An hour-long drama about a man living two separate lives in two different cities, Lone Star lasted for only two episodes on FOX before being canceled in September of 2010. Awake—revolving around a man living in two separate realities, one in which his wife died and one in which his son died—managed to last a bit longer earlier this year, as NBC aired all thirteen episodes between March and May to dismal ratings, leading to its demise despite fan support campaigns. He also wrote the feature film The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster.