Lone Star and Awake creator Kyle Killen has received a pilot order by ABC for his latest drama project, Influence. The network also has given the green light to Killer Women, a soupy procedural written by Hannah Shakespeare and produced by Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, Ben Silverman and director Martin Campbell.
Influence, from 20th Century Fox TV where Killen is under a deal, is described as a provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers — a bipolar genius in human psychology and a slick ex-con — who head a unique agency designed to solve their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation. In addition to helping their clients, the agency’s staff sometime turn their powers to pull strings on one another. Killen is the writer/executive producer. Influence, which had a put pilot commitment, marks a departure from Killen’s previous two series projects, Fox’s Lone Star and NBC’s Awake, which both had very complex, non-linear narratives as they centered on protagonists living dual lives. Still, Killen kept a duality element in his new show too, making one of the main characters bipolar.
Killer Women, from ABC Studios, is based on the Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas. It centers on Molly Parker, the only woman in the notoriously male Texas Rangers — a ballsy, beautiful badass who knows how to get to the truth and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers on her way there. Shakespeare (The Playboy Club) wrote the script and is executive producing with Vergara, Silverman, Campbell and Luis Balaguer, Vergara’s producing partner at Latin World Entertainment. Jimmy Fox of Silverman’s Electus co-exec produces. The setup — Ben Silverman teaming with a well-known actress of Latin American origin for an hourlong ABC project with a female lead based on a Latin American format echoes Silverman’s successful ABC dramedy Ugly Betty, which he produced by Salma Hayek. In addition to Killer Women, Electus also has an NBC comedy presentation starring Jessica Simpson.