Though it arrived swaddled in critical love, Kyle Killen’s Lone Star baby had its brains dashed before it was barely able to walk, leading the writer-director to spend the months he wasn't freaking out over Mel Gibson preemptively ruining The Beaver wondering just why a smart, high-concept show about a man leading parallel lives couldn’t find a place on network TV. But eventually Killen put himself back together again, and today comes the happy news that Killen will get a fresh start at NBC with REM, which is… a smart, high-concept show about a man leading parallel lives. But this one has the bonus of being described as “an Inception-style thriller,” as well as the more palatable, comfortingly familiar format of a police procedural that concerns a cop who awakens from an accident only to find he’s living in two different realities. Which also sounds a lot like Life On Mars, which didn’t do so hot either—but perhaps all of those various elements will finally come together this time? Also, Inception. People liked Inception.
Also on NBC’s pilot pickup slate: a new comedy from Parks And Recreation writer Dan Goor about a young doctor working for his parents’ medical practice; Free Agents, in which Party Down creator John Enbom heads a U.S. adaptation of a U.K. comedy about two PR executives finding awkward love in the midst of their respective rebounds from messy relationships; and LoveLives, a comedy from Family Guy’s Chris Sheridan about a couple who explore cheating on each other, much to the encouragement of their family and friends. (As the influx of “friends with benefits” and Hall Pass comedies have already shown, 2011 might be the year we finally shrug off monogamy. Just hang in there and quietly stock up on condoms.)