Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Steve Zahn to play another unstable know-it-all in Kyle Killen's next show

The impending end of Treme threatens to leave viewers without opportunity to watch Steve Zahn play a manic, off-putting character on a low-rated yet critically acclaimed drama. Fortunately, perhaps, there’s ABC’s Influence, the latest series attempt from Lone Star and Awake creator Kyle Killen, which has just cast Zahn in the lead role of “an unmedicated bipolar, world-renowned expert in the fields of human behavior, psychology and motivation.” It’s just the sort of unstable know-it-all that Zahn specializes in, while also being the sort of high-concept show that Killen favors and hopefully will get a chance to do more than a handful of episodes of this time. Influence is described as a “provocative workplace ensemble” that takes place at an agency run by Zahn and his brother, which specializes in problem-solving using “the real science of human motivation and manipulation.” For example, the motivation that comes from saying, “Kyle Killen deserves a chance this time,” and the manipulation that comes from getting invested in his shows only to see them die prematurely. But hey, maybe bipolar Steve Zahn can help solve that problem.


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