Fox has put in development Upstairs, a single-camera comedy from recent Columbia University graduate Shawn Wines and producer Aaron Kaplan. The project, set up at Warner Bros TV, is based on Wines’ comedy short Upstairs (video below), which has amassed more than 2 million views online. Referred casually as New Guy, the project is described as a male New Girl and centers on a tragically average guy, living with his trust-fund roommate, across the hall from their beautiful neighbor. Keeping the tone of the short, in which a couple on a first date get very pragmatical yet brutally honest about the course of their relationship, the show will feature the set of friends taking on the brutality of daily life in New York.
This marks the first sale for Wines, whose graduate thesis short at Columbia, High Maintenance, won a Silver medal at last year’s Student Academy Awards; landed on the Viewfinder, a Black List for aspiring filmmakers; and made the festival circuit. Ironically, it was not High Maintenance that opened the door for Wines but Upstairs, which he wrote and directed as a side project. Kaplan’s mom actually spotted the racy video online and made him watch it. That led to the TV project, which Kaplan developed with Wines. Wines, repped by WME and Linne Radmin, is writing and co-executive producing; Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment is executive producing.