EXCLUSIVE: A half-hour project, First Timers, has sold at ABC in a competitive situation, and it couldn’t have had a more perfect title. Because it marks the first sale for Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage‘s Fake Empire under the company’s rich three-year overall deal with ABC Studios. It also marks the first sale for up-and-coming writing duo Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger, currently serving as producers on the ABC/ABC Studios comedy The Neighbors. Penned by Aptaker and Berger loosely based on their own relationship, First Timers centers on twentysomething male/female business partners. The two will executive produce alongside Fake Empire’s Schwartz, Savage and Len Goldstein.
Starting their ABC Studios relationship with a comedy sale is symbolic for Fake Empire as expansion into half-hour comedy under the new deal has been a priority for the company, known primarily as a drama series producer. ABC Studios introduced Aptaker and Berger to Schwartz and Savage who had been tracking the duo’s career for a while (Aptaker and Berger previously staffed on I Just Want My Pants Back, Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous and Friends With Benefits) and went after the young writers after reading their adaptation of the book The Future of Us. There is also another, more sentimental reason — Aptaker, 25 and Berger, 26, are the same age Schwartz was when he created The O.C.. Aptaker and Berger are with Verve, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobso; Fake Empire with WME.