FOX developing comedy 'Upstairs' based on viral comedy short

So far this development season, networks have bought television projects inspired by popular books, unpublished books, Kindle e-books, other television projects, movies from a decade ago, Twitter streams, Tumblr pages, and a variety of other media. Now you can add viral videos to that list, as FOX has acquired a single-camera comedy based on a two-and-a-half-minute short that has amassed more than two million views online.

UpstairsEntitled Upstairs, the project is casually referred to as "New Guy" because of similarities to FOX's current comedy hit, New Girl. Focusing on a tragically average guy who lives with his trust-fund roommate across the hall from a beautiful woman, Upstairs will follow him and his group of friends as they deal with the harsh realities of daily life in New York City. The show will keep the deadpan tone of the comedy short, also called Upstairs. Written and directed by recent Columbia University graduate Shawn Wines, the viral video depicts a couple on their first date who decide to be brutally honest with each other and exchange painful truths before heading upstairs. Although Wines had earned some notoriety with his graduate thesis short at Columbia, this project came about because the mother of producer Aaron Kaplan saw the R-rated Upstairs short and brought it to her son's attention. Kaplan then began developing the TV show with Wines, who will serve as writer and co-executive producer. Wines' previous short—entitled High Maintenance, about a man trying to get his wife pregnant—won the Silver medal at last year's Student Academy Awards, appeared on the Viewfinder list for aspiring filmmakers, and traveled the festival circuit.

Upstairs is humorous in its unabashed honesty and it will be interesting to see that tone adapted for a TV comedy, but it seems odd that network executives think they can get a full season of 22 episodes out of a video that lasts less than three minutes. Perhaps that's part of the problem with television and these new comedy series that are cancelled after a handful of episodes. Is there enough juice in this concept for a TV show?

- Aaron Kaplan

Written by: Chrononaut
Dec 10th, 2012, 2:23 pm


Message Posted On Dec 16th, 2012, 6:38 pm
Two. Broke. Girls. You can get pretty raunchy with your jokes even on network TV.


Level 39 (91%)
Points: 17879.2
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Message Posted On Dec 10th, 2012, 2:35 pm

I found the short funny enough, but I have no idea how the concept is going to translate to a weekly series. Especially since a lot of the humor is quite raunchy, and I just can't see FOX bringing some of these jokes to network TV.

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