Pop Orders Pilot for Improv Comedy ‘Sebastian Wakes Up’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Pop has ordered a pilot for the offbeat, semi-improv comedy “Sebastian Wakes Up,” starring UCB Theatre player Sebastian Conelli.

Alan Aisenberg, known for his role as Baxter Bayley on “Orange Is the New Black,” created the show with Justin Ayers, Juan Cocuy, Andrew Soltys, Charlie Todd, and Evan Shapiro. The series hails from Deverge, Improv Everywhere and Shapiro’s eshapTV banner.

The show is described as a blend of improv and hidden-camera prank formats. The pilot, directed by Aisenberg, was shot earlier this month largely on the streets of New York.

“Evan, Deverge and Improv Everywhere have found a very funny, unique angle of storytelling with Sebastian,” said Justin Rosenblatt, Pop’s exec VP of original programming and development. Rosenblatt added that he and Pop chief Brad Schwartz “have been big fans of Evan for a long time.”

Deverge is the content shingle run by Aisenberg, Ayers, Cocuy and Soltys. Aisenberg and Cocuy met Shapiro as NYU students four years ago when they took the course in television that the cable veteran teaches at the university. Todd heads Improv Everywhere. Shapiro launched eshapTV earlier this year after exiting NBCUniversal, where he spearheaded the launch of the now-shuttered Seeso comedy streaming service.

“This team has been wanting to work together for a long time,” Shapiro told Variety. “Sebastian is one of those talents who is enormously active in the UCB community. We started with this unusual character (of Conelli’s) and built out a world from there.”

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