Wilson Cleveland (born July 4, 1974) is an American actor, producer and writer. He is known as the creator, producer and star of the web television series Leap Year (2011-2012), Suite 7 (2010-2011) and The Temp Life (2006-2011). He has also written and acted in the short films Kept Man (2014), SPiN (2015) and Intricate Vengeance (2016), which he produced for New Form, the digital studio co-founded by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Discovery, Inc.
Wilson Cleveland grew up in Darien, Connecticut and attended Darien High School where he acted in various school productions with classmates Chloe Sevigny and Topher Grace. He attended Boston University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Film from Boston University College of Communication. As a Freshman, Cleveland was cast on Butv10's weekly television soap opera, Bay State, which led to small roles in Days of Our Lives and The Devil's Own.
In 2006 while working at a public relations firm in New York, Cleveland was inspired by then one year-old YouTube and the potential of online video to "make little TV shows on the Internet for clients to tell their stories." He created and starred in The Temp Life, a comedy web series sponsored by for Spherion which debuted on YouTube on November 29, 2006, ran for five seasons and is considered to be among the first and longest-running branded web series.
On November 28, 2010 it was announced in The Hollywood Reporter that Milo Ventimiglia and Shannen Doherty had joined the cast of Suite 7, a seven-episode anthology that Cleveland created, executive produced and starred in for Lifetime. Reviews for the series were generally favorable and on May 21, 2012, International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences honored Cleveland and Doherty with Webby Awards for their performances in the episode, "Company."
Cleveland is the co-creator/executive producer and star of Leap Year, a comedy-drama series about five former co-workers starting a tech company in Silicon Valley, that aired for two seasons on Hulu from 2011 to 2012. It was revealed during the second season that Cleveland's character, Derek Morrison is gay. Cleveland, himself openly gay, explained in a June 28, 2013 interview, "I wanted Derek’s sexuality to be a subtle layer to the character" and "not make it some big plot twist or its own storyline."
Leap Year has won multiple awards and distinctions including several Telly Awards, a Webby Awards for Best Branded Entertainment (Scripted), a Streamy Award for Best Branded Series, Best Branded Entertainment at the Banff World Media Festival and the IAWTV Award for Best Dramatic Series. USA Network acquired the Leap Year rights in 2013.
In 2010, Cleveland was a co-creator and producer on The Webventures of Justin and Alden, a five-episode web series sponsored by Trident and produced in association with the 2010 Streamy Awards. In 2011, he co-executive produced the comedy series, Bestsellers, guest starred in season five of Felicia Day’s comedy web series, The Guild and season three of Illeana Douglas' IKEA sitcom Easy to Assemble.
In 2014, Cleveland starred in the season five premiere of BlackBoxTV for which he received a Streamy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Drama. Also in 2014, Cleveland wrote and starred opposite Hartley Sawyer in the short films Kept Man and SPiN. Cleveland and Sawyer shared a 2015 Webby Award for Best Drama for Kept Man and SPiN was named Best Drama by the Webbys the following year. In 2015, Cleveland appeared in three episodes of The Annoying Orange and created/executive produced the documentary series Courageous Leaders for Vox Media. In 2016, Cleveland created and starred in the revenge drama Intricate Vengeance for New Form Digital.