Earlier in March, videos floated across the internet of celebrities like rapper Slim Thug, reality star Nene Leakes and NBA player Lamar Odom on campus at Texas Southern University. Turns out that they were on campus for BET’s reboot of the decades-old reality series College Hill. The original show, which debuted in 2004 and ran through 2009, presented viewers with a raw and uncut look at Black college life, where eight young adults learned to live together under one roof. Revival of the hit show will give us a celebrity take — now, eight media personalities — Nene Leakes, Ray J, Lamar Odom, Big Freedia, Stacey Dash, DreamDoll, India Love and Slim Thug are headed back to the classroom.
BET is bringing back the creator and producer from the original show, Tracey Edmonds, to give the reboot a nostalgic touch. This new and improved edition includes actresses, reality show personalities and artists who are committed to pursuing higher education, hoping to prove to themselves, and others, that it’s never too late to go back to school. In the forthcoming eight-episode season, the stars will attend class alongside TSU students and are working toward a specialty certificate program to cross the stage.
“As the original creator and executive producer of College Hill, I am so elated to partner with TSU and be able to bring back this cherished franchise with an exciting new twist,” Edmonds says.
For reality star Nene Leakes, the show may be a cakewalk, as she attended Morris Brown College for two years before leaving school. Additionally, NBA player Lamar Odom attended the University of Nevada and University of Rhode Island. But what they haven’t done is attend an HBCU college campus in the city we call home. According to a release, viewers get to watch the celebs act as ordinary college students, completing their coursework along with required internships, extra credit opportunities and group projects. Plus the bonus of HBCU college life includes hitting the yard, step shows and, more importantly, fried chicken Wednesdays in the cafe.
TSU is in high spirits about the reality docu-series coming to campus. President Dr. Lesia L. Crumpton-Young said, “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome our new Tigers to campus, where they will be immersed in TSU history, academics and student life against the background of our beautiful, urban campus.”
The show enters an opportune time, as we’re seeing a resurgence in mainstream media for historically Black colleges. College Hill: Celebrity Edition will place the spotlight on the local university, as it’s also reeling from the graduation of megastar and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
Tiffany Lea Williams, executive vice president of BET’s unscripted programming, is aiming to bring more awareness to HBCUs with the network’s franchise.
“College Hill … will bring more awareness to the significance of HBCUs, which has a rich legacy and continued tradition of bolstering excellence through education for some of the brightest minds in the Black community.”
BET’s College Hill: Celebrity Edition is set to air in summer 2022.
For more information, visit BET.