ABOVE: College Hill: Celebrity Edition cast on the TSU Tiger Walk with Mr. and Ms. Texas Southern University
BET recently provided some exciting news to both millennials and Houstonians. College Hill, the hit reality television series that premiered in 2004, is back with a bang!
As most of us know, College Hill followed the lives of students at historically black colleges. And after a thirteen-year hiatus, the BET reality show has found a new home in Houston, Texas at Texas Southern University.
In true Houston fashion, College Hill: Celebrity Edition premiered on BET+ Monday, June 27. June 27th is an “unofficially official” holiday in Houston, dubbed DJ Screw Day. June 27 marks the anniversary of a landmark moment that music enthusiasts see as the day Houston’s special brand of hip-hop (chopped and screwed, originated by DJ Screw) was put on the world map when he released his 38-minute freestyle record, “June 27,” in 1996.
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 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 gives us a celebrity take — now, eight media personalities — Nene Leakes, Ray J, Lamar Odom, Big Freedia, Stacey Dash, DreamDoll, India Love and Houston’s own Slim Thug have headed back to the classroom.
BET brought 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.
“Having the cast and crew of College Hill: Celebrity Edition on our campus was a special experience for Texas Southern University and a unique opportunity to introduce TSU to new audiences,” said Texas Southern University vice president for communications and advancement Melinda Spaulding. “The multiple positive interactions with students and the highlighting of our president and faculty will show the world what we already know about Texas Southern. BET also partnered with the University for scholarships and gifted our students with an amazing Culture Fest culminating experience. We hope our participation will enhance the interest in not only the Texas Southern University, but all HBCUs.”