College Hill (TV series)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7 (including Spinoff, 'Interns')|
|No. of episodes||94 +|
|Executive producer(s)||Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original run||January 28, 2004– June 23, 2009|
College Hill was a reality television show on Black Entertainment Television (BET) that follows the lives of students at historically black colleges. First broadcast in 2004, the show has become quite popular, bringing in record ratings during its third and fourth seasons for BET. The sixth season, which is set in South Beach, Florida, premiered on March 24, 2009. The show aired every Tuesday at 10 pm on BET. In 2007, a spin-off was produced called College Hill Interns that focused on the lives of ten college students from different universities around the country on their summer internship program in the city of Chicago. The future of the show is unknown. In a recent BET meeting, College Hill and fellow BET original shows Baldwin Hills and Harlem Heights weren't mentioned as returning series.
College Hill Interns
Due to the growing success of College Hill, a spin-off series called College Hill Interns was created. Nine episodes were produced and aired on BET during the fall of 2007.
Kathy Harris (interns-Chicago) 2007
Sometimes, during a season of College Hill a roommmate leaves the house before production is finished. During the Langston University season, Peachez assaulted Jon by mugging the side of his face, near an open fire which caused production to send Peachez home. In the Virgin Islands season, an altercation between Vanessa and Krystal due to tension between the Los Angeles students and the other cast members from the Virgin Islands caused production to ask Vanessa to leave the house early. During the South Beach season, Terri and Milan get into an altercation only in the third episode, in which the roommates were forced to vote someone off. Originally the vote was split, but when a secret ballot was done, Kyle swung his vote to Terri, which caused her to go home. During the season finale episode of the South Beach season, Chris and Brandon got into an altercation, Which caused the law enforcement (police) to get involved. Production decided who went home based on footage instead of the cast members deciding, and they picked Chris. However, he returned for the final dinner.
A College Hill "Class Reunion" show aired on March 4, 2008 (before the Atlanta season premiered.) It was hosted by the former Rap City: Tha Basement host Big Tigger. The reunion show consisted of cast members from the Virgin Islands season, Virginia State season and The Interns season. First, the Virginia State University cast came to the stage. Rodney is a father now, Audrina is a model, Anya graduated in December 2006 and will be entering graduate school in the near future and Bianca made up with her father. The Virgin Island class was next. Vanessa announced that she was graduating in May and is three months pregnant. The J.T.–Fallon–Idesha love triangle was discussed and the Vaneesa and Krystal fight. The Interns were last and discussed their moments from their season. Then for the final segment all of the cast members from all the season present were on the stage. The roommates discussed their most embarrassing moments, hot tub moments, the castmates drunken moments, Virgin Island castmates accents, the "N-Word" and culture shock.
College Hill has posted some record numbers for BET. During Season 4 (The Virgin Island Season), episode 8 was the most-watched original series telecast in BET history, pulling in a 1.84 rating averaging 2.2 million viewers. It was cable's #1 original series among Black households (6.5 US Black Rating) and Blacks 18–34 (5.3 US Blacks 18-34 Rating) for Calendar Year 2007.
College Hill DVDs were released through Paramount. The DVDs include bonus episodes, footage that didn't make the show, and cast commentaries.
|Season #||Season name||DVD release date|
|1||Southern University||Not Released|
|2||Langston University||Not Released|
|3||Virginia State University||September 25, 2006|
|4||University of the Virgin Islands||July 17, 2007|
|5||Atlanta||August 19, 2008|
|6||South Beach||Not Released|
- College Hill Interns was released on DVD On April 15, 2008.
As with other reality shows, College Hill has received criticism from the black community.
During its second season, some associated with Langston University made some complaints about the way the university, and black college students as a whole, were represented by the show. "We are not denying this type of thing goes on," David Stevens, national president of the Langston University Alumni Association, had said, "but we are questioning what are the motives behind presenting many of the negative aspects without showing the good that goes on." Hudspeth said the show presents stereotypical images of black people. He likened BET to minstrel shows of the early 20th century. "BET represents the merchandising and exploitation of stereotypical and oftentimes destructive behavior of black people for the benefit of profit", he said.
Virginia State University, the show's location for the third season, saw a drop in enrollment the following year. While there was a 2 percent increase in out-of-state students, from 1,483 to 1,529, the number of in-state students declined, from 3,572 to 3,343, according to the university’s Web site.
During its fourth season in the Virgin Islands, it caused an uproar. Alumni and parents sent e-mails and called the university. Radio shows aired discontent over the way the students portrayed themselves. Members of the university's Board of Trustees expressed their outrage over the cast members' behavior and distanced themselves from the decision to allow the show to be filmed at UVI. They advised President Laverne Ragster to apologize to both the university and Virgin Islands communities, which she did in full-page advertisements in the Virgin Islands Daily News and the St. Croix Avis. A board member even at the university stated "I was absolutely horrified by the program. A public university has a role to educate the public as much as its students and not highlight modern society's base instincts," he was quoted as saying. Others on campus also felt College Hill did not accurately represent Virgin Islands students.
Cast member Idesha Browne from the Virgin Island season stated that "everyone has to take into consideration that this is TV." In the first two episodes, there were displays of nudity and profanity, and sexual overtones. Cast members drank until becoming sick, and dared each other to become nude and to perform sexual acts. According to Browne, many of the negative comments came because of "the timeline of the show". She said that scenes, specifically those in the first episodes, were not shown chronologically. "They had to put things together to make the audience watch the show," Browne said. "A lot of negative comments that are made are about the timeline. People think everything happened so fast but those who lived in the house know how it happened," she said. "The show isn't about UVI. It's about eight students who live in a house and attend UVI."
"I don’t regret anything. If I could do it again I probably would do it", cast member Browne said. She said she was happy for the opportunity to refine her speaking skills and the interaction with others. This may be why, starting with the fifth season, College Hill is named after a city rather than a university.