One of the shows that helped launch MTV’s The Challenge was The Real World, where roommates stopped being polite and started getting real on TV.
The show’s original season debuted in 1992, featured a diverse cast living together in a New York apartment, and was amongst the earliest innovations in reality TV.
The Real World Season 1 will now have a reunion special, featuring three-time Challenge competitor Eric Nies and other cast members from the original New York crew.
The Real World: Homecoming to feature original NY cast including Eric Nies, Heather B.
One of the first heartthrobs of reality TV may have been The Real World’s Eric Nies. He was one of those first seven strangers picked to live in a SoHo loft in New York. They went through their share of struggles and drama which broke new ground in reality TV, spawning many more seasons, and other programs.
Known as a model during Real World, Eric continued to be a major personality on MTV over the years as he hosted the dance club party shows The Grind and Hangin’ w/MTV. He’d appear in other TV and movie roles over the years, including soap operas and film cameos.
He hosted The Grind workout tapes, developed a fitness device with his brother, and continued to study various aspects of nutrition and health. Eric now lists himself as a “Health and Wellness Facilitator” on his official Instagram bio.
Nies also appeared on three seasons of MTV’s The Challenge series and came away a winner twice. Based on Wiki information, he banked over $60,000 during his time on the competition series.
His seasons included Road Rules: All-Stars, Battle of the Sexes, and Battle of the Sexes 2. The latter of those three shows arrived in 2005 and featured many of the OGs of The Challenge including Mark Long, Aneesa Ferreira, Veronica Portillo, and Derrick Kosinski, among others.
The 49-year-old Nies will reunite with his original Real World castmates in an upcoming six-episode series called The Real World: Homecoming New York. This time they probably won’t feel like strangers, although it’s possible they haven’t all kept in close touch.
His former roommates are all accomplished individuals in their own rights. They are hip-hop artist and radio host Heather B. Gardner, poet/educator Kevin Powell, folk singer Becky Blasband, musician Andre Comeau, filmmaker Norman Korpi, and dancer Julie Gentry.
Heather appeared on The Challenge 2000 season, while Becky and Norman were on Battle of the Seasons in 2002. Norman also appeared on The Gauntlet in 2003.
Technically, some of the cast reunited in the past decade. Oprah Winfrey Network hosted a reunion of sorts several years ago, as seen below. However, it was more of a “Where Are They Now?” segment rather than a series and only featured Julie, Norman, and Heather.
The cast has all become much older and more mature since their original reality TV days. Now they will get to reunite in their original loft for the 2021 series.
A quick shot of their reunion also made it into a trailer for an upcoming E! series focusing on the history of reality TV hosted by Andy Cohen, so it’s going to be quite the event.
When and where to watch the reunion series
The new series debuts on Paramount+ on March 4. Paramount+ will be the re-branded CBS All-Access platform, which currently serves as the home to many past seasons of Real World and The Challenge. The Challenge seasons 11-13, 15-31, and 33 are currently available for on-demand streaming.
CBS All-Access currently costs $5.99 per month for a basic subscription, which includes advertisements. For $9.99 per month, viewers can watch content ad-free. There is also a one-week free trial of CBS All-Access available for new customers.
The service becomes Paramount+ on March 4, when The Real World: Homecoming New York arrives. It’s unknown at this time if Paramount+ subscriptions will have the same prices and plans available as CBS All-Access.
The Real World reunion series joins another interesting series based on MTV’s The Challenge that arrives on March 4. It will focus on some of the classic rivalries from The Challenge across the show’s various seasons.
With a Challenge OGs spinoff also currently filming, it seems there will be plenty of great content on the way for fans of The Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge.
The Real World Homecoming: New York arrives on Paramount+ on March 4. The Challenge: Double Agents currently airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.