About Richard Reid
Richard Reid was born on December 16, 1946 in Manhattan, New York. As the owner of the College Bowl Company and Richard Reid Productions, and previously as a member of Reid-Land Entertainment, Richard has created, written, performed in, produced and packaged shows domestically and internationally: a variety of games, talent contests, sports, music, cooking, comedy and prime time drama.
As owner and president of College Bowl, Richard Reid is the creator and executive producer of all the current versions of College Bowl produced by the company, including College Bowl, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (of which he is also credited as the Co-Founder) and Africa Challenge. He also oversees the British version of College Bowl, University Challenge, which is licensed and produced by ITV for BBC2, and broadcast year-round in prime time on BBC2.
In 1977, Richard collaborated with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) to create the College Bowl Campus Program and National Championship. Every year, hundreds of colleges and universities vied for a spot in the Nationals. The College Bowl Campus Program and National Championship ran until 2008. In 1987, Richard developed and produced a new version of the College Bowl National Championship for the Disney Channel, hosted by Dick Cavett.
Richard began his TV career in 1968 as a researcher, writer and associate producer for Dream House created by his father, Don Reid, for ABC. In 1984, Richard was the co-creator and executive producer for the newly developed version of Dream House, which ran on the NBC network in daytime during 1984-85.
Throughout the eighties, while working on College Bowl and Dream House, Richard was a also a member of Reid-Land Entertainment, collaborating with his brother, Allen Reid, and sister-in-law, Mady Land, to create and produce the game Fandango and the talent contest You Can Be Star (of which he was also the co-host) for the Nashville Network. At various times he also served as producer, writer, production executive and performer on the Reid-Land programs Laff TV with Williams & Rhee, Florence Henderson’s Country Kitchen, Mesquite Championship Rodeo, Holiday Gourmet with John Davidson and Top Card.
In 1990, under the Richard Reid Productions banner, Richard developed and produced the syndicated game Sweethearts starring Charles Nelson Reilly, based on the British game of the same name. Sweethearts was distributed by Multimedia. That year Richard also created a prime time police series called America’s Toughest Cops, which became Top Cops, and aired on CBS for three years, produced by Grosso Jacobson Productions. In 1994, Richard created and produced Yvonne’s Cookbook, hosted by Yvonne White, for The Learning Channel.
Also in 1990, Richard partnered with American Honda to create and produce Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), the version of College Bowl exclusively played by America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). From 1990-95, HCASC was broadcast on BET. In 1996, HCASC left BET and became a year-round live event program that culminates every spring in the HCASC National Championship Tournament (NCT). HCASC begins as campus competition every fall, progresses to national qualifying tournaments in February, and culminates in the National Championship, held in late March or April. 48 HBCUs qualify for the National Championship Festival, held at American Honda headquarters in Torrance, California. The festival brings together the top 48 HBCU teams and 192 students for a nearly week-long event that includes the game, banquets, guest speakers, entertainers, networking opportunities, and exposure to influences that will shape their futures. The format was originally identical to the original College Bowl, but in 2013, the game was changed to mimic Africa Challenge, which Richard created in 2007. Now in its 32nd year, HCASC has benefitted hundreds of thousands of students and provided over $10 million in grants to participating HBCUs.
In 2007, Richard took on one of his biggest challenges when he created and produced Africa Challenge for colleges and universities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Africa Challenge was sponsored by the mobile phone company Celtel, and was called Celtel Africa Challenge. Two years later Celtel was sold to the mobile company Zain, and the game became known as Zain Africa Challenge. The annual structure of the program, culminating in an international championship, was inspired by the structure Richard had created years earlier for Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. However, the game he created was the first incarnation of what has become the format for all modern versions of College Bowl. Through 2010 the program distributed millions of dollars of grants to students and universities in the eight competing countries, and was praised by the Education Ministers of those nations.