Tuesday, January 16, 2007


The story of Undergads is one of the more interesting ones I've come across in a while.

Undergrads is/was an animated series that ran on MTV a few years ago and was later shown on Teletoon here in Canada. The series was created and developed by Pete Williams during his freshman year in college, when he entered a contest in 1997 at the age of 19. The contest (a Character Screen Test Competition) was sponsored by MTV and required an entrant to submit one and a half minutes of pencil-test animation of an original character or cast of characters. Williams did a character study of himself (Parker "Nitz" Walsh) and his 3 best friends (Rocko, Gimpy and Cal) and caricatured their likenesses and voices(Williams did all the voices in the show), did a rough cartoon of it and called it "The Click".

The Click (pencil test contest entry by Pete Williams)
"The Click" MTV contest entry

The contest was open to all ages, so his chances were slim at best. Against all odds though, Williams beat out all other contestants with his entry. He not only won a considerable cash prize, he was also awarded a development deal with MTV to turn "The Click" into a TV series. Williams promptly dropped out of college and became an animated TV series creator at the tender age of 19.

The first order of business was to produce a 7 minute pilot episode to be shown to the execs at MTV in order to get the show to be green-lighted before any more episodes can be ordered and animated. At this time the show was still assuming the title "The Click".

Undergrads Pilot Episode,"The Click"
UnderGrads - Original Pilot Animatic

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Next in line was having a catchy opening theme song and boy was it catchy. Good Charlotte was the name of the band that did the Undergrads theme which was simply called, The Click, though eventually the name of the show would ultimately be called Undergrads.

Good Charlotte-The Click

Undergrads only lasted one season (13 episodes). MTV decided against renewing it for any more episodes because according to the network, it did not get the ratings it had hoped for. Hence, the fate of the show's characters were left up in the air and viewers were left with a missing sense of closure.

Born and raised in New York, Williams now resides in Toronto, Ontario. Recently, Undergrads has started to gain some cult status recognition, and Williams is trying to resurrect the series, if only for a second season, to get closure on the series and end it properly, the way he would have liked. He has asked fans to write letters and sign petitions in an effort to get Undergrads back into production. If Richard Donner can get his Director's Cut of Superman 2 after almost thirty years, surely 6 years after the last Undergrads episode aired, pales by comparison. Bring Back Undergads!

The Real Undergrads
See the actual guys that the characters were based on (well,1 out of 4 anyway) in these photos:

Well, the uncanny resemblance and name under the photo is a dead giveaway for "Nitz"(Pete Williams). The other images have been blurred until the remaining guys give their consent to Williams to unveil them but I think we can assume that the other remaining photos are from left to right, (excluding Nitz) Rocko, Gimpy and Cal.
Visit the Undergrads Myspace!

Petition to get Undergrads a second season!

Undergrads DVD (13 episodes)
Undergrads: Season 1 (Bilingual)

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