Real World Wiki
The Real World: Philadelphia
Rw15 grp07.jpg
Season Information
Season No. 15
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Season Run September 7, 2004 – March 8, 2005
No. of Episodes 26
Starring Landon Lueck
Willie Hernandez
Sarah Burke
M.J. Garrett
Karamo Brown
Melanie Silcott
Shavonda Billingslea
Season Chronology
Previous The Real World: San Diego
Next The Real World: Austin

The Real World: Philadelphia is the fifteenth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships.

Season Changes

The Philadelphia season is the first with two openly gay men, Karamo Brown and Wilian Hernandez, in the cast. (The first season to have two gay cast members, regardless of sex, was the 2002 Chicago season, although the 1999 Hawaii season featured a bisexual woman and a gay man).


Beginning with the show's fifth season, almost every season of The Real World has included the assignment of a season-long group job or task to the housemates, continued participation in which has been mandatory to remain part of the cast since the Back to New York season. The Philadelphia cast worked for the Philadelphia Soul, an Arena Football League team which was formerly partly owned by Jon Bon Jovi. As part of their duties for the Soul, the cast planned and built a playground for underprivileged children as part of the Northern Home for Children program.


The Real World Season 15 House

The cast lived in a building at 249-251 Arch Street at 3rd Street in Old City Philadelphia (39.9522°N 75.1453°W). The 14,494-square-foot (1,346.5 m2), three-story building, which is adjacent to the Betsy Ross House, was built in 1902, and is known as the Union Bank of Philadelphia Building until 1970, when it was sold to Seamen's Church Institute to house global seafarers. It was placed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in January 1977, and purchased in 2003 by Yaron Properties, Inc for $2.2 million USD. Three million more went into renovating and furnishing the building for production of the series, which included 42 mounted cameras for filming. The interior was designed by Norm Dodge of Norm Dodge & Associates.

In March 2004, producers ceased construction after completing two thirds of the project, and announced they were leaving Philadelphia because of disputes with Philadelphia trade unions. Joey Carson, CEO of Bunim/Murray Productions, and Ted Kenney, a producer on The Real World, met in private over a two-week period with the trade unions. The meetings were brokered by Mayor John F. Street, Governor Ed Rendell, Congressman Bob Brady, and other civic leaders in order to keep the production in Philadelphia. The flap delayed renovations by several weeks. The interior decorations used for the series remained until as late as October 2004.Since filming ended, the building has served as an art gallery for the Art Institute of Philadelphia's F.U.E.L. Collection and has become an office for Linode since late 2015.


Cast Member Age* Hometown
Karamo Brown 23 Houston, Texas
Landon Lueck 24 River Falls, Wisconsin
Melanie Silcott 21 San Jose, California
M.J. Garrett 23 Nashville, Tennessee
Sarah Burke 23 Tampa, Florida
Shavonda Billingslea 21 San Diego, California
Willie Hernandez 23 New York City, New York

*Age at the time of filming.