Temple University alumna lands role in CBS show “The Neighborhood”

Shaniece Cole stars as Denise in the CBS sitcom while producing a show for Access Hollywood.

Shaniece Cole, a 2013 broadcasting, telecommunications, and mass media alumna, poses for a photo before reporting on the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood event on Feb. 6. | SHANIECE COLE / COURTESY

As a child watching classic ‘90s shows, like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “In Living Color” and “Martin,” Shaniece Cole felt inspired to pursue acting and dancing and learn more about the entertainment industry.

“I wanted to act and dance, but I also wanted to understand this industry and use my talents and be able to produce my own stuff one day — whether that be a sitcom or my own content,” said Cole, a 2013 broadcasting, telecommunications and mass media alumna and producer for Access Hollywood. 

Cole landed the role as Denise for the fourth season of CBS sitcom “The Neighborhood,” a comedy about a white midwestern family who move to a predominantly African American neighborhood in Los Angeles. She appeared in the episode “Welcome to Your Match,” which premiered on Oct. 18. 

“It feels great, I think TV is powerful and, you know, just seeing how much of an impact it made on me growing up, I know that it still has that same effect on other people, so when people see me on TV it gives them hope to keep going after their dream,” Cole said. 

Many skills Cole learned during her time at Temple are beneficial to her job producing NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood, a TV entertainment news program, she said. 

In her senior year media performance class with media studies and production professor Amy Caples, Cole learned different camera techniques that taught her how to film on-air presentations, Cole said.

Cole utilized the skills she learned at Temple and combined them with her vibrant personality to become a successful on-air talent, Caples said.

“Shaniece learned how to channel her inner charisma into connection with the audience,” Caples said. “Through her diligence at Temple, she was able to really learn those skills on how to be somebody on TV that people connect with, and how to fairly interview someone, and I think she’s really good at it now.”

Caples is proud of Cole’s success and frequently invites her to come back and talk to students in her senior seminar class, she said.

Cole participated in the Los Angeles Study Away program in 2012 during her junior year at Temple with her twin sister, Shanae Cole.

Shanae Cole was not a Temple student but was granted permission to attend the study away program with Shaniece in 2013, Shaniece Cole said. It meant a lot to her because it was always a dream to go to Los Angeles with her sister.

“Once we did the LA study away program, it opened a whole new universe to us,” Shanae Cole added. 

While in the program, Shaniece Cole attended networking events on weekends to jump start her career which helped her land a job after college with ABC Daytime, the division of ABC responsible for daytime programming, like soap operas, game shows and talk shows, she said.

Shaniece Cole has been a producer at Access Hollywood since 2019, putting together segments and conducting interviews with celebrities for the show, she said. 

Although Shaniece Cole is working full-time at Access Hollywood, she is glad that she can pursue other opportunities, like acting in “Family Reunion” and “The Neighborhood,” while still working full time for NBC she said.

“I am grateful that I’m still able to do the talent stuff as well,” Shaniece Cole said. “I feel like if you’re meant to be doing something, everything else will work itself out.”

Shaniece Cole hopes to one day have a sitcom with her twin sister, where they can act, produce and work with people who have positively influenced their lives, she said.

“That’s my ultimate goal in life,” Shaniece Cole said. ”We’re gonna make sure we hire people and cast people that we love that have been overlooked and that have also made an impact in our lives in some way, somehow.”

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