H8R was first announced to be in development on January 24, 2011.
The pilot episode—which was broken into different segments upon airing—featured television personalities Kim Kardashian and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi confronting people from the general public who were critical of their success. On May 16, 2011, Deadline revealed that The CW was planning to order the project to series. With the disclosure of The CW's 2011–12 schedule, it was announced the series would air on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central as a lead-in to America's Next Top Model.
In July 2011, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss joined the series as an executive producer. The series premiered on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. The show had more than 20 celebrities lined up for the first season, including Janice Dickinson, Levi Johnston, Kat Von D, and Barry Bonds.