This winter, the Games are coming to NBC.
The competitors have been dreaming of this moment their whole lives. They have trained. They have sacrificed. Blood, sweat, and tears have been shed. The battles will be fierce, and there can be only one winner per match. “Hollywood Game Night” is where champions are born.
Actually, that’s probably the Olympics, which don’t start until February. But what this game show lacks in intense physical endurance, mental stamina, and international bragging rights is compensated for with singing, booze, trash-talking, jokes, butt wiggles, charades, and an exploding bowl of bits of paper — as you can witness in this exclusive Season 2 sneak peek, starring host Jane Lynch and a merry band of celebrities they’ve convinced to show up and make fools of themselves in order to help “civilians” win up to $25,000.
Plus, you only have to wait until Monday, Dec. 23 for these games to begin. There will be a special holiday-themed episode (the set, unfortunately; not the games) following the finale of “The Sing-Off,” with Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Gavin DeGraw, Rachel Bilson, Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker participating.
Real-life couple Roddick and Decker face off on opposite teams, a soulmate showdown that happens more than once in Season 2, according to Lynch. “We have a lot of couples. Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis,” the “Glee” star said during a press day last month on the Hollywood set. “We had Penny Marshall and Rosie O’Donnell, who are very good friends. They insisted on being on the same team, so we put Chris Colfer between them to dial down the testosterone.”
Lynch enjoyed having her low expectations proved wrong by Bilson, Roddick, and Decker. “[I’m] always surprised by] the Rachel Bilsons. You know, I judge. Oh, ‘The O.C.’ Whatever. But she was a riot. She told a hilarious story about her pet pig that ended in tears for both the pig and her. She was wonderful and game. Brooklyn, too. I thought: model, cute, sweet. And Andy, tennis star. They were funny and shouting crap at each other. They came to play.”
She was also pleasantly surprised by how much of a hoot Michael Weatherly from “NCIS” was. “I wasn’t expecting that, because he’s on this procedural drama where he basically shows up and says, ‘Looks like blunt-force trauma to the head.’ But he was so funny and on his feet. He just did the goofiest stuff and we were improvising like crazy.”
When "Game Night" returns in January, it kicks off with a heated battle of the sexes featuring Julie Bowen, Beth Behrs, and Valerie Bertinelli against Lester Holt, Jason Alexander, and Martin Short.
We also have a first look at the complete list of famous folks who'll appear this season: Sean Hayes (also a "Game Night" producer), Allison Janney, Don Cheadle, Christina Applegate, Taryn Manning, Donald Faison, Kaley Cuoco, Alison Sweeney, Fred Willard, Breckin Meyer, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Taraji P. Henson, Angela Kinsey, Jenna Elfman, Molly Shannon, Ellie Kemper, Bob Harper, Joel Madden, Nate Berkus, Erika Christensen, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mel B., Padma Lakshmi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Anthony Anderson, Tiffani Thiessen, Pete Wentz, Adam Scott, Gary Dell’abate, Retta, Michael Chiklis, Thomas Lennon, Paget Brewster, Mario Lopez, Alyssa Milano, Cobie Smulders, Taran Killam, Angie Harmon, Mark Feuerstein, Mayim Bialik, and Henry Winkler.
The Season 2 celebs are among the first victims to try almost a dozen new types of games, like Show Me The Music, a charades-esque game where all three celebs try to get their teammate to guess a string of songs, or Story Of My Life, in which three excerpts are read from a memoir and players have to guess the writer. Clue-Boom! is one of Lynch’s favorites, as it “scares everyone” with the aforementioned timed blow-up of a bowl of clues.
“People like to see celebrities having fun and being real,” guessed Lynch when asked why she thought the game show did so well. “Plus, you get to be on their team. Most actors are 'yes-and' people, and we like to have fun. They really rise to the occasion.”
"Hollywood Game Night" airs a special holiday episode Monday, Dec. 23 at 10 p.m. on NBC. Season 2 returns Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. on NBC.