How “Hollywood Game Night” Has Evolved Since Season 1

It has been about six years since the popular game show Hollywood Game Night premiered. Since then, the show has aired 64 episodes and is in its sixth season. The routine has always been the same, but each episode promises a new experience. The set up on Hollywood Game Night is pretty simple: two teams go head-to-head as they compete for money. The main players are ordinary civilians. Each player is assigned a team of three celebrities as his team-mates. The main players play for a cash prize while one of the celebrities on the winning team wins a donation to a charity of his/her choosing. The show is fast-paced and exciting. One notable aspect of the show is the drinking; everyone including the main players and their team-mates always have their wine glasses full, and this serves to make it merrier.

The Game Rounds

Each episode features five rounds and one bonus round. The rounds are not necessarily similar, but the concept is. Here is an insight into what each round entails:

  • Round 1 – The first round usually involves pictures of snacks in a bowl. The players are required to identify the snacks. The player who hits the buzzer first and correctly identifies the snacks is awarded points. The pictures can be of any snack.
  • Round 2 – The second round usually involves taking hints. Main players are given clues to certain words or names by their celeb team-mates. The clues are just one word. The players have only 90 seconds to take the hint and guess the rights words or names. The player who takes the hint and makes the correct guess is awarded points for the round.
  • Round 3 – The third round usually involves bizarre portraits drawn by kids. These portraits usually feature a trademark of one of the celeb team-mates; it could be a hand, leg, or any other popular feature of the celebrity. The main players are then required to guess the person in the portrait. The player who makes the correct guess is awarded points for the round.
  • Round 4 – The fourth round has been titled “timeline”. In this round, each of the main players is handed six photographs of a popular celebrity. The photographs come in random order, and the players are required to arrange them in the correct order following a timeline. This is tricky to do and most players don’t get it right. The few players who get all photographs right are awarded bonus points.
  • Round 5 – The fifth round is perhaps the most exciting as it involves re-enacting movies. There are different categories, and each player is given a subject for each category. The players are then required to get the subject right and re-enact it. Each correct guess is worth 5 points, and each good re-enactment earns the players more points.
  • Bonus Round – The player with the highest points at the end of the fifth round gets to go on to the bonus round. This mostly involves making correct guesses of celebrities based on clues given to the main player by one of the celeb team-mates. The clues are mostly ambiguous, and the number of points awarded is determined by the number of correct guesses.

The Prize

At the end of the game, the player with the highest score gets a cash prize of $25,000. This is lower than what most other game shows offer, but that has not stopped Hollywood Game Night from becoming popular with viewers across the country. One of the celeb team-mates also wins a cash prize of $10,000, but they don’t get to keep it; the cash is instead donated to a charity of the celeb’s choosing.

Popular Celebrities on Hollywood Game Night

The only fixed character on Hollywood Game Night is its host: comedian Jane Lynch who starred in the popular TV show Glee. Every episode features fresh faces including some popular celebrities. Some of the most popular celebrities to grace the show include Matthew Perry, Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph, Sarah Chalke, and Rob Riggle. The show is written and produced by Sean Hayes, and he too has featured in one of the episodes; it is said the Hayes fashions each episode after actual games that he regularly hosts at home.

The interesting thing about this show is how celebrities conduct themselves. They are lax and act like ordinary people. In fact, the spotlight is usually on the main players as the celebrity team-mates take the back seat and only lend a helping hand when required. Lynch, who is also a famous celebrity, is vibrant and stern – she tells it like it is and is not shy to put the players and their team-mates in their place when they get out of line.

Breaching Boundaries

Hollywood Game Night has become so popular that it has been adopted in other countries. There are eerily similar versions of the game show in countries such as Canada, France, Finland, Greece, and even Vietnam, among other countries. The UK’s version of the game show is perhaps the most popular outside the U.S. It mimics almost every aspect of the U.S. version including the game rounds and random celebrities.

Ratings and Criticism

This show has been received with mixed perceptions by viewers and critics. However, its ratings are mostly modest on all popular critic sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. Although some critics have trashed the show, they have not stopped it from getting awards. It has won several awards including the Writers Guild of America Award. The show’s Lynch has also won several awards for her role; including three prime time Emmy awards.


Hollywood Game Night is certainly one of the most popular game shows in the U.S. and beyond. It is an interesting game of wits that pits ordinary people and celebrities against each other as they compete for cash prizes. The show has aired 6 seasons so far, and there are talks of making a come-back for the ninth round.

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