If NBC's 'Hollywood Game Night' Is Like 'Hollywood Squares' with Booze, Rejoice

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have cocktails and play weird games with Michael Bluth, Leslie Knope, Schmidt, and Veronica Mars? Well, you're about to be in luck. And so is the struggling network.

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NBC's had a rough time of it in recent months, but the network finally has something lined up that's majorly piquing our attention. Deadline reported today that NBC has arranged for some actual celebrity guests to play their new game show Hollywood Game Night. So if you ever imagined what it would be like to have cocktails and play weird games with Michael Bluth, Leslie Knope, Schmidt, and Veronica Mars—and, let's face it, you have—you're about to be in luck. We think.

Game Night will be hosted by Jane Lynch, and even without a set premiere date or too many details, it's got some willing participants of note: Jason Bateman, Amy Poehler, Max Greenfield, and Kristen Bell, plus Matthew Perry, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Martin Short, Molly Shannon, and more. More guests will join, apparently, and not as recurring players so much as pop-ins. And so far the show seems to be populated by a bunch of fun, funny, down-to-Earth people. Not Dancing with the Stars D-listers, but TV stars who have already ingratiated themselves with viewers. Okay, so no one is going to be playing Pictionary with the Pitt-Jolie clan, but something tells us that wouldn't be as fun.

The show is said to have been inspired by real-life celebrity parties hosted by Game Night executive producer Sean Hayes and producer Todd Milliner, which The Hollywood Reporter explained back in February tend to feature off-beat games like "putting Michael Jackson's faces in chronological order." Tom Hanks called one of these parties the most fun evening he's ever had. According to THR's Philiana Ng, Hayes and Milliner pitched the show by inviting NBC executives to one of the parties. 

Something about this whole thing strikes us as something akin to Hollywood Squares with booze, which sounds great. We're hoping there's actual booze involved, though Deadline says it's a "cocktail party atmosphere." According to Deadline: "In each episode, two contestants will be treated to a night of fun and celebration where they get to rub shoulders with the celebrity crowd. At the end, one of the contestants will walk away with a cash prize and a night of stories and memories." Alas, there are still a lot of unknowns. For instance: How is said cash prize won? (And will said cash lead to unfunny "normal people" participants?) How many of these celebrities are going to appear in each episode? (And will that lead to strange Survivor-style cabals?) Is the show just going to be like watching a party with a bunch of celebrities? (And does that mean it will get really old, really fast?) Will they have inside celebrity jokes that we don't get? (And will that be kind of sad?) The questions are overwhelming, and potentially troubling. 

But we guess the biggest questions of all are simple: What games will these celebrities play alongside the two normal people? An earlier Deadline post said they are "pop-culture based," and given that the Michael Jackson's face example seems a little more ambitious than charades, we're hoping for big things. Perhaps Poehler could rehash the rules of her Golden Globes drinking game. Maybe Perry could dust off the old Friends trivia board. Maybe, just maybe, Greenfield will lead everyone in a round of True American. Okay, pinch us, we've drifted off into TV dreamland.

Even with everything left unanswered, we're going to give a point to NBC on this one. The mix of celebrities just seems too good to be true.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.