Jane Lynch is ready to take over your television.
Aside from her fan-favorite role as Sue Sylvester on Glee which returns in September, Lynch is also the host of NBC's Hollywood Game Night, premiering this Thursday, July 11 at 10 p.m./9c.
In the buzzed-about new show, contestants get paired with famous teammates to play unique games that are just as fun to watch as they are to play. And with Sean Hayes as the creator -- who got the idea from his own legendary game nights at his home -- and Lynch as host, the teams are certainly star-studded. From the preview alone, Amy Poehler, Matthew Perry and Martin Short were revealed to be just a few of the surprisingly fierce competitors.
In an interview with ETonline, Lynch dishes on what we can expect from one of the most fun new shows to hit television, and comments on the reports that a number of original Glee cast members -- Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Harry Shum, Jr. -- won't be returning for season five.
ETonline: What attracted you initially to Hollywood Game Night?Jane Lynch: Well Sean Hayes created it and he's a good friend, and I've been to his game nights at his house and they were always so much fun, so I actually asked him if I can host it, and before we knew it, it was happening. It's been such a joy. It's one of the more fun things I get to do in my life is to host this thing. It's such a kick to meet all the celebrities that we have from the show and in all different walks of entertainment --and some of them I've known before, some of them are brand-new to me, some I was on nodding acquaintance with -- and to see them all let their hair down, kick back and relax and allow themselves to you know, get crazy and play these ridiculous games.
ETonline: Can you tell us about what Sean Hayes' own game nights are like?Lynch: He used to host them at his house, and they're always so much fun and he always has a ton of people. He has really great friends, he has a lot of variety of people in his life. Some of them are celebrities -- most of them are not -- and the great thing about game night is it's the great equalizer. Whoever the celebrity is and whoever the civilian is, you can't tell because everybody is in it to win.
ETonline: In the preview we saw a ton of A-list stars. How did you get such great talent for the show?Lynch: Matthew [Perry] and Lisa [Kudrow] were actually friends, but a lot of people hadn't met before. I've known Amy [Poehler] and Jason Sudeikis for a few years, quite honestly. A lot of them were friends, and some of them were brand-new.
ETonline: How competitive do these stars really get?Lynch: Everybody -- it's so funny -- everybody comes to play. Everybody comes with their game face on. Everybody comes to win, and it gets really spirited to say the least.
ETonline: Did any celeb surprise you with their pop culture knowledge?Lynch: Yeah, you know who's like one of the most quietest guys in the room, who speaks in a lower decibel than everyone else is Fred Armisen, but he is wicked smart. And he nailed every game he was in.
ETonline: The show promises to have games audiences have never been seen before. Can you describe some of the more unique games?Lynch: Yeah, we have this thing where we have someone on the team sing a pop culture song that everyone should know, but they don't song the lyrics, they only use the lyrics "doo doo." The game is actually called "Doo Doo." You have to guess as many songs as you can, in 90 seconds. And then we do one where you have to put images of celebrities or images of magazine covers in chronological order. We have one where you have to put the hairstyle in chronological order.
Etonline: What makes this game show unique from other games shows on television?Lynch: It's not really a game show -- it's a bunch of silly games in a party atmosphere. So there's nothing formal about it. We're sitting on couches, everybody's drinking. We're ostensibly at my Hollywood mansion -- I don't [really] have a mansion and I don't have a big pool in my backyard -- but it's like coming to a rich person's really nice house and then kicking back and going crazy.
ETonline: How do you feel about the news that a number of original Glee cast members won't be coming back next season?Lynch: I guess some of the kids aren't coming back, and some of the kids are staying, but that's the thing about the show -- Ryan [Murphy] has allowed it to evolve. I mean, who would have thought we'd be following those kids out to New York? So I guess, you know, we would do a show realistically about high school. Kids graduate and move on, so that's going to happen.