Hollywood Game Night - Season 2

Mekhi Phifer and Jane Lynch on NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night”

*So what is the appeal of watching a bunch of celebrities play party games?

NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” returns with fresh episodes in July, and was renewed last month for a third season. So, enough people are tuning in each week to watch the show’s two teams – each consisting of three celebs and one civilian – play a series of games for cold hard cash. The celebs can win $10,000 for their favorite charity, and the people off the street can win $25,000 for their pockets.

During its premiere season in 2013, every episode of the Sean Hayes-created show was either first or tied for first in its timeslot. NBC renewed it for a ten episode second season that began in January, and has since been extended, with extra episodes set to begin July 10.

Participating stars have included David Alan Grier, Arsenio Hall, Wayne Brady, Mekhi Phifer, Terry Crews, Al Roker, Donald Faison, Jerome Bettis, Lester Holt and the husband/wife duo John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. (Scroll down to watch.)

So why has this show been a silent ratings killer? Host Jane Lynch thinks viewers like to see how famous people act in competitive situations – kind of like “Battle of the Network Stars” back in the day.

Listen below.

“Hollywood Game Night” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. New episodes begin on July 10 with Martha Stewart, Margaret Cho, Matthew Morrison and more.

Watch a clip of the game “Mono Tunes” with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen below: