The first-ever Celebrity Jeopardy! was almost destined for joke status. After all, the Saturday Night Live version of the famous people-only edition of the game show remains indelible, becoming one of SNL’s more famous recurring sketches.
But the real, hour-long show, which wrapped its 13-episode season on Thursday, ended up distinguishing itself as a worthy entry in the hallowed Jeopardy! canon. Better yet: It was easily one this TV season’s most consistently rewarding watches.
Fellow celebrity nerd Mayim Bialik hosted this special primetime take on the show, which had a different format than a traditional half-hour Jeopardy! match. Instead of having contestants compete to rack up the most money for as many games as possible, Celebrity Jeopardy! had a more rigid structure: A bracket-style competition created unique stakes, with each round pitting three celebs against each other. Six starting rounds became three semifinals, as the contestants tried to make it to the finale and win the grand prize: $1 million for a charity of their choice.