Wands at the ready! To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter film franchise debut, we’re returning back to Hogwarts, well, on our televisions during primetime. This fall, there’s a new opportunity to win the House Cup that doesn’t require brooms, Skele-Gro, saving a friend from a giant snake in a hidden chamber, or knocking out a troll. And instead of Professor McGonagall, you’ll have an Academy-award-winning actress, Dame Helen Mirren, overseeing your progress.
The Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses is a four-night trivia show that will test contestants’ magical skills and knowledge of the Wizarding World. As a matter of fact, the Wizarding World blog site calls it a “bracket-style game, where fans compete for their Hogwarts house in teams of three.” In other words, like the movies and books, houses such as Gryffindor and Slytherin will compete against each other for the ultimate prizes.
So, get your Diagon Alley list ready and put your butterbeer aside (at least for the moment), below is everything you need to know about the new series.
How The Game Works
The tournament will take place in a studio that looks like the Great Hall in Hogwarts Castle and immediately puts contestants in a nostalgic, magical vibe. Participants will wear full House paraphernalia (i.e. if you’re team Ravenclaw, rock your blue and bronze sweaters) and participate in a “wildcard episode.”
There will be four one-hour challenges with hundreds of trivia questions, that will require participants to know a little more beyond the film franchise. From there, the two house teams go on to compete in a grand finale. The winning house will be crowned House Cup champion and receive prizes such as tickets to the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, advanced screenings for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and a $1000 shopping spree at the Harry Potter New York store in New York City, according to Wizarding World.
“All Potter fans can gear up for this ultimate one-of-a-kind celebration by embracing their inner Hermione Granger and studying their Wizarding World knowledge,” Tom Ascheim, President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics, said in a statement to EW. “For fans who have always wanted to discover what it might be like to take the O.W.L. exams, this is as close as they are going to get!”
There Will Be Special Guests
What’s a wizarding party without a few special guests? Potter alums Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, Moaning Myrtle’s Shirley Henderson, and Luke Youngblood, who played Lee Jordan, are all expected to make appearances. Also, Potterhead fans, Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, and comedian Jay Leno will appear during the show as well.
As for the host, Mirren is living her magical dream. “I knew someday I’d get a Harry Potter role, and I’m so pleased to take part in the 20-year film celebration,” The Queen star told Entertainment Weekly. “The films inspired such enchantment and wonder for so many of us, and it will be such a treat to reignite that magic for the countless fans who continue to revel in this spellbinding world.”
When Will It Air?
The first episode of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses premieres on Nov. 28 on TBS and Cartoon Network's ACME at 7 p.m. ET. Potter fans can watch on primetime television or through the app. From there, the series will air on HBO Max.
Casting for the competition is already booked and took place through the Wizarding World website, but Potter fans can still participate in the tournament at home through the Wizarding World Quiz Championship. The quizzes will be based on themes and difficulty and be available on the website until Christmas. There’s even a sorting hat ceremony! To participate, create a Harry Potter fan account on their website.
While we wait brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge! Speed read through the seven books or watch all eight films, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, on HBO Max and Peacock. Or if you’re really up for a TriWizard challenge, do both! After all, real Potter fans know there are key facts in the books that did not make it to the big screen.