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January 22, 2024

'Abbott Elementary' star Lisa Ann Walter to compete in 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' finals Tuesday

The actress and comedian faces journalist Mo Rocca and sports commentator Katie Nolan for the chance to win $1 million for charity

TV Jeopardy
lisa ann walter celebrity jeopardy finals Eric McCandless/ABC

Lisa Ann Walter, of 'Abbott Elementary,' will face journalist Mo Rocca and sports commentator Katie Nolan in the finals of the 'Celebrity Jeopardy!' tournament, which airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The stage has been set for the final match of the "Celebrity Jeopardy!" tournament, and the lineup includes a fan-favorite "Abbott Elementary" star. 

Earlier this month, Lisa Ann Walter won a tight semifinals game to earn her place in the finals of the "Jeopardy!" spinoff show, in which celebs play to win money for charity. Walter's competitors in the season finale, which airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC, will be journalist Mo Rocca and sports commentator Katie Nolan. 

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The winner will earn a $1 million grand prize for the charity of their choice. Walter is playing for the Entertainment Community Fund, which provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals.

During Walter's semifinals match, which aired Jan. 2, she faced actors Mira Sorvino and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Walter and Sorvino were neck and neck, trading the lead several times throughout the match. A major wager and correct response during the Final Jeopardy! round allowed Walter to solidify her win at the last moment, making her the first finalist of the season. 

Before that, Walter beat "The Office" actor Brian Baumgartner and "Veep" actor Timothy Simons in the quarterfinals, which aired in October. 

"Honestly I would have been thrilled to make it through the first game and not embarrass myself — not even win, but just not embarrass myself — the people I'm playing against are really smart ... This is sort of a shock and I'm thrilled and I think my mom intervened for me from beyond," Walter said on a recent episode of the "Inside Jeopardy!" podcast.

Walter's finals competitors are not to be underestimated. In the semifinals match that aired Jan. 9, Nolan — a TV personality who has worked for Apple TV+, ESPN and Fox Sports — played a dominant game that saw her entering Final Jeopardy! with a $9,000 lead over actors Steven Weber and Dulé Hill. On Jan. 16, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Rocca came from behind — thanks to several Daily Doubles — to beat "Saturday Night Live" alum Rachel Dratch and comedian Heather McMahan.

On "Abbott Elementary," Walter plays the sassy, Italian American second-grade teacher Melissa Schemmenti, a role for which she worked to perfect her South Philly accent. The actress and stand-up comedian, who is originally from the Washington, D.C. area, first broke through in Hollywood with a role in the 1998 film "The Parent Trap."

The Emmy-winning, Philly-based sitcom "Abbott Elementary" returns to ABC for a third season Wednesday, Feb. 7, with a special hour-long episode that Walter said will leave fans "really surprised." 

"I will tell you this — enormous changes — lots and lots of stuff — so much that they had to make it a double-long episode," Walter told TheWrap on the Emmys red carpet last week.

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