Theater News

5 Grease Live TV Spinoffs We'd Totally Watch

Boyz II Men will make variety shows cool again.

The classic musical Grease returned to television screens last night, reminding the world of the characters who've felt like close friends since the 1970s. Fox's live staging of the show was so vivid, with performances that were so delightful, we'd want to see more of them — and often…like in their own weekly television shows. Here are five ideas that would bring our favorite Greasers to prime time.

1. The Boyz II Men Variety Hour

Over the past few years, Boyz II Men, the 1990s R&B group with the smoothest of smooth vocals, have been actively working to restore the popularity they had in the era of "One Sweet Day." If the performance of "Beauty School Dropout" they gave in Grease Live was any indication, their voices haven't lost their luster, and spectators are still thrilled to bits with the resulting velvety harmonies. So there's no better way to celebrate Boyz II Men's ongoing resurgence than with a new variety show, which would mix their musical skills with other talents, plus a whole lot of audience participation. Bonus points if it's shot with the same gauzy filters as Grease Live's "Beauty School Dropout" was.

2. Patty and Eugene: The College Years

Broadway vets Elle McLemore (Bring It On) and Noah Robbins (Brighton Beach Memoirs) stole their scenes as the peppy cheerleader Patty and nerdy Eugene. It helps that, unlike in the other iterations of Grease, screenwriters Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins actually gave them character arcs here: She finds everyone to be a threat to her popularity, and he has a hidden desire to be a cool kid. Naturally, they got together at the end of Grease Live, and we'd love to see a late-season Boy Meets World-style comedy, where the pair is living together in college, their conflicting styles leading the way for outrageously zany exploits.

3. Just Jan

Jan was amazing. If you don't think Kether Donohue stole the show, you're wrong. Jan may not have had nearly enough lines, scenes, or songs for our liking, but she made the most of her on-screen time by throwing in her signature dance move, "The Jan," whenever possible (pretty much after every line). We love Jan so much that we wish there was a show that featured only her. Let's call it Just Jan. It would be like Mary Tyler Moore meets The Mindy Project and obviously feature lots of "The Jan" during the opening credits. We're sure Just Jan will be more successful than the Friends spinoff series Joey.

4. Calhoun and McGee's Rydell Daze

Ana Gasteyer and Wendell Pierce are both magnetic actors, a truth that has never been more obvious than in last night's Grease Live. As Principal McGee, SNL and Wicked vet Gasteyer managed to make her many school-announcement scenes some of the broadcast's comic highlights, and Pierce (as Coach Calhoun) stole the show at the pep rally before even saying a word or standing up.

By the time we were treated to scenes featuring the duo together, we were already in love with their characters, so it was no surprise that their characters seemed to be in love with each other. Which made us realize, we really, really want to see how their hilarious relationship progresses — in a King of Queens-style family sitcom that we hope runs until they're chasing Sandy and Danny's kids around Rydell High.

5. The T-Birds

Grease's ensemble is chock-full of great characters, but in Grease Live, it was Danny Zuko's T-Birds who notably took their roles to the next level. As Sonny, Andrew Call and his toothpick made us swoon. Carlos PenaVega, as Kenickie, won us over with his hidden heart of gold. Jordan Fisher kicked Doody up a notch with his smooth rendition of "Those Magic Changes." And Putzie, played by David Del Rio, won our hearts by appreciating Jan just the way she is.

We'd love to see this motley crew in an ensemble comedy. With the boys' goofy charm and occasional cameos from the Pink Ladies, The T-Birds could be even bigger than Saved by the Bell's Bayside Bros.