A month ago I wrote about the return of Glee and my fear that too much hype might hurt the show. Fortunately we’re now six episodes into the series, with a seventh airing tonight on Fox, and I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. Glee became the first new series to get a full season order, premiering with a 3.5 rating among the 18-49 demographic and improving upon its So You Think You Can Dance lead-in.
The show’s music has been a hit as well, with ten Glee numbers among the iTunes Top 200 and 1.1 million Glee songs downloaded through iTunes so far. An album compiling these songs, titled Glee: The Music, Volume 1, hits stores November 3rd and a Glee music tour is reportedly in the early planning stages. Fox Broadcasting president Kevin Reilly hinted at the development, telling EW “We’ve had a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from our music partners. Certainly if these kids become stars in their own right, who knows? Live appearances. Albums. There’s lots of things that could happen.”
One thing that won’t happen is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Fourth place network NBC pulled the cast of Glee from this year’s Parade over “concerns that putting the show’s cast on one of the biggest events of the year would amount to outright promotion.” This caused an outcry among fans, known as “gleeks” who pointed out that floats had previously been painted for American Idol and High School Musical, similar competing franchises. Creator Ryan Murphy didn’t seem to mind but did get in a jab at the Jay Leno controversy, saying, “I completely understand NBC’s position, and look forward to seeing a Jay Leno float.”
Although Glee won’t be a part of this year’s parade, they have plenty to be thankful for, including brilliant guest appearances by Josh Groban (as himself), Victor Garber, Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth, and soon singer Eve. Kristin Chenoweth in particular made an impression as Will’s new Glee club recruit April Rhodes, who dueted on “Alone” and belted “Maybe This Time” from “Caberet”. With Glee receiving a full season order, I couldn’t help but consider who else I would like to see guest star in future episodes. Here’s some possible guest stars who would fill me with ‘Glee’.
Although he’s best known for his role in the X-men movies as Wolverine, Jackman has actually been on American television before. “Really?” you may be saying to yourself, “how did I miss it?” Well Jackman served as star and executive producer of the short-lived and critically panned series Viva Laughlin. After two episodes it became the first cancellation of the season. Despite this, Jackman is a true triple threat who has hosted the Oscars and the Tony awards with great charm, and he certainly has the singing chops for a role in Glee.
Idina Menzel is something of a no-brainer. Best known for originating the role of Elphaba in the musical “Wicked”, for which she won a Tony, she has also appeared in the movies Rent and Enchanted. “Wicked” appeals to a younger demographic in the same way that Glee does, and with “Wicked” co-star Kristin Chenoweth already appearing on the show to great success, perhaps Menzel will be next! Additionally, she bears a certain resemblance to series star Lea Michele that could make for a familial reveal that would delight broadway fans.
Mandy Patinkin is no stranger to television, having starred in Chicago Hope, Dead Like Me, and Criminal Minds. As a fan still mourning the premature cancellation of Dead Like Me, I would love to see Patinkin back on television… and I’m not alone. CBS has announced that he’ll be guest starring in an episode of their organ transplant drama Three Rivers, and commenters on this article have also concluded that he would fit right in on Glee. The writers on his previous shows have found ways to write songs into the story, and his work on Dead Like Me indicates that Patinkin is no stranger to quirky.
Neil Patrick Harris
This one is a long shot, as he likely has a contract with CBS that prohibits guest spots on competing networks, but I’d love to see this man on Glee. Last year he hosted the Tonys then the Emmys to great reviews, and he’s appeared on Broadway in Assassins. More recently, Harris took a break from How I Met Your Mother to play Dr. Horrible in Joss Whedon’s Internet musical and was “A Very Smart Fellow” in Prop 8: The Musical.
The 2009 version of Fame was fun while it lasted but I don’t remember a lot of these kids’ names. The one exception is the fantastic Naturi Naughton, who stole the movie for me. With her acting ability and huge voice I’d love to see her on Glee, perhaps as a member of a rival glee club, battling it out with Amber Riley’s Mercedes.
LuPone won her second Tony last year, twenty-nine years after her first one for “Evita”, and she’s even appeared on television before, in a recurring role in the final season of Oz. In the world of musical theatre she’s nothing short of a legend and she’d make a great guest star on Glee.
Although primarily a film actor, he’s appeared on Broadway in “Oklahoma” and starred as Raoul in the film adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera”. Despite his film star good looks, he’s often a character actor who takes on unusual roles and would fit right in on Glee.
In the two-hour premiere of House Lin Manuel-Miranda made an impression as House’s roommate Alvie and I’d love to see him put in an appearance on Glee. Miranda wrote and stared in the Broadway musical “In the Heights”, which recently won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album so he certainly has the talent. Episodes of Glee to date have included all genres of music from country to rap and Broadway, and Miranda’s free-styling would be a great fit.
A guest appearance by Lambert would not only fit right in with the Glee high school mantra of being yourself, but would also make business sense for Fox, the network behind both shows. Imagine what a crossover could do when Amercan Idol returns in the new year?! Lambert not only has a fantastic voice, but also has the broadway cred, having appeared in the touring cast of Wicked, and with his CD soon to hit stores, an appearance could be a valuable bit of promotion for both parties.
Who would you like to see appear on Glee in the future?