Aaron Tveit, who made hearts throb as the prodigal son who kept returning from the dead in Next To Normal, has been cast as the lead in Grease: Live, which Fox plans to broadcast in January. Taking on the role most closely identified with John Travolta in the 1978 film version of the 1972 Broadway ’50s rock hit, Tveit joins a cast that already includes Julianne Hough as love interest Sandy, Vanessa Hudgens as toughie Rizzo and Keke Palmer as her sidekick Marty.

Fox also said today that Carlos PenaVega (Big Time Rush) has joined the cast as Kinickie in the three-hour telecast. Fox is looking for the kind of hit that NBC unexpectedly found with its live broadcasts of The Sound Of Music and Peter Pan.

Currently headlining USA Network’s Graceland, Tveit also starred in the Broadway musical adaptation of  Catch Me If You Can and in Tom Hooper’s 2012 movie version of Les Miserables.