Following the successes of Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Yesterday, and Blinded By the Light, the latest spin of the Wheel of Recycled Musical I.P. has landed on Billy Joel. The legendary singer-songwriter’s music is the inspiration for a new scripted musical TV series — or “arc-thology,” as the production team would have it.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, the anthology will be called Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, named after Joel’s favorite cut in his catalogue. Each episode will feature stories and characters based on his songs, including Sergeant O’Leary, Mamma Leone, the Stranger, and of course, the Piano Man. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant will also boast new versions of Joel’s actual music, with tracks rearranged by Joel’s musical team under his supervision.
The new series, sure to be a favorite among tipsy aunts the world over, is a collaboration between MGM Television and Universal Music Publishing Group. Kevin Fox (Law and Order: SVU) is creating the series, which doesn’t yet have a network home.
Steve Stark, president of development and production at MGM TV, said in a statement, “Billy Joel is a beautiful storyteller, and it just so happens that his stories are accompanied alongside remarkable songs. This series is going to focus less on Billy’s life and more on the stories inside his catalog of classic songs.”
Joel is no stranger to monetizing his back catalogue. He was at the forefront of the jukebox musical phenomenon, collaborating with Twyla Tharp on the 2002 hit Broadway musical Movin’ Out.
In related news, Joel’s monthly residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden continues through the end of 2019. He also has upcoming dates scheduled in Arlington, TX and Charlotte, NC. Tickets are available here.