A new TV series plans to bring Billy Joel's music to life, marking the first time an artist's entire catalogue had been used for the basis of a tv show.
The series will be called 'Scenes From an Italian Restaurant', with the title coming from Joel's 1977 song of the same name. Instead of portraying Billy's life on screen though, the series will create a scripted world based around his songs. Characters from Joel's music will feature in the series, such as the Stranger, the Piano Man, Mama Leone and Sgt. O Leary.
"Billy Joel is a beautiful storyteller, and it just so happens that his stories are accompanied alongside remarkable songs," remarked MGM TV's president of development and production, Steve Stark. "This series is going to focus less on Billy's life and more on the stories inside his catalog of classic songs."
The choice to run with a scripted series rather than a biographical one based on Joel's life seems to align with comments he made earlier this year. Joel admitted in an interview he'd looked back on his life and determined it wasn't scandalous enough to be entertaining:
"There wasn’t enough sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in it. I said, 'Fuck it, that's me.' I don’t know if I’m interesting enough to make a movie out of. I lived my life. I don’t want to be redundant."
Billy Joel himself will executive produce the show, while also overseeing the music team tasked with re-imagining his songs. No production or release dates have been mentioned at this stage.