MGM Television and Universal Music Publishing Group are teaming up to develop an anthology series based on the music of Billy Joel. The scripted “arc-thology” will be called Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, featuring episodes based on lyrics and characters from his iconic songs.
Kevin Fox is creating the series and will executive produce alongside Joel and his longtime producing partner Steve Cohen, with Universal’s Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino serving as associate producers. The entirety of Joel’s catalog will reportedly be licensed for the series and will be reimagined for the show by Joel’s music team with his input.
Joel’s roster of hits, including “Piano Man,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Uptown Girl,” and “New York State of Mind,” was previously adapted for the stage in the form of Twyla Tharp’s 2002 musical Movin’ Out. That show — which relied on choreography instead of dialogue to tell its story, with a band singing Joel’s songs instead of the dancers — ran for three years on Broadway before closing in 2005.
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