New TV series, based on Billy Joel’s “The Stranger,” announced

By Jonah Krueger, Contributor
[Photo courtesy of Creative Commons]

Universal Music Publishing Group and MGM Television are reportedly teaming up to turn singer-songwriter Billy Joel’s songs into a scripted “arc-thology” television series titled Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Read more: Sharon Van Etten announces short film “Departure,” to be released on Amazon Music

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, whose title is taken from a track off the songwriter’s 1977 album The Stranger, will feature characters from Joel’s songs, according to Brooklyn Vegan. Fans who tune in will recognize the likes of Sgt O’Leary, Mama Leone, The Piano Man, Captain Jack, The Stranger and more. 

Helming the show will be Kevin Fox, known primarily for writing and producing Law & Order: SVU. According to Pitchfork, Billy Joel will also have input into the creative direction of the show, acting as an executive producer.

“Billy Joel is a beautiful storyteller, and it just so happens that his stories are accompanied alongside remarkable songs,” said Steve Stark, president of development and production at MGM TV, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “[The] series is going to focus less on Billy’s life and more on the stories inside of his catalog of classic songs.”

News of the series comes amid a boom in the music biopic market. Two of the top-performing feature films of the last few years include Bohemian Rhapsody, which is based on the life and story of the rock band Queen, and Rocketmanwhich is based on the exploits of singer-songwriter Elton John. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant will continue this trend of adapting the works from the great figures of pop music history.

Stream Billy Joel’s The Stranger below.


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