The music of Billy Joel has been adapted into a long-running hit Broadway show, a never-ending MSG residency, and a Lindsay Lohan tattoo. And now his back catalogue will be getting a cinematic adaptation, but not a the movie theaters—the Billy Joel Cinematic Universe (BJCU) is coming to television.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM Television is teaming with Universal Music Publishing Group to transform Joel's most famous songs and characters into a scripted "arc-thology" in a series called Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.
The show, which takes its title from Joel's favorite song from his sizable catalog, will see each episode based on lyrics of his hits and populated by characters from his songs, including the Stranger, the Piano Man, Mamma Leone and Sgt. O'Leary. The tracks will be reimagined and rearranged by Joel's music team — with his input — and take his tunes in new directions.
The show is being helmed by Kevin Fox (Law & Order: SVU), and is currently being shopped around to various networks, so nothing is a done deal yet. There aren't many instances of a musician's work being turned into a TV show that we can point to as a precedent, but earlier this year, ABC made a pilot based on John Mayer's "Heart of Life" which, besides being a terrible idea, went nowhere.
The possibilities for the BJCU aren't endless, but they could certainly be widened if the show gets really weird and meta and starts incorporating some of Joel's real life friends and former lovers, like Christina Brinkley, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, James Dolan, Jay Leno, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen. And of course, his dog and his hog.