CBS is embracing the Piano Man.
Ahead the Super Bowl, the network announced it would stream Billy Joel’s 100th concert at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, April 14 at 9 pm ET/PT. The two hour special, titled The 100th: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden — The Greatest Run Of All Time, marks the first time a Billy Joel concert will air on a broadcast network. It will be filmed at his March 28 show, and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
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The news comes as Joel is set to end his MSG residency this July with his 150th career performance at the New York arena. His first came in late 1978, when Joel, who was touring on behalf of his 52nd Street album, headlined the venue for his first time. In early 2014, he began a monthly residency as MSG’s first “music franchise,” and has sold out every show since. He’s shrewdly changed up his set list from performance to performance, and recruited special guests like Tony Bennett, Bruce Springsteen and Olivia Rodrigo.
The final show of his residency is set for July. It will be his 104th show in the series, and his 150th performance there. “I’m kind of flabbergasted that it lasted as long as it did,” Joel said at a news conference last year. “My team tells me that we could continue to sell tickets, but 10 years, 150 shows — all right already!” All told, the record-setting residency is expected to gross more than $250 million, according to Pollstar. Joel has no plans to retire, however; in fact, he’s scheduled to criss-cross the country later this year, headlining baseball stadiums with opening acts like Stevie Nicks, Sting and Rod Stewart.
The televised concert announcement arrives a week after Joel premiered his new single, Turn the Lights Back On, live at the Grammy awards, also on CBS. The romantic ballad, produced by Freddy Wexler, was the 74-year-old singer’s first original song in 17 years. Sample line: “I’m late / But I’m here right now / And I’m trying to find the magic.” Despite prolific stage work, the last time Joel shared new music was way back in 2007, when he released the love song All My Life and protest tune, Christmas in Fallujah.
The CBS/Paramount concert special is a co-production of Sony Music Entertainment and Enliven Entertainment. Steve Cohen, Barry Ehrmann and Paul Dugdale will serve as executive producers, with Dugdale also set to direct. Sony Music Vision is the distributor. It follows other popular televised concert events, including those featuring Elton John, Adele and Taylor Swift.
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