Pay net turning Joel story into drama series
Showtime is turning the life story of Billy Joel into a biographical series.Pay network has teamed with Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills Prods. on “Big Shot,” a one-hour drama that picks up during the pop icon’s early years. Joel will exec produce with Hayes, Milliner and Andrew Harrison Leeds. Paul Chart (“Children of Men”) will pen the pilot script. “Big Shot” will detail Joel’s turbulent journey through the music biz. First season will likely take place in the mid-1970s and follow his first marriage to his then-business manager Elizabeth Weber. Milliner said the singer’s life was ripe for the telling: “Billy has had the quintessential rock star life with all the ups and downs.” He noted that neither Joel nor Showtime were interested in a story told from “a fan’s perspective.” Milliner and Hayes pitched the idea to Showtime entertainment prexy Robert Greenblatt and exec VP Gary Levine, who commissioned a script shortly thereafter. “This isn’t a love letter to Billy. He actually is pretty insistent that we tell the whole story,” Milliner said. “Our goal is to explore his personal and family life. We’re going to try and tell all the stories in between, not just the major events,” including his highly publicized marriages, car accidents and alcohol problems. Music will be a major part of the finished project; Joel owns the rights to all of his own songs. Hazy Mills is developing dramedy “The Bridge” at Sci Fi Channel and will shoot the pilot for the TBS comedy “Broken News” this summer.