Billy Joel CBS TV Special To Get Rebroadcast After Network Goof

Share This:

Billy Joel performing during the 2024 concert TV special

Fans watching the CBS broadcast of Billy Joel: The 100th Live at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night, April 14, 2024, were dismayed when the network abruptly ended the special, as the star was performing his signature song, “Piano Man”—two hours in. The program, filmed at the legend’s landmark performance at the Garden on March 28, had been delayed for 31 minutes when the network’s coverage of the final round of the Masters golf tournament ran over. [To make matters worse, as home audiences tried to tune-in as they had repeatedly been instructed—via relentless promotional announcements—to do at 9 p.m. ET, CBS failed to run a “crawl” to inform them that the concert special was delayed.] At approximately 11:29 ET, TV viewers suddenly saw their local CBS affiliate’s evening news program, with no mention of what had just happened.

Joel’s performance of “Piano Man” was scheduled to be the special’s final performance, followed by the standard crawl of credits for all the people working behind-the-scenes to create the program. Immediately, the words #PianoMan and #BillyJoel began to show up on social media. That continued on Monday with the TV audience expressing their dismay for what had transpired.

Finally, on Monday afternoon, CBS announced that it would re-broadcast the concert special in its entirety on Friday night, April 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The news was accompanied by a brief statement, “A network programming timing error ended last night’s Billy Joel special approximately two minutes early in the Eastern and Central Time Zones. We apologize to Mr. Joel, his fans, our affiliated stations, and our audience whose viewing experience was interrupted during the last song. Due to the overwhelming demand from his legion of fans, BILLY JOEL: THE 100TH – LIVE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN will be rebroadcast in its entirety on CBS on April 19th at 9:00PM ET/PT.”

Within an hour of Joel sharing the network announcement on his Facebook page, there were more than 1800 comments. “I was so mad when they cut it off in the middle of ‘Piano Man’. So glad they are doing the right thing. Thank you CBS,” wrote one fan. Another noted, “Fantastic news as I was only able to see the last half hour and was jolted when the news came on! What I did see was epic! Now to see the entirety! Yay!”

“I can see why people would have been ticked. I watched the whole concert waiting for ‘Piano Man’ to come on….my all time fav’ song, and judging from the huge crowd in attendance, it was theirs, too.”

Until the snafu, TV viewers were treated to yet another stellar performance from the star, including such tracks as “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” “Only the Good Die Young,” “New York State of Mind” and Joel’s first new single in years, “Turn the Lights Back On.” The concert featured guest appearances by Sting (“Big Man on Mulberry Street”) and Jerry Seinfeld.

CBS’ original promotional spot for the TV special had referred to the broadcast as “a once-in-a-lifetime concert event.” Oops… make that twice…

Joel, who turns 75 on May 9, concludes his record-setting monthly residency at the Garden on July 25. He also has concerts scheduled elsewhere in 2024. Tickets are available here and here.

Recent vinyl box sets of Joel’s catalog are available here and here.

Related: Looking back at Joel’s historic MSG residency and surprise guests

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Yazmatazz
    #1 Yazmatazz 16 April, 2024, 11:09

    I found that it was also streaming on Paramount+. Since I pay for the ad-free version, I was able to see performances of Only The Good Die Young, Still Rock n Roll To me, and You May Be Right, which were edited from the CBS broadcast because of the need for commercials. Billy’s voice is still amazing. Cheers.

    Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.