Why Did Billy Joel Concert Get Cut Short During ‘Piano Man’?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Billy Joel performs at Billy Joel In Concert - New York, New York at Madison Square Garden on May 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Billy Joel’s Sunday night concert on CBS came to an abrupt ending, and fans aren’t happy. First, the concert was delayed to The Masters coverage, which was understandable and, really, music fans are used to some delays, BUT in the final minutes — when Joel was singing his beloved “Piano Man” — the concert ends and in some markets it apparently cut to a commercial; in our local market (Milwaukee), it cut right into the news.

While fans swayed on their couches singing along to Joel’s most famous song, you never heard “And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar and say, ‘Man, what are you doin’ here?’”

You waited, and waited, thinking surely they will finish this, right?!

Apparently, CBS was not in the mood for a melody? We reached out to CBS this morning to get a statement on what happened. Here is what they issued later in the day:

“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.”

In the Milwaukee market, local newscaster Bill Walsh was quick to defend that it wasn’t their fault, saying “we tried to fight it” (a pun on Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”), and quickly placed blame on the CBS mother ship on air and in his tweet.

Billy Joel tweet on concert being cut short

The two-hour special, The 100th: Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden — The Greatest Arena Run of All Time, aired on Sunday, April 14 and included special guests Sting and Jerry Seinfeld. It will now be rebroadcast on Friday, April 19 at 9pm ET/PT.

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