CBS to Rebroadcast Billy Joel Special After Cutting Off 'Piano Man Amid Viewer Outcry

Billy Joel's live performance interrupted, fans and celebrities react.

by Nouman Rasool
CBS to Rebroadcast Billy Joel Special After Cutting Off 'Piano Man Amid Viewer Outcry
© Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Responding to angry viewers and demands from many for a replay, CBS has said it will re-air the entire "Billy Joel: The 100th – Live at Madison Square Garden" special again. This comes following a gaffe during the first airing of the show.

This re-airing is scheduled for April 19 at 9 PM ET/PT, promising fans the full experience they initially missed. The chaos unfolded when the original broadcast was abruptly cut off during Joel's iconic performance of "Piano Man," specifically during a moment that found the artist mid-verse.

This interruption, attributed to a network programming timing error, occurred just as Joel was delivering one of the song's poignant lines, leaving the melody unresolved and viewers nationwide in disbelief.

Broadcast Cut Sparks Outrage

Fans from various regions reported that their broadcast switched to local news, severing the connection to Joel’s performance.

This disruption sparked a wave of frustration on social media, with fans and notable figures alike voicing their grievances. Among the vocal critics was US music pundit Gunz, who took to X/Twitter to express his disbelief: "Hey CBS, wtf is this?!

You cut off @billyjoel during ‘Piano Man’ of all songs?! And then didn’t come back to it?!?! No wonder network TV is a mess. Not ballin, not ballin at all." Rob Thomas, the frontman of Matchbox Twenty, also chimed in, lamenting not only the abrupt cut-off but also the perceived undervaluation of Joel by the entertainment industry.

"So first the @RecordingAcad gives @billyjoel the s--iest spot to premiere his new song and then @CBS cuts his concert off in the middle of his last song? I feel like people need to appreciate this icon a little more," Thomas remarked.

The situation was made worse by the fact that many had tuned in specifically for this broadcast, which had been heavily promoted by CBS. "What the absolute F*** @CBS?" posted another dismayed viewer. "You promote Billy Joel on CBS for months only to cut it off for local news on the east coast and pre-empt it by nearly an hour and cut off my local broadcast? No wonder so few watch your s--y network.

@billyjoel and those of us who tuned in deserve better." CBS issued an apology, stating, “We apologize to Mr. Joel, his fans, our affiliated stations, and our audience whose viewing experience was interrupted during the last song." The network hopes that the rebroadcast will amend the initial oversight and restore the full glory of Joel's performance, particularly significant as it follows the release of his first single in decades, "Turn the Lights Back On," marking a major comeback for the beloved musician.