It appears songs are the new books when it comes to television adaptations.
“Hey There Delilah” from Plain White T’s, a song driven to No. 1 status partly by the narrative at its core, is being developed into a scripted television series that’s described as “a contemporary fairy tale.”
Tom Higgenson, the band’s frontman, conceived the concept for the show with theatre book writer Jeremy Desmon (Pump Up the Volume, One Hit Wonder) and Lively McCabe Entertainment’s Michael Barra. Desmon will write the script, while Lively McCabe and Primary Wave’s Deb Klein will produce.
“‘Hey There Delilah’ has captivated people for over 10 years now… it’s crazy!” Higgenson tells EW. “And people young and old, to this day, still come up to me and ask about the story behind the song. I’m excited to reimagine the story I’ve told a million times, and make something fun and fresh that people can fall in love with all over again.”
The singer-songwriter says Barra “approached me about this project after the success of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” for which he contributed music. “He was inspired by my storytelling ability and he had this crazy idea to turn ‘Delilah’ into a show of some sort,” Higgenson remembers. “I jumped at the idea as soon as I heard it and we all got on board.”
Released in 2006, “Hey There Delilah” spins a story about a struggling singer-songwriter pledging to write a song for his long-distance love interest, a student in New York City, on the night they meet. Adding to the narrative nature of “Hey There Delilah” was the fact that it was licensed for use across different shows, including Orange Is the New Black and Family Guy.
The song was published by Warner Chappell Music and spent 35 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it hit No. 1 multiple times.
“‘Hey There Delilah’ is a perfect example of an iconic story song that has introduced characters and a premise to a massive multi-generational audience, and is begging to be expanded into a full-length story for contemporary television audiences,” Barra said in a statement. “Lively McCabe is thrilled to be working with Tom, Deb and Jeremy to bring it to life on the screen.”
Plain White T’s eighth studio album, Parallel Universe, is Aug. 24.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the news.