Books are often the inspiration behind the most iconic TV series, but who knew songs would be the new concept when it comes to television adaptations.
The Plain White T’s chart-topping hit “Hey There Delilah” is being adapted into a scripted TV series.
The Grammy-and Tony-nominated band is collaborating with Lively McCabe Entertainment to develop a scripted romantic dramedy based on its No. 1 single about a long-distance relationship that captivated the charts more than 10 years ago.
Described as a contemporary fairy tale that expands the story within the song, the dramedy was introduced by the band’s frontman and songwriter Tom Higgenson who is teaming up with producers as well as writer Jeremy Desmon. The team will be in L.A. pitching the potential series to multiple studios and networks this month.
The song, released in 2006, was written by Higgenson and spins the story about a long-distance flirtation between a struggling singer-songwriter who pledges to write a song for his love interest, a New York university student, on the night they meet.
Published by Warner/Chappell Music, the song was driven to No. 1 partly by the narrative at its core. It spent 35 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 including multiple weeks at No.1. The song has enjoyed extensive licensing-featured in episodes of Orange is the New Black, Family Guy and Sesame Street among others.
“It’s been more than a decade since ‘Hey There Delilah’ was released, and people always ask me about it. A whole lot of people really connected with that song, and I’m very proud of that, says Tom Higgenson. “I’m so excited to have an opportunity to give a new generation the chance to form their own connection with the song, and fall in love with its story through this new project.”
Higgenson came up with the concept for the TV series alongside Desmon (One Hit Wonder) and Lively McCabe’s Michael Barra. Desmon will write the script while Primary Wave’s Deb Klein is attached to produce.
“‘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,” says Lively McCabe Entertainment’s Co-President Michael Barra. “Lively McCabe is thrilled to be working with Tom, Deb and Jeremy to bring it to life on the screen.”
The American rock band from Lombard, Illinios, was formed by Higgenson, Dave Tirio and Ken Fletcher in 1997. Their hit “Hey There Delilah” was certified platinum in 2007 and earned two Grammy nominations, for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a duo or group with vocal. The band was also nominated for a Tony this year for the song “BFF,” as their contribution to the score of SpongeBob SquarePants. Their upcoming eighth studio album, Parallel Universe, is out Aug. 24. Primary Wave’s Klein serves as manager of the group.
Lively McCabe Entertainment, overseen by producer Michael Barra and co-founder Katie Dietz, specializes in adapting iconic intellectual IP into news stories for film, TV, theater, and book publishing. The company is repped by Max Grossman and Brad Rosenfeld at Abrams Artists Agency and Adam Cooper at Jackoway Tyerman.