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Billy Joel's 100th residency special cut during pivotal 'Piano Man' performance, CBS apologizes

CBS did not turn the lights back on during the 100th show of Billy Joel's residency.

The network in a statement on Monday apologized for ending the singer's "Billy Joel: The 100th – Live at Madison Square Garden" special two minutes early on Sunday, blaming a "network programming timing error." CBS also said it will rebroadcast the two-hour special on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

"We apologize to Mr. Joel, his fans, our affiliated stations, and our audience whose viewing experience was interrupted during the last song," CBS said in a statement to USA TODAY Monday.

The special marked the centennial of Joel's record-setting run at Madison Square Garden, which began in January 2014 and will conclude July 25.

Excited fans who tuned in were upset after the broadcast was delayed by 30 minutes due to the 2024 Masters Tournament and ultimately cut off in the middle of Joel's larger than life "Piano Man" for local news programming.

Billy Joel performing at his 100th Madison Square Garden residency show.
Billy Joel performing at his 100th Madison Square Garden residency show.

The Barstool Sports account chimed into the discourse on X, formerly Twitter, writing, "How do you cut a Billy Joel Concert in the Middle of Piano Man?!"

"CBS has been promoting the Billy Joel concert special every two minutes for WEEKS. So what better way to air it than to preempt it for a half hour and the cut him off MID-PIANO MAN? C'mon guys," one upset fan posted.

Another wrote, "You couldn't produce a worse product than CBS just did on the Billy Joel special Way too many commercials, didn't play some of his best songs, went extremely out of order in his set list, and then cuts away to the local news in the middle of Piano Man?!? A total flop by CBS."

"Just an absolute disaster by CBS tonight producing the Billy Joel concert. Ineptitude at its finest. Start it late and cut it off early. Just horrible. #BillyJoel100," another dissatisfied viewer posted.

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Where to watch Billy Joel concert special

Joel's special is available to stream on Paramount+ for those that didn't get the full experience.

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In an interview with USA TODAY, the "Uptown Girl" singer said the 100th performance, including appearances from pals Jerry Seinfeld and Sting, was different from the earlier shows "because there were a bunch of cameras on stage!"

"I've been playing (Madison Square Garden) since the '70s. The 100 just happened to be a round number and happened to coincide with a Garden show I was already doing," he said.

When it came to including Sting in this particular show, Joel said, "I've known him quite a while, since he was in The Police. We became friends right away and I always admired his musicianship. We respect each other as musicians. It's very easy for me to work with him. It doesn't require a long rehearsal process. I hate rehearsal."

"I'm OK with making a mistake. A lot of the fun of it is in the spontaneity of the recovery," he added. "He and I have great bands, and if you're working with good musicians it makes life so much easier. I've written songs with Sting in mind, like 'Big Man on Mulberry Street,' which we do in this show."

Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri, Brendan Morrow

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Billy Joel's 100th residency special on CBS cut short: Where to watch