Elton John's already mocked Madonna. So why not go after a few more famous friends?
The Rocket Man is producing a half-hour comedy for ABC about an aging rock superstar and the relationships he has with his entourage, the network confirmed Thursday.
The show will use anecdotes based on the backstage antics of John cohorts like Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Freddie Mercury and David Bowie.
"It's not about me, but about everybody we've encountered over the past 30 years," John tells Daily Variety. "We've met every star and seen every misbehavior. And it's about the people around the star, who have to put up with them. It's an upmarket Spinal Tap."
Halley tells the trade that he came up with the idea three years while on the road with John. "We have many laughs together, we work hard, and we enjoy ourselves. Elton was up for it, and we went from there," Halley says.
John and Halley have tapped songwriter Bruce Roberts to come up with a full back catalog of tunes for their fictional rocker that will span four decades, from the 1970s to today. The untitled show will also feature a new composition from John, "Him and Us," which will serve as the sitcom's theme.
John and Halley will oversee the project for the Alphabet network and Touchstone TV with Desperate Housewives executive producer Michael Edelstein, who was brought on board by Roberts, and Sex and the City scribe Cindy Chupack.
"I think it will be one of the funniest things on TV in a while. I like being a team player and being within this team. All five people are extremely funny--except Bruce Roberts," says John.
"Elton's been very public about the craziness of his life," Edelstein tells Variety. "There's nothing like the world of rock 'n' roll. He's got a hairdresser, valet and two straight SWAT bodyguards on staff. They've assembled their own wacky family."
There's certainly plenty of material to mine from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's own life, from his lavish lifestyle and penchant for feather boas and outrageous clothing to his diva-like behavior and public spats with paparazzi and other pop stars--i.e., his outburst last month accusing Madonna of lip-synching. He later apologized and said he meant to insult teenybopper stars like Britney instead.
We can already imagine the promos. Saturday night's all right on ABC.
The sitcom adds to an already busy schedule for John. Aside from his Vegas show, he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin are writing music for the Broadway adaptation of Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat (slated for a 2005 debut). They're also working with Fox on another TV show, called Rhapsody, described as a prime-time soap opera in which the main characters burst into songs provided by John and Taupin.
John's latest album, Peachtree Road, hits stores on Tuesday as does Dream Ticket, a $40, four-DVD collection of concert footage that will only be available at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com.