The Plain White T’s No. 1 hit “Hey There Delilah” is being adapted into a scripted TV series.
The Grammy- and Tony-nominated band is teaming with Lively McCabe Entertainment and Primary Wave to develop a scripted romantic dramedy based on its chart-topping single about a long-distance relationship. Producers, including the band’s frontman and songwriter Tom Higgenson as well as writer Jeremy Desmon, will be in L.A. pitching the potential series — described as a contemporary fairy tale that expands the story within the song — to multiple networks and studios this month.
The song, released in 2006, tells the tale of a long-distance flirtation between a struggling singer-songwriter and a New York City university student. The songwriter pledges to write a song for the young woman on the night they meet and that promise changes their lives in unexpected ways.
Published by Warner/Chappell Music, the song spent 35 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 — including multiple weeks at No. 1. The track has been licensed on multiple shows, including Orange Is the New Black, Family Guy and Sesame Street.
“It’s been more than a decade since ‘Hey There Delila’ 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,” Higgenson said. “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 foray alongside Desmon (Pump Up the Volume) and Lively McCabe’s Michael Barra. Desmon will pen the script. 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 multigenerational audience, and is begging to be expanded into a full-length story for contemporary television audiences,” says Lively McCabe Entertainment co-president Barra. “Lively McCabe is thrilled to be working with Tom, Deb and Jeremy to bring it to life on the screen.”
Higgenson, Dave Tirio and Ken Fletcher formed the Plain White T’s in 1997; their hit “Hey There Delilah” was certified platinum in 2007. The track earned two Grammy nominations, for song of the year and best pop performance by a duo or group. The band also was nominated for a Tony this year for the song “BFF,” as part of the score for SpongeBob SquarePants. Primary Wave’s Klein serves as manager.
Lively McCabe Entertainment, overseen by Barra and co-founder Katie Dietz, specializes in packaging and adapting IP into new stories for theater, film, TV and book publishing. The company is repped by Abrams Artists Agency and Jackoway Tyerman.