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I'm trying to identify this episode from some 1980's show. This would have been Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Monsters, Amazing Stories, one of those shows. The plot was something like: a broadway songwriter dies, and the devil appears. The devil explains that he is a huge fan of the protagonist's music. As a kindness, the devil offers, before taking him to hell, to send him back to when he was a young man, no strings attached. The protagonist naturally accepts.

The guy finds himself a teenager at a party. He realizes that he isn't really enjoying himself at the party surrounded by people who are all 40 years younger than his mind. He starts to play the piano, and the shy girl in the corner comes out and starts to sing to the music, and he is astonished to find that she is an amazing singer. They have a great time at the party, the night is ending and the devil shows up. The protagonist casually says that he barely even remembered the shy girl from school, couldn't believe she was so amazing. The devil explains that after the party, alone and sad, she had commit suicide. The protagonist rushes to find her, and talks her into following her dreams as a singer.

The devil shows up and takes the protagonist back home, which is subtly different. He explains that the pep talk worked and the shy girl went on to become a huge broadway hit, was still alive and well, and produced beautiful music. We realize that the devil really sent the protagonist back in time to save the shy girl's life so that she would go on to make music the devil loves to hear. In the end, either the guys turns out to now be alive because of the changes he made, or his good deed somehow wiped the slate clean or messed up the files, something like that. The devil kind of shrugs and smiles, saying that these things happen.

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"Time and Teresa Golowitz", the first segment of the thirty-fourth episode (the tenth episode of the second season (1986–87)) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

It doesn't work out as well for the protagonist as you state above, though.

Bluestone is a Broadway composer who, in the middle of completing a musical, discovers via a mysterious visitor—implied to be the Devil—that he has suffered a fatal heart attack. After stewing over his own loss and his widow's proposed reaction to his death, Bluestone discovers that the visitor, Prince (of Darkness), is offering him a small gift for a return of letting the "ones down below decks" hear his music now and then. This gift is to have a time and place in the past, present, or future to do with as he pleases. Bluestone's impulsive wish is to "make it" with a Mary Ellen Cosgrove, his high school crush, back in October 1948.

....

Bluestone has a conversation with the Prince and then sees a girl, Teresa Golowitz, who he claims is one of "the plain girls" Mary Ellen invites to make her look better. Prince reminds Bluestone that Golowitz is the girl who committed suicide on that night because she wanted to escape as much as he did, but she didn't escape the way he did.

....

After an attempt to help her, Bluestone gets Teresa to sing (at which she is extremely talented0 while he plays a Broadway tune. The party appears to love their chemistry, but she still feels out of place. He attempts to explain how she could be a fantastic singer and change her life. She leaves and he ends up in Mary Ellen's bedroom, but he decides to leave. He finds Teresa outside and they arrange to meet the next day.

Bluestone returns to the present and discovers that "Terri" Teresa Golowitz has become an award winning singer with Bluestone composing for her. Unfortunately, it turns out that his creative playing around with history didn't go well for the "top side". So now Bluestone has to "lie low" for a couple of years before he can go "top side".

DailyMotion has a copy of the episode on their website (not sure of the legality), and "top side" is Heaven, where Bluestone was destined to go (he still had his heart attack apparently). So the Devil is hiding him out down in Hell (he says it's "not bad, a bit like Queens") and in a few years, he can move on.

  • That's the one! Thanks so much! My wife and I watched an episode of Amazing Stories yesterday and it made us remember this episode but we couldn't remember what it was called. – Broklynite Jan 3 '16 at 8:59
  • :) Cool. It just took me a few iterations of keywords. I think tried a few cariations of "songwriter" before getting a hit with "composer". – FuzzyBoots Jan 3 '16 at 13:43

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