Willie Nelson will get in front of the camera to host the new television series Inside Arlyn, which will have the country superstar inviting fellow music legends and new artists into an Austin recording studio for intimate interviews and performances.
The series is still in its early stages and currently without a distributor, but Freddy Fletcher, Nelson’s nephew and a co-owner in Arlyn Studios, reports that several cable outlets are interested in seeing the pilots. A total of 13 episodes are planned for the show’s first season, the first few of which will tape next week. The Redheaded Stranger is set to host longtime friend and fellow outlaw country legend, Merle Haggard, along with blues sensation Gary Clark, Jr. for one of the first shows. Veteran journalist Dan Rather will sit down for a joint interview with Nelson and Haggard.
Nelson has a special place in history when it comes to music-focused television, as he was the featured performer on the pilot episode of the PBS program, Austin City Limits in 1974. That show is currently celebrating its 40th season and has become a premiere stop for established and on-the-rise artists to record performances, with the now two-weekend Austin City Limits Festival launching in 2002.
Originally opened in 1984, Arlyn was reopened in late 2012 by Fletcher with new partners in the former Austin Opera House property in downtown Austin.
In between tapings for the pilot episodes of his new TV series, Nelson will join Haggard in making a new collaborative album, though a title and release information haven’t yet been announced.