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Dan Rather Sets David Byrne, Brian Johnson, Full Slate of Musicians for ‘Interview’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Dan Rather has booked musicians for 10 of 12 upcoming episodes, including Alice Cooper, Little Big Town and Cheap Trick.

Back in the day, Dan Rather used to be famous for dogging Richard Nixon, but now he’s associating with subjects who are a little more upfront about their dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson leads a list of musicians that dominates the lineup of subjects for Rather’s series “The Big Interview,” which returns for the second half of its second season October 1. The slate revealed by the network Tuesday has music stars filling 10 of the 12 weekly slots, with Bryan Cranston and Bob Costas being the only odd non-musicians out.

That emphasis isn’t altogether unexpected, since Rather’s series does air Tuesday nights on the music-based AXS network — even if it never does fail to surprise to see how the former network new anchor has transformed himself, late in life, into young Cameron Crowe.

“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with these entertainment icons each week,” Rather said in a statement. “It is a rare treat to be able to delve into a side of these artists that the public doesn’t often get to see, as they tell their stories and share their thoughts in their own words. I am humbled that the series has been so warmly received by AXS TV’s audience.”

In a teaser for the first episode, AC/DC’s Johnson recalled getting a cure for writer’s block while working on “Back In Black” in the Bahamas with producer Mutt Lange, when a tropical storm rolled in. “Mutt went, ‘Oh, it’s rolling thunder!’ And I went, ‘Rolling thunder, pouring rain, coming on like a hurricane. There’s white lightning flashing,.’ I mean I literally was giving a weather report,” Johnson said, explaining the genesis of “Hell’s Bells.” “When great things are happening so quickly, you never realize, do you? It’s so fabulous. It just looks so easy. When you try to do it again, it never works!”

The “Big Interview” fall lineup (the program airs at 8 p.m. ET):

October 1 – Brian Johnson

October 8 – Cheap Trick

October 15 – Chicago

October 22 – Bret Michaels

October 29 – Alice Cooper

November 5 – Little Big Town

November 12 – Bob Costas

November 19 – David Byrne

November 26 – America

December 3 – Bryan Cranston

December 10 – Yes’ Jon Anderson

December 17 – Alabama

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