Don't change the channel
Austin PBS adds tacos and brings back gardening and star interviews for upcoming season
There are so many things made in Austin that it's hard to know what they are. Austin PBS is here to help, following its Made in Austin Premiere Night on April 20, where it showed clips of new programming for 2023-24. It will continue to share musical performances on Austin City Limits, while adding a food series, and bringing back a gardening series and another series with one of Austin's top journalists.
“Although we have gathered to view and celebrate our new Austin PBS original programming, this is first and foremost a celebration of our community,” said president and CEO Luis Patiño, as quoted in a news release. “I believe that Austin PBS is truly in the right place, at the right time, to tell the stories of this diverse community and give voice to the multitude of artists, changemakers and leaders that call Austin and the surrounding communities home."
"Without people — and their willingness to share their stories with us — we would not be able to create the impactful content that enriches and transforms the communities we serve," he added. "Above all, Austin PBS will continue to create and cultivate collaboration that is community-serving and community-focused.”
The highlighted shows are as follows:
Taco Mafia: This limited docuseries of four episodes explores Austin through its tacos — not a brand new idea, by any means, but these hosts are well-known around town for their contributions on top of tortillas. James Beard Award winner Edgar Rico of Nixta Taqueria, Beto Robledo of Cuantos Tacos, and Xose Velasco and Anthony Pratto of Discada join together as the "Taco Mafia" to talk about "entrepreneurship, sustainability, immigration, cultural appropriation, gentrification and the pandemic," all while creating a stronger bond and taco community.
“Our mission is to showcase not only the exceptional members of the Taco Mafia in this show, but also the networks of individuals who contribute to the Mafia's unique identity,” said Rico. “From highlighting the journey of Raymundo Escamilla of La Colonial in San Antonio to our corn farmer Hugo Gomez in Oaxaca, Mexico, we aim to feature all of the exceptional individuals who have helped craft the DNA of our establishments and make them so special. We are excited for everyone to tune in and witness the remarkable work that Austin PBS has put into the production and vision of our show.”
Central Texas Gardener: Central Texas Gardener is a DIY show that tours gardens for inspiration and tips for gardeners of every experience level. It also places an emphasis on sustainability through "organic techniques, water-wise plants, and homegrown food." The real Texas gardens are also a great way to get to know our surrounding area and the people that take care of the land in their gardens. Aside from aired episodes, Central Texas Gardener runs a blog for easier reference, as well as an extensive list of resources for browsing.
Overheard With Evan Smith: This interview series enters its 11th season, in a notable reappearance by host Evan Smith, who recently left his post as the CEO of the publication he co-founded, The Texas Tribune. This is not a hyperlocal show: it airs nationally in 136 markets, inviting well-known guests that often qualify as household names. Season 10 included former President George W. Bush, author John Grisham, musician Jeff Tweedy, and more. It also featured some category compilations that may be an interesting entry point for someone new to the show.
Austin PBS recently acquired the state-wide streaming and broadcast rights to Deep In The Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story, which features the voice of Matthew McConaughey over scenes of Texas landscapes. Viewers will see wildlife and scenery that can't be found anywhere outside the Lone Star State. This show was made possible through a gift from private benefactors Lisa and Desi Rhoden.
In March, the station also announced a new show about the murals around the city, called Muraling Austin. Another notable show out of Austin, a National Geographic contribution called Restaurants at the End of the World, features Top Chef winner Kristen Kish traveling the world and preparing regional foods in remote locations. Austin TV speaks most to the people who are likely to see its subjects on the street, but the Capital City is increasingly interesting to people all over.
The above programs will be air or stream on KLRU-TV, the Austin PBS app, and austinpbs.org. A full schedule is available on the website.