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Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits

  • Premiered: 
    January 3, 1976
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Music
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
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  • Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years
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Plot Synopsis

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS is the longest-running music series in American television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Musical styles range from contemporary and traditional pop to rock, country, blues, bluegrass, Latin, folk, roots and more.

The show's 38th season featured a roster of the best in popular music, including Radiohead, Bon Iver, Bonnie Raitt with Mavis Staples, The Shins, and The Civil Wars. PBS aired the Season 39 premiere on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 9pm local time in most cities (check local listings) with a season opener that featured Colombian superstar Juanes and Grammy-winning siblings Jesse & Joy. Also appearing in the show's 39th season were: Phoenix; The Lumineers and Shovels & Rope; Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear; Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell; Emeli Sande and Michael Kiwanuka; and My Morning Jacket leader Jim James and the Black Angels.

One day after its 40th Anniversary special, "Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years," AUSTIN CITY LIMITS returned for its 40th season on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT on PBS. (check local listings). The Season 40 premiere featured Beck, as alt.rock superstar performed some of his greatest hits and songs from his "Morning Phase" album. Other performers in Season 40 include: Ed Sheeran & Valerie June; Nine Inch Nails; Tweedy; Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds; Los Lobos and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down; Eric Church; Juanes and Jesse & Joy; Jason Isbell & Neko Case; Rodrigo y Gabriela; Radiohead; and many more.

Season 42 of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS premiered on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings). In the season opener, legendary singer/songwriter Paul Simon performs his classics, songs from Graceland, Simon & Garfunkel tunes and tracks from his latest LP, Stranger to Stranger, including all the songs on this setlist: The Boy in the Bubble; That Was Your Mother (Zydeco); Rewrite; Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard; Wristband; Homeward Bound; The Werewolf; Cool Cool River; Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes; You Can Call Me Al; and The Sound of Silence. Subsequent episodes feature performances from: James Bay & Rhiannon Giddens; Robert Plant; Florence + The Machine & Andra Day; Iggy Pop; Natalia Lafourcade & Grupo Fantasma; My Morning Jacket & Ben Harper; Cyndi Lauper; Band of Horses; Margo Price; Foals; and more.

The 14-episode 43rd season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS debuted on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings). As always, the new season explores the best original music -- including contemporary and traditional rock, blues, country, folk, soul and worldbeat -- in uninterrupted full concerts recorded live in Austin, Texas. Season 43 opens with Ed Sheeran, making his second appearance on the ACL stage. In a subsequent episode, trailblazing rock band The Pretenders (October 14) dazzle in their ACL debut with an electrifying, career-spanning performance. Country superstar (and Texas native) Miranda Lambert (November 4), in her third appearance, shines in a stunning hour of music while sharing the stories behind her songs. Multi-platinum Southern country-rock act Zac Brown Band (October 21) make their first ACL visit with a remarkable career-wide hour. The extended line-up features ACL debuts from outstanding newcomers including indie original Angel Olsen (October 28) and New Orleans blues-rocker Benjamin Booker (November 11), while returning Americana favorites Norah Jones (October 28) and The Head and the Heart (November 11) bring their latest music to the ACL stage. After taking a short break, AUSTIN CITY LIMITS returned for eight new episodes beginning December 31.

Season 44 of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS premiered on Saturday, October 6, 2018 on PBS with a performance by St. Vincent, filmed at Moody Theater in Austin, TX on May 14. Other episodes in the 44th season feature: John Prince (Oct 13); Anderson East & Sam Smith (Oct 20); Brandi Carlile (Oct 27); Miguel & Alessia Cara (Nov 3); Kacey Musgraves and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (Nov 10). The series returns late December for eight more episodes.

The 45th season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS premiered on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 11pm on PBS (check local listings). The one-hour season opener featured blues rocker Gary Clark Jr, as the Austin singer-songwriter and guitarist performed songs from his highly acclaimed album "This Land." Subsequent episodes include performances by: pop singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers (Oct 12); Steve Earle playing the songs of Texas writer Guy Clark (Oct 19); singer-songwriter H.E.R. (Oct 26); Patty Griffin & The Revivalists (Nov 2); Vampire Weekend (Nov 9); Kane Brown & Colter Wall (Nov 16); ACL Presents Americana 18th Annual Honors (Nov 23).

PBS premiered the 46th season of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11pm (check local listings). Because the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Austin City Limits Music Festival was canceled, so the 13-episode new season features a combination of debuts from new acts as well as tributes to ACL legends. With an introduction recorded by Americana star Jason Isbell, the season opener focuses on the late singer/songwriter John Prine's ACL episodes, starting with his AUSTIN CITY LIMITS debut in 1978, continuing with never-before-aired 1987 performance of his classic "Sam Stone," and featuring special guest Bonnie Raitt. Subsequent episodes feature: UK country soul sensation Yola (Oct 10 episode) showcases her 2020 Grammy-nominated album "Walk Through Fire"; singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright (Oct 24 episode), making his ACL debut performing career highlights alongside selections from "Unfollow the Rules"; blues, rock, R&B, soul singer/guitar-slinger, Austin's own Jackie Venson (part of Nov 14 episode), makes her highly-anticipated ACL debut; rock and country trailblazers The Mavericks (Nov 21 episode) make their third appearance on the ACL stage showcasing their chart-topping, all Spanish-language album, "En Espanol"; a reprisal of the episode featuring John Legend and The Roots (Nov 7 episode); an encore of Bonnie Raitt's stellar 2012 appearance (part of Nov 14 episode), featuring a hit parade of classics; a one-hour special, "Stevie Ray Vaughan: 30 Years On" (Oct 17 episode), featuring highlights from the legendary bluesman's signature performances on ACL in 1983 and 1989; "50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel" (Oct 31 episode), an hour-long retrospective that explores the band's evolution from the 1970s to the present via highlights from their many appearances on ACL.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS returned for its 47th season on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 9pm ET on PBS (check local listings) with the first of eight new installments for its 13-episode new season. Despite the challenges facing live music during the previous year, ACL delivered brand new performances, all recorded at ACL's studio home in Austin, Texas in 2021, in front of limited live audiences. The season opens with country superstar Miranda Lambert joined by songwriting partners Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, showcasing their acclaimed The Marfa Tapes, an album recorded in the West Texas desert town of Marfa. This acoustic hour spotlights the three longtime friends and co-writers, and offers a look at the trio's collaborative and creative process, filled with the stories behind the songs and late night tales behind the recording. The season continues with highly-anticipated debut appearances: New Orleans bandleader Jon Batiste, a Grammy and Oscar-winning musician, delivers a high-energy tour-de-force backed by an 18-piece band, performing selections from his soulful album WE ARE in a must-see hour. ACL spotlights next-generation standouts: acclaimed young British singer-songwriter Jade Bird brings songs from her new album Different Kinds of Light; she shares an hour with Austin indie-pop breakout artist Dayglow, who performs songs from his Harmony House. A pair of country sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with CMA Award-winner and eight-time Grammy nominee Brandy Clark showcasing her 2021 Grammy-nominated Your Life is a Record; while rising star Texas country singer Charley Crockett debuts songs from his new Music City USA. Grammy-winning bluegrass stars share a spell-binding hour that forecasts the genre's future: Sarah Jarosz makes her third appearance on the ACL stage with selections from World On the Ground, the 2021 Grammy-winner for Best Americana Album; while fan favorite Billy Strings delivers an electrifying debut with songs from Home, his 2021 Grammy Award-winning Best Bluegrass Album and debuts new numbers from his upcoming Renewal. Two Texas originals share a highly-anticipated hour: Grammy-winning Fort Worth R&B artist and songwriter Leon Bridges makes his second ACL appearance with highlights from his latest, Gold-Diggers Sound, and Houston eclectic groove trio Khruangbin make their ACL debut with standouts from their global sensation Mordechai. A season highpoint is the ACL return of legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne for the first time in nearly 20 years, as he showcases a chart-topping new collection of songs, Downhill From Everywhere, alongside career highlights from his five decade career. Celebrated singer and multiple Grammy recipient Brittany Howard rounds out the first half of Season 47, returning to the ACL stage for a long-awaited solo debut with songs from her 2021 Grammy-winning gem Jaime.
Season 48 of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS premiered on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings), featuring the first of seven new episodes this Fall in the 14-episode new season. The season opener features singer-songwriter and six-time Grammy Award recipient Brandi Carlile, who makes her third appearance on the ACL stage. The acclaimed Americana artist is at the top of her game in a sterling hour, and delivers a career-spanning performance alongside selections from her latest In These Silent Days, backed by a nine-piece band. ACL spotlights a pair of 2022 Grammy Best New Artist nominees: Japanese Breakfast, featuring acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner, perform songs from their breakthrough Jubilee; sharing the hour with 21-year old British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks in a soaring set filled with numbers from her Mercury Prize-winning Collapsed in Sunbeams. A pair of indie sensations shine in a captivating double-bill with synth-pop duo Sylvan Esso performing songs from Free Love, a 2022 Grammy nominee for dance/electronic album, as well as the forthcoming No Rules Sandy; and indie-pop duo Lucius debut songs from their latest Second Nature, stunning with spellbinding harmonies. ACL showcases a pair of standout Canadian singer-songwriters: Montreal native Allison Russell makes her ACL debut with a radiant set featuring songs from her 2022 triple Grammy-nominated solo debut album Outside Child, backed by an all-female band; sharing the hour is The Weather Station, the performance name of Toronto indie-folk singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, in a mesmerizing set featuring selections from Ignorance, which topped many 2021 year-end-best-of album lists. Two Texas originals are paired in a highly-anticipated hour: Fast-rising country star Parker McCollum makes his ACL debut with songs from his major label debut Gold Chain Cowboy and in a special appearance, ACL veteran and Americana great Robert Earl Keen, who announced his retirement from touring this year, returns for a poignant final bow featuring beloved classics from across his over four-decade career. A season highlight is the long-awaited return of ACL Hall of Famer Lyle Lovett, joined by his iconic Large Band, making his first appearance in a decade with songs from his first new album in 10 years, 12th of June. Cuban funk sensations Cimafunk and The Tribe round out the first half of Season 48 with an ecstatic hour; the nine-piece powerhouse band make a thrilling ACL debut with standouts from their soulful album El Alimento in a must-see installment.

October 1: Brandi Carlile

October 8: Japanese Breakfast/Arlo Parks

October 15: Sylvan Esso/Lucius

October 22: Allison Russell/The Weather Station

October 29: Parker McCollum/Robert Earl Keen

November 5: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

November 12: Cimafunk and The Tribe