After premiering their pilot at WonderCon, NBC brought Midnight, Texas down to San Diego to let the Comic-Con crowd have a taste. Set to premiere Monday, July 24 at 10/9p central, NBC’s latest supernatural drama was heavily promoted throughout Comic-Con (including a highly popular activation as one crossed into Gaslamp District from the convention center), a positive sign that the network is completely behind their new program, providing unique twists on a host of popular creatures and classic mythologies.
Based on the book trilogy of the same name by Charlaine Harris, Midnight, Texas features the daily goings-on within a town located in a seemingly unremarkable region of the Lone Star State, yet it is far from sleepy. Founded atop what’s been described by cast and crew as a “hellmouth,” the residents of Midnight must contend with not only the threats that may arise from The Veil and from outsiders that desire its power, but their own struggles in succumbing to the evil that emanates from such a powerful nexus.
So what exactly does Midnight, Texas offer its potential viewers? Here are five reasons why no one should sleep on this dusty little town filled with otherworldly misfits.
1. All manner of creatures will be featured from the start
Viewers are introduced to the odd town through Manfred Bernardo (François Arnaud), a psychic that’s drawn to Midnight for a number of reasons. “He’s been living in a RV with his dead grandma’s ghost for a while. So he’s a traveler… he’s a medium, he sees and talks to dead people that have been a little invasive as of late. They’ve been taking control of his body and he’s had it! He wants piece of mind and he thinks, for some reason, that he’ll find that in Midnight.”
As Manfred gets his bearings and seeks deeper answers about his abilities and shady past, he becomes our guide though Midnight and is acquainted with its locals that include a witch, an angel, a were that seeks redemption for past misdeeds and a vampire that feeds on the pain of others. Oh, and there are a few humans scattered here and there that are quite used to their uh, peculiar neighbors.
2. United they stand, for better or worse
For executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen, the through-line during Midnight Texas’ inaugural season is solidarity through diversity. “It is about a town of people who are different. Who have been persecuted, who have pain in their past. Who have left awful situations and have found a home and a sanctuary somewhere remote in the middle of nowhere Texas. And it’s about community! It’s about diversity, it’s about people who are different finding a place where they belong, and being willing to fight for their home when bad is spreading.”
Though the series was allowed to expand upon the trilogy’s mythology, the spirit and humor of Harris’ books remains present, as mentioned by co-executive producer David Janollari, “Of course it’s really important for us to maintain the sense of humor that Charlaine brought to the world in her books. And the scares, of course… also the epic romances going on throughout the series. There are several different relationships that are really fun and emotionally involving […] as the series unfolds. I think the combination of really scary rollercoaster ride meets epic love story meets kind of a fun sense of humor is a recipe that will make this show particularly distinct in the landscape out there.”
3. All that and a little romance too
Not everything is doom and gloom in Midnight as Janollari mentioned; love is in the air though it remains unrequited. Midnight, Texas’ lovelorn pair – Bobo Winthrop and Fiji Cavanaugh, played by Dylan Bruce and Parisa Fitz-Henley, respectively – provide that crucial element that’s prevalent in most of Harris’ novels and is destined to have viewers coming back for more.
Bruce waxed rhapsodic on Winthrop and Cavanaugh’s complex relationship, “Bobo and Fiji are best friends. She’s always a shoulder for him to lean on and vice versa, he would give the shirt off his back, […] it’s a very sweet relationship. He thinks she’s out of his league and she does not know that at all.”
“She’s incredibly, incredibly in love with him.” Fitz-Henley interjects. “So Fiji’s a witch, she’s using her powers for small things and it’s really important for her not to let her emotions get out in the end. […] She’s learned to take care of herself and take care of other people, and not really be taken care of so much. So she doesn’t want this guy to know she loves him, and the big, big secret also is that he’ll find out why she can’t let him know!”
4. The journey will be as rich as the destination for every character
The human perspective is very much in play at Midnight and may have a very deliberate purpose in the progression of the series, as Sarah Ramos alluded about her character, Midnight native Creek. “She is kind of the girl-next door in town… she works two jobs, at a gas station and as a waitress at the town restaurant. She has a little brother and an overprotective dad and she’s one of the only characters who was raised in Midnight. She doesn’t have any powers so the question is like “Why was she raised there? Why would she stay there?” I think there’s a lot we don’t know about Creek in the beginning.”
Another intriguing player in the fold is the Reverend “Rev” Emilio Sheehan (Yul Vazquez), a cryptic figure of sorts that sought refuge in Midnight to atone for the sins of his violent past. “He’s born a were-tiger”, Vazquez stated. “He becomes a reverend because he has to deal with the guilt of what happens when he turns into the tiger, of the violence he inflicts as a tiger. He retreats to Midnight, becomes the reverend then he starts the process of balancing that dual nature. He’s in constant conflict.”
5. The series maintains the spirit of the trilogy and then some
Though eager to spill what little beans they could about the show, its cast remained relatively mum about what Midnight, Texas will offer during its first season. Nevertheless, Jason Lewis – who plays the disgraced angel Joe Strong – was ecstatic that fans of the supernatural genre and Harris’ work will finally enjoy the fruits of their labor. “If you’re a fan of the books, you’re going to be really, really satisfied at what we got on TV. Charlaine and our creator Monica Owusu-Breen have a great camaraderie. Monica is such a huge fan of this genre as well as the books themselves, she really poured her heart into this project with her team of writers.
“That said,” Lewis continued, “I can promise you that it’s gonna start off fast… it’s gonna hit home on the first episode and it only gets better each episode!”
Midnight, Texas premieres Monday July 24 at 10/9c on NBC.