Last week at San Diego Comic-Con, NBC introduced science-fiction fans to its new supernatural drama series “Midnight, Texas.”
Based on the book trilogy by Charlaine Harris, author of the novels that inspired HBO’s hit series “True Blood,” “Midnight, Texas” chronicles the lives of supernatural beings—psychics, witches, angels, vampires and werewolves—who have found sanctuary in a small Lone Star State town. But when outside forces threaten their way of life, the creatures of Midnight band together to protect their secrets and the only place they can call home.
The series stars Francois Arnaud (Manfred the psychic), Sarah Ramos (Creek the waitress), Dylan Bruce (Bobo the pawn shop owner), Arielle Kebbel (Olivia the assassin), Jason Lewis (Joe the angel), Parisa Fitz-Henley (Fiji the witch), Peter Mensah (Lemuel the vampire) and Yul Vazquez (Rev. Sheehan the werewolf).
I caught up with Harris, Arnaud, Ramos and executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen along the train tracks outside the San Diego Convention Center to get the scoop on the new series. Check out eight things you need to know about “Midnight, Texas” below:
1. There’s a reason these creatures are drawn to Midnight, Texas.
"Midnight happens to sit on this thinning veil between the worlds of the living and the dead, and it sort of draws people with supernatural abilities to the town," Arnaud revealed. "They're sort of magically drawn there."
"Their secrets are protected there," Ramos added. "Everybody's close, but they keep to themselves, and let everybody be themselves-which is usually a supernatural being."
2. “Midnight, Texas” draws inspiration from the entire book trilogy.
"It pulls from all three books," Owusu-Breen told me. "The reveals of the characters are slower. It takes its time. NBC wanted action, it wanted excitement, it wanted the pulse of energy forward. We let everyone know how madcap and varied and diverse the world is, and then we slowly unpeel it. And plot-wise, it's really the first book in the series."
3. There’s a reason Harris created a waitress character for both “True Blood” and “Midnight, Texas.”
"You would think I had been a waitress, but I wasn't!" Harris said with a laugh. "I think what I was going for is waitresses are always dealing with the public, so that's a good job for a character. Also, it doesn't require a formal education, and these two characters don't-Sookie didn't and Creek doesn't have much of a formal education."
4. But Creek isn’t your average waitress.
"Creek is kind of like a girl next door with a twist," Ramos explained. "She's a small town girl. She works two jobs. She takes care of her brother. She has an overprotective father. She grew up in this tiny town full of people others calls freaks, but she's really open-minded and independent and has an attitude."
5. And Manfred isn’t your typical hero.
"I like that Manfred isn't your typical hero," Arnaud said. "He's sort of poised to be the hero that will save this town, but he's so used to being selfish and fending for himself. He sort of needs to learn that helping people makes you feel good."
6. Harris knows a thing or two about supernatural beings, because she’s met some … sort of.
"I've met many people who told me they were werewolves or vampires," Harris explained. "But they did not prove it to me in any way other than saying 'I'm a vampire, I'm a werewolf.' I've met witches-people who believe that they are or maybe are. I'm not a doubting Thomas. I can believe things without proof, but if it's something as dramatic as changing all the bones in your body …"
7. The season finale is going to be epic.
“The final confrontation where everybody’s inner monster comes out,” Arnaud teases.
8. You don’t have to love vampires and werewolves to watch “Midnight, Texas.”
"If you're looking for a wild imagination and a good time with characters you just want to hang out with, I think this show is for you," Owusu-Breen said. "I love these characters. I love being in a world where I never know what to expect. I think there's something so hopeful about a group of people who are so diverse, who come together and become a family. That, for me-in the world we live in-there's something very pleasurable and very comforting and very aspirational about 'Midnight, Texas.' I can't speak for anyone else, but I love it."
"I do, too!" Harris exclaimed. "For a good time, call 'Midnight!'"
“Midnight, Texas” airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. Click here to watch the first episode now with XFINITY On Demand.