Charlaine Harris’ distinct Southern-fried supernatural storytelling comes to television once again with NBC’s adaptation of her book series Midnight, Texas. The forthcoming horror-drama premieres on July 24, but fans at Comic-Con were treated to an advanced screening with the cast and crew participating in a Q&A.
Harris made an appearance at the confab along with the ensemble cast of François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, Peter Mensah, Yul Vazquez and Jason Lewis along with executive producers David Janollari and Monica Owusu-Breen to open up about the series, particularly adapting a popular book series and appeasing its cult following.
That said, the pilot was met with a great ovation, building a narrative foundation that follows psychic Manfred (François Arnaud) who leaves Dallas to find a quieter life in the small town of Midnight. There, he gets a supernatural welcome when a mysterious murder happens shortly after he arrives. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to a witch Fiji (Fitz-Heleny), a vampire named Lem (Mensah), a hitwoman Olivia (Kebbel), a winged man name Joe (Lewis), a reverend with a mysterious secret (Vazquez), a suspect pawn shop owner Bobo (Bruce) and local waitress/love interest Creek (Ramos).
Fans and non-fans alike took to the series which, like Harris’ other supernatural property True Blood, seems to lean toward horror, humor, camp, and provocative drama. Owusu-Breen points out that it’s not necessary to read the books in order to watch the new series. At the same time, she hopes diehards of the book will be pleased. “We welcome all fans to enjoy the show,” she said.
Owusu-Breen was drawn to Midnight, Texas because of the characters and how they find sanctuary in a world that hasn’t been kind — which reflects in the pilot. There are a couple of changes from the book, but it still honors the tone of the source material. For instance, Lem, who is albino in the books, is played by Mensah, who is black. Janollari says that they stay faithful to the book, but created things specifically for the series — which will be unveiled throughout the show’s run. As for Harris, the mastermind behind it all, said “I don’t have any ambition to control the TV series. I look for people who’s integrity I trust and who understand my vision for the books.”