Based on the best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris (author of the novels that inspired "True Blood"), "Midnight, Texas" stars François Arnaud as Manfred, a charming, powerful psychic who can communicate with spirits and finds safety in Midnight surrounding himself with both human and supernatural allies. Midnight is also home to Bobo, proprietor of Midnight's local pawn shop; Fiji, a witch who owns the local wiccan shop; Olivia, a mysterious assassin with a weapon for every occasion; Joe, an angel who knows all of Midnight's secrets having been around for millennia; Lemuel a wise vampire with a long history in Midnight; Creek, an aspiring writer with big dreams; and Rev. Emilio Sheehan, who can't resist the pull of a full moon.
|Image||Title||Airdate||Writer / Director||Episode #|
|Pilot||July 24, 2017||Monica Owusu-Breen / Niels Arden Oplev||1|
|Manfred Bernardo, a powerful psychic on the run, decides to hide out in the small, sleepy town of Midnight, Texas. But when he's haunted by the ghost of a recently murdered Midnighter, Manfred discovers this sleepy community is a mysterious safe haven for outsiders with secrets - both supernatural and human - including Lemuel, an energy-leeching vampire; Olivia, a beautiful assassin; Fiji, a witch with a cranky cat; Creek, a spunky writer with big dreams; Bobo, a pawnshop owner with a hidden past; the Rev, who has an obsession for animals; and Joe, an angelic tattoo artist. In addition to the colorful residents, Manfred learns the town itself sits on a veil between the living and dead. He pledges to join the Midnighters in the fight to protect their home from suspicious cops and other outside forces.|
|Bad Moon Rising||July 31, 2017||Monica Owusu-Breen / David Solomon||2|
|Manfred tries to help one of his new neighbors, Bobo, clear his name by talking to the murdered victim with the help of Joe. As Manfred helps his neighbors and grows closer to Creek, they help him - specifically, Fiji, the resident witch who performs an exorcism to rid Manfred's home of the spirits, demonic and otherwise that haunt it. Meanwhile, the Rev tries to stay out of trouble while Lem and Olivia set out to stop a deadly predator before it kills again.|
|Lemuel, Unchained||August 7, 2017||Turi Meyer & Al Septien / David Solomon||3|
|A deadly nest of vampires arrives in Midnight and it turns out they're old friends of Lem's eager to reunite. Manfred suspects there's more to their arrival and joins forces with Olivia to uncover the real story while Creek prepares for the worst. Elsewhere, Fiji and Bobo hatch a plan of their own in case the vampires are up to no good. Meanwhile, Joe confides his suspicions about the veil to hell opening in Midnight to the Rev.|
|Sexy Beast||August 14, 2017||Liz Sagal / Steve Shill||4|
|Manfred's ability to see the dead leads him to uncover an ancient supernatural who seduces and feeds on men. To protect their town's supernatural anonymity, Manfred, with the help of Fiji, Lem, Joe and Creek, venture out of the safety of Midnight to a roadside bar to stop the supernatural killer. Meanwhile, Bobo must confront the dangerous bikers who threaten to expose his past. While carrying out a hit, Olivia discovers an unlikely link to her father.|
|Unearthed||August 21, 2017||Brynn Malone / Milan Cheylov||5|
|Manfred's growing relationship with Creek is threatened when his con-artist past finally catches up with him and the mysterious Hightower finds him. Olivia agrees to help Manfred, but when she and Creek learn the surprising truth about what Manfred is running from, they realize Manfred is not the man Creek thought he was. Meanwhile, Bobo's budding romance with Fiji takes a surprising turn that puts her in danger.|
|Blinded by the Light||August 28, 2017||Mark H. Kruger / Nick Gomez||6|
|When a local girl goes missing, the Midnighters try to find her before law enforcement descends into town. Manfred and Creek discover Aubrey's murder was not an isolated incident -- someone or something is killing young women in Midnight. In the race to find the missing girl, Bobo resolves to get justice for Aubrey. Lem and Olivia join the hunt, not knowing if the killer is human or supernatural. Complicating matters, Fiji is haunted by a demonic entity and seeks answers from the Rev while Joe struggles to maintain the secret that protects his family.|
|Angel Heart||September 4, 2017||Larry Caldwell & Liz Sagal / Mairzee Almas||7|
|A bounty hunter from Joe's past arrives in Midnight to punish him for leaving the angelic fold. Manfred takes charge with a plan to lead Fiji, Olivia, Bobo and Lem in an effort to stop this dangerous, nearly immortal foe from killing Joe and Chuy, as well as destroying Midnight. Meanwhile, Creek struggles to recover from her family tragedy. Elsewhere, the Rev refuses to compromise the safety of his neighbors and it costs him dearly.|
|Last Temptation of Midnight||September 11, 2017||Monica Owusu-Breen / Kevin Tancharoen||8|
|A faceless supernatural makes a pilgrimage to Midnight to usher in the arrival of a demon from the veil to Hell - the same demon that has been plaguing Fiji. Meanwhile, the Midnighters struggle to fight the effects of the veil to Hell opening in their town, especially Lem and the Rev, whose hunger increases to dangerous levels. Olivia and Bobo make plans of their own to protect the town. Elsewhere, Creek struggles in the face of great loss as Manfred confronts his constant self-medicating.|
|Riders On The Storm||September 13, 2017||Al Septien & Turi Meyer / Greg Beeman||9|
|An apocalyptic sandstorm engulfs Midnight concealing wraith-like demonic spirits heralding the arrival of a demon from Hell. Fiji knows this demon wants her and Bobo vows to protect her, while wondering why the demon has targeted Fiji and no one else. Manfred, Joe and the Rev dig for answers from the past, but when the storm gets too dangerous, Manfred leads the Midnighters to an unlikely hiding spot outside of town. Olivia confronts Lem about their relationship, and Creek helps Manfred when he needs it most.|
|The Virgin Sacrifice||September 18, 2017||Monica Owusu-Breen / David Solomon||10|
|With Hell literally about to erupt onto Witch Light Road, and Fiji about to be claimed by the demon who has been tormenting her, Manfred leads the Midnighters to take back their home from the evil forces that occupy it. As Bobo turns his attention to saving Fiji, Olivia and Creek confront the wraiths. Manfred focuses on killing the demon and closing the veil with the help of Lem, Joe, and the Rev. Manfred takes a desperate gamble and risks his life by asking for help from an unlikely source.|
- The production has employed over 450 local crew members and approximately 1,800 local background talent.
- Season one of the series is being filmed throughout several locations in New Mexico.
- As of January 18th, 2017, they've begun to prep for the season finale episode.
- As of February 3rd, Midnight's season one filming has concluded. Monica posted this thank you one her Instagram: "What a long, strange trip it's been. Love everyone who made season one so freaking awesome. My eternal gratitude and respect and hope to see you for season 2."
- On January 20th, Chris Hale (Instagram) was awarded a VIP set visit to Midnight, Texas for his donation to the One Pulse Foundation.
- Eden Douglas' kind words to the cast and crew: "Thank you Karen Kuehn Photography for giving me this perfect tribute photo to honor the beautiful actors and spirits I've had the pleasure of meeting and observing in the first stellar season of #MidnightTexas. Thank you for showing me kindness and generosity, @pmensahonline, focus, @francoisarnaud, beauty, @jasonleelewis, strength, @dylanthebruce, style, @ariellekebbel , grace, @parisafitzhenley, professionalism, @saraheramos, joy,@yuluminati, wonder, @johnpaul_howard, courage, @bernadosaracino and the power of the written word @monicaowusubreen, @alseptien1 and @turimeyer. To the Executive Producers, Directors, AD's and vast crew members too numerous to mention, but know that I know them, one and all, by name, THANKYOU for the masterclasses each and every day I was blessed to be on set. Here's to multiple seasons and wicked success !!! / @nbcmidnighttexas"
- Monica Owusu-Breen (Writer/EP) and cast member, Arielle Kebbel (Olivia Charity), are doing a Q&A session along with a special screening of the pilot episode.
- Midnight, Texas was at San Diego Comic Con from Thursday, July 20th through Sunday, July 23rd.
- Want to win the Ultimate Midnight, Texas Comic Con Experience? Check out #MidnightTexasSDCCSweepstakes and for rules, visit MTCCSweeps.
- Universal TV- and David Janollari Entertainment-produced drama will be showing up for a panel on Saturday, July 22nd from 4:00-5:15 p.m. in room 6BCF.
- Excutive producers Monica Owusu-Breen and David Janollari as well as the major cast will attend: François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Jason Lewis, Peter Mensah, Sarah Ramos and Yul Vazquez.
- Best-selling author, Charlaine Harris, will hold a special book-signing of Midnight Crossroads, the book that inspired the television series. The book signing will be held on Friday, July 21 from 5:45-7:00 p.m. at the Gas & Go pop-up station adjacent to the Tin Fish Gaslamp restaurant.
- Comic-Con guests and fans will immerse themselves in the dark, thrilling world of "Midnight, Texas" via an unforgettable 4D experience, i.e. travel through the town's iconic locations including: the Pawn Shop, Fiji's house, Tattoo Parlor, Olivia's Armory, and a pet cemetery.
- Season One showrunner, Monica Owusu-Breen, has stated that the first season takes inspiration from the first and third books of the "Midnight, Texas" trilogy. "In terms of the story of Season [one] - our plot - this season is a combination of the first and third books in the trilogy, Midnight Crossroads and Nightshift. There are moments, relationships, and villains taken from those two books".
Cast Interview NotesEdit
- The Cast discuss their Characters (10/20/16)
- Peter Mensah: I play Lemuel Bridger who is a vampire. I'm not sure how else to describe what he does.
- Arielle Kebbel: I play Olivia Charity. She's an assassin and she's incredibly dangerous. She has a really dark past, like most people in Midnight. Throughout the series, we will learn her backstory, how she came to be a hitwoman and why it's important to her to protect the town of Midnight. There is also a really odd and sweet relationship between her and Lemuel and they feed off each other in more ways than one. As the series goes on, I think that's going to be a sweet relationship to explore.
- Dylan Bruce: I play Bobo Winthrop who is the proprietor of the local pawnshop, which has been in Midnight for many years and sells a lot of very odd items full of history. Olivia lives upstairs and Lemuel lives beneath the store. Also, Bobo's best friend is Fiji.
- Parisa Fitz-Henley: I play Fiji Cavanaugh who is a witch. She runs a little shop in the town with articles relating to witchcraft and Wicca with crystals and other beautiful things. I like to think of Fiji as a unifier and a protector of her friends who have become her adopted family. A big challenge for her is coming to terms with how powerful she is as a witch. She can do some cool stuff now, but coming into her own power is going to be pretty explosive. Bobo and Fiji are best friends and I wish more. Well, Fiji wishes more but Parisa also thinks that would be cool. She's got some reasons for not pursuing Bobo though, which we will find out during the season.
- Sarah Ramos: I play Creek Lovell who is just a girl in town that's about to find out a lot of her secrets that her overprotective dad and brother have kept from her. She and Manfred hit it off right from the start and have a mutual crush, but they keep getting interrupted and there's no time to connect because there's too much danger in the town that they have to fight.
- Francois Arnaud: I play Manfred, the newcomer in Midnight. He is a psychic and a medium and a little bit of a crook. He's on the run from someone who wants to kill him and decides to hide in Midnight after his dead grandma's ghost advises him to.
- Jason Lewis describes his character, Joe the Angel (2/13/17)
- Elle: You've said that you get offe/red a lot of pretty boy roles — what was it about Joe, who is literally an angel, that appealed to you?
- Lewis: "Joe is not like a Hallmark angel — he's not some cherubic icon on the front of a greeting card. He's an immortal creature who has lived through a lot of different circumstances. I think one of the hardest fights in life is to move through your experiences and life's struggles and to hold on to a sense of hope and discovery. That struggle there, I found that pretty interesting."
- Sarah Ramos describes her character, Creek (Sarah about Creek in Midnight) (3/1/17)
- Blondiau: What do you like about the character you play in Midnight, Texas?
- Ramos: "Personally, it's really freeing and fun because I get to play for death situations in basically every episode. There's also a really fun romance part of it. Call it a guilty pleasure or not, but I'm a fan of Taylor Swift's music. I love getting wrapped up in how simple and insanely dramatic her love stories are, especially in her early country music. And the show has this small town, destined-to-be-together, heartbreak feel, and I definitely get to play that kind of romance. It's just fun. I feel like I'm in a Taylor Swift song; sometimes I'm like, "Guys aren't really like this in real life. This is fun to pretend!"
- Yahoo TV has put together an exclusive who's who gallery of the top townsfolk who will likely have to band together to tackle the potential perils headed their way — human or otherwise.
- Manfred Bernardo: Manfred (Francois Arnaud) is new in town, and he certainly didn't come for the good schools. A real-deal psychic who has often used his powers to pull cons and fleece folks of their hard-earned coin, he's now on the run from a scary someone he owes a lot to. He still communicates with his deceased gypsy grandma in the aforementioned vintage RV. In fact, she's the one who told him to hideout in Midnight. He quickly becomes wrapped up in the city's drama, including trying to help solve a murder, and falls a local girl. "He can't even be called a reluctant hero really," Owusu-Breen explains. "He is a scam artist who has no clear purpose and cares mostly about himself. He is plagued by apparitions of the dead and is vulnerable to being taken over by them for which he self-medicates all the time because that makes him sick. His power is also a curse. He isn't seeing happy spirits. He is a confused, lonely man who realizes his new neighbors are, surprise, a lot like him."
- Joe Strong: Unbeknownst to his neighbors, Joe (Jason Lewis, Sex and the City) has seen this whole "hell threatening to open up" sitch before. That's because he is angel, complete with retractable wings, who has been living among man for millennia. While he bides his time waiting for the arrival of the one who can lead an army to stop the apocalypse, which is of course foretold in a prophecy, he makes a living as a talented tattoo artist. Behind him in the photo is his masterpiece, which is basically his memory of the mayhem caused by the last hellgate opening. "That tableau is insane. We commissioned the painting and then worked with our creature designer to create some monsters to put in there that we might be seeing later in the season," Owusu-Breen says. "I wanted it to look like a hellscape, like a medieval portrait of of hell, and the artists delivered. No one would want that hanging in their house."
- Bobo Winthrop: Bobo (Dylan Bruce, Orphan Black) is Manfred's landlord and also runs the main street pawnshop, which is a very problematic place for the psychic to find himself given all the old meaningful trinkets that wind up there. The henley-wearing hunk believes his fiancé Aubrey has left him in the aftermath of a big fight. When she turns up during a town picnic, shot and left for dead in a river and surrounded by signs of possible devil worship, he becomes the prime suspect. Especially after its revealed that she was already married to a member of the white supremacist Sons Of Lucifer gang and might have had ulterior motives for getting close to Bobo.
- Olivia Charity: Nobody messes with Olivia (Arielle Kebbel, The Vampire Diaries). Sometimes this sarcastic badass assassin —and we mean that literally as in it's her occupation — fights in a bra and underwear just because she can. She also has a clandestine closet in her apartment with weapons to suit any occasion, including the monthly job she does for the reverend. She lives with a powerful vampire. But don't dare call her a fangbanger as their relationship is emotionally intense and symbiotically beneficial. "They are both powerful in their own way," Owusu-Breen explains. "She is definitely not a damsel in distress. We will learn more about how they became a couple and how she got into her line of work later in the season."
- Lemuel Bridger: Lem, as his friends call him, has been in Midnight longer than most of his neighbors. In fact, he knew Manfred's grandma back in the day, when she was still breathing, and his respect for her keeps his girl from offing Manfred. He's powerful, wise, safeguards his friends at all costs, and takes swift and deadly action against enemies. He works the night shift (naturally) at the pawnshop, which is bad news when the biker gang rolls into town and they aren't there for antiques. He and Olivia are deeply connected and committed and he helps her with her anger management issues. "I love all the characters for different reasons and I love telling his backstory," Owusu-Breen says. "He's not exactly what we've all come to expect from a vampire. I loved how in these books the bad guy is not always who you assume it would be."
- Rev. Emilio Sheehan: The reverend (Yul Vazquez, The Good Wife), who appears to take his clothing cues from Johnny Cash, is a quiet thinking man most often seen pouring over his Bible or taking meticulous care of the church's pet cemetery. It's as if he is performing some intense self-imposed penance, which likely has something to do with the fact that he disappears every time there's a full moon rising. Owusu-Breen teases, "The payoff is so much cooler than your run-of-the-mill werewolf. Shooting the episode where we find out what he is was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. I could have happily retired."
- Creek Lovell: An aspiring writer who dreams of leaving town but stays for the sake of her little brother Connor and her overprotective father Shawn, Creek (Sarah Ramos, Parenthood) pulls double duty at the Midnight diner and her family's gas station. She meets Manfred at the restaurant on his first night in town and immediately takes a liking to him. Seemingly the most normal girl in town, she eventually finds out her single dad is harboring a deep dark family secret. "It starts as a very innocent teenage crush sort of relationship, even though they aren't teenagers, but they develop a deeper connection by sharing their flaws with each other and by discovering each other's dark side," Arnaud tells Yahoo TV. "They also come together when they find common enemies to fight. They are both self-deprecating and reluctant to fall in love, but in spite of themselves, they do."
- Fiji Cavanaugh: Fiji (Parisa Fitz-Henley, Jessica Jones) is a witch, proprietor of The Inquiring Mind wiccan shop, and the town's unofficial welcome wagon. (She leaves cursed cookies for Manfred to confirm that he hasn't moved to Midnight for the wrong reasons. If they're eaten by someone who's harboring malicious secrets, he or she will get horribly ill.) Her magic mojo immediately comes in handy when Manfred realizes his house is overrun by angry ghosts and possibly an even darker, more dangerous force. She's also seriously infatuated with the spoken-for Bobo. She's a very vocal advocate of his innocence when the cops suspect he might be responsible for his bloated bae. Like any good enchantress, she has a feline friend, a sarcastic smacktalker named Mr. Snuggly. Like Olivia, she too has a secret stash in a pantry she probably doesn't want her friends to know about.
- Chuy Strong: Not much is known about Chuy (Bernardo Saracino, Sicario). He is Joe's husband and has been for centuries, according to Owusu-Breen, which I guess means you can assume he's immortal. Chuy lives in fear of the other Midnighters finding out what Joe is and admonishes his partner whenever Joe lets his guard down or takes his wings for a spin. We are guessing he is behind the claws side of the Strong Angel Tattoo and Nails business.
- SyFy Wire's Tara Bennett joins Charlaine Harris and series creators and executive producers Monica Owusu-Breen and David Janollari just days before the finale is filmed, back in January. (7-11-17)
- How does it feel sitting in the sets built around your imagination? Do you have a favorite?
- Charlaine Harris: Oh, I have enjoyed all of the sets. But I love the [pawn] shop. It's not quite like the one in my head, but it's intriguing, mysterious and rich.
- Have you had any say in the specifics of how your books have been adapted into Midnight, Texas?
- Harris: I have no say in anything, and I've had to make my peace with that. But then I thought, "They don't tell me how to write the books, so it would be strange to tell them how to do what their profession is." I've always been told the writer was the least important person on the set, and that's true. [Laughs] But that means I can have fun without worrying about the outcome. I've calmed down a lot more. At first, I was hyperconscious of talking to people who do things I couldn't even imagine doing. I was really terrified, but once you to talk to all the people who do this creative stuff, you find out they worry about their mortgage and car insurance like anybody else. I got pretty Zen about it after that.
- Does sitting in a set like this change how you think about the world you created in your head?
- Harris: No, what's in my head is my product I created, and it stays the same. Every now and then I'll see a plot point and think, "I wish I thought of that." And I've gotten used to my work being populated more densely when it's on television, because books are a singular action throughout. TV has to fill with other incidentals. I've enjoyed a lot of it.
- Do you have any strong thoughts about how they cast characters versus how you see them in your mind's eye?
- Harris: Not anymore. I got disillusioned by that with True Blood. I always thought the King of the Fairies should have been played by David Bowie. He would have been so perfect. It was the only thing I wanted. But that didn't happen, and now he's gone. This may sound very un-enterprising and un-passionate, but I leave it to the experts. If the casting director thinks the actor can do the job, then they can do the job. I'm no arbiter.
- Do the different interpretations other creatives have regarding your work surprise you?
- Harris: Yes. Alan [Ball] is obviously a very political filmmaker. He made points I never thought about making, but I was totally in agreement with his philosophical and moral viewpoint. The spirit of this story is that unlikely people can bond together to create their own family and they're stronger as a unit, and that's my philosophical view of the books. I think that's going to come through in the [show].
- How did you dream up the Midnight trilogy?
- Harris: I don't write from dreams. [Laughs] When I came to the end of the Sookie series, I was casting around for what I wanted to write next. I didn't want to commit myself to a long series, because 13 years was a much longer commitment than I ever thought I would make. But I could write a trilogy. I was thinking of the summers I spent in Rock Springs, Texas, to help our grandmother during the rodeo. She owned a hotel, and it was always full in this tiny town, and most of the people in it were drunk. So my mother and her two sisters came to change the sheets and keep order. When I would stay, I would feel like the culture was so alien to me. The landscape was so different, and the people were a lot tougher than where I came from. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, and I used that location and that feeling.
- Are they sticking to your books to build the series?
- Harris:Yes, they are going to end up where I ended up, but very quickly. Whereas it took me three books, I think after this season, it will be completely their brainchild.
- Anything you are most excited to see them bring to life?
- Harris: I'm excited about seeing the last episode of [this season], because for me I pulled out all the stops. I kept thinking, how can I make this bigger, better, scarier? So I am very much looking forward to what they do with it.
- How challenging is it to produce material that is going to surprise people that have already read the books, so not everything is laid out?
- Monica Owusu-Breen: One of the great things about these books is that the characters are so rich that I actually felt there was so much more to tell with them. So it actually hasn't been challenging in that way. [Charlaine's] backstories are so detailed, and so specific, and the characters she created have such interesting relationships. It's interesting because it kind of added a little more plot to what was already there, as opposed to trying to change the characters themselves.
- Do you ever get anxious about her reaction to how you've done things?
- David Janollari: She hates us. [Laughs]
- Owusu-Breen: It's funny. The first time I met her, I was a little nervous. She's like, "Oh, I went through it on True Blood. Now I understand this is your baby." She just gave me permission not to be [nervous]. I gratefully accepted that permission.
- Janollari: And a lot of the core storylines we've kept in the pilot on through the series because we really like what she wrote. It got us excited about doing the show in the first place. We're in sync.
- How did the books help you break the season?
- Owusu-Breen: My honest opinion is if those characters aren't fun to watch, the concept will never sell a show for me. It might sell a movie, because it's an hour and a half, but a TV show needs characters I can sink my teeth into. I'm not great at the set piece without a character motivation. I remember taking film class in college and watching The French Connection. The teacher is like, "Why was that car chase good?" Everyone was like, "Because it's this and this." He's like, "No! Because he's obsessed! Because he's driven!" That's my mantra. Set pieces are only as good as the characters' motivations to be in them. Then again, I love a good explosion. I love a good fight sequences if you just earn it. So my characters have really good reasons to fight.
- Can you talk about how serialized the show is versus mystery-of-the-week?
- Owusu-Breen: Fringe did this thing called the Mythalone, which to me was my favorite thing in the world. Every episode has a beginning, middle and an end. But combined you tell a story. For me, it was really important to be able to come into an episode and be able to follow and have fun. But, at the same time, if you watch the whole season, it's better and it adds up to something. By the end, there's a story you've built throughout the season. I think we're trying to do both. The emotional stories where these characters are evolving. They are getting to know each other. They are falling in and out of love. There is a sort of serialized component to that to make those stories richer.
- We get a taste of something below the floorboards in the pilot. Can you talk about how that threat manifests and what you are building toward over the season?
- Janollari: What you start to learn is there is a big bad demon about to break through into Midnight. That's what is set up in the pilot when Manfred's bedroom opens up under the floor. Episode 2 furthers that. That's the big, long arc for the season. It's largely ripped from the books.