There’s definitely something strange in this neighborhood.
For one, Midnight, Texas sits on a veil between the land of the living and hell, and that veil is unfortunately growing thinner by the day. That kind of spooky geography apparently attracts a certain kind of denizen not to mention creates some pretty unusual homeowner issues like unwanted squatting spirits or vigilant maintenance to keep a basement prison up to code and inescapable.
“Midnight is a very special town filled with peculiar people who don’t fit in or feel at home anywhere yet have found a home there. Now that home is being threatened and they are going to do everything in their power to protect that community,” says Monica Owusu-Breen, executive producer of NBC’s new summer show named after the titular fictional town and inspired by the book series by Charlaine Harris. (HBO’s
True Blood was also based on her novels.) “There’s something kind of old-fashioned about that in the best way. Like Little House On The Prairie, which I loved as a kid, but with the kind of supernatural twist that could only come from the imagination of Charlaine Harris.”
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. If, however, you prefer not to know anything about life in this creepy corner of the Lone Star State (which itself is played by Las Vegas, New Mexico) ahead of the July 24 premiere, skip the slideshow as there are spoilers.
Midnight, Texas premieres Monday, July 24 at 10 p.m. on NBC.
Meet the supernatural citizens of the Texas town at the center of the new NBC series, which is based on a trilogy by Charlaine Harris in front of psychic Manfred’s motorhome. In the show, Manfred summons his long-gone grandma’s soul for advice and companionship in that house on wheels. In real life, executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen has dreams of parking it at her house after the show concludes. “I want his RV in my front yard to be my office. My neighbors probably wouldn’t enjoy it, but I sure would.” (
From left: Dylan Bruce as Bobo, Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji, Peter Mensah as Lemuel, Arielle Kebbel as Olivia, Sarah Ramos as Creek, Francois Arnaud as Manfred, Yul Vazquez as Rev. Sheehan, Jason Lewis as Joe.) (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.”
(Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.” (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.” (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.”
(Peter Mensah as Lem. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.” (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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.” (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
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. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)