'Midnight, Texas' Producers Talk Adapting Charlaine Harris Trilogy, Lifeline for Vampires on TV

"It's a little bit like her book on steroids," said executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen about the book's upcoming jump to NBC.
NBC

True Blood author Charlaine Harris is returning to the small screen. 

The forthcoming NBC series Midnight, Texas, set to premiere July 25, is an adaptation of the Harris trilogy of the same name.

Described as Twin Peaks meets True Blood, the series is set in a remote town where your neighbor could be a vampire, a witch, a werewolf or even an angel. Mystery, horror and romance combine to both enthrall and frighten any outsiders who decide to venture into this unusual place.

As for how much involvement the author had with the series, executive producer Monica Owusu-Breen said she and the author talked often about how to best adapt the books for TV. "She came to set, but she understands the novel had a very small-town pace to it, which is different than what a network requires," Owusu-Breen told reporters Monday at NBC's summer press day. "It's a little bit like her books on steroids."

Owusu-Breen was joined on Monday by executive producer David Janollari and cast members Jason Lewis, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Dylan Bruce, Arielle Kebbel, Yul Vazquez, Francois Arnaud, Sarah Ramos and Peter Mensah.  

One thing the group wanted to make clear: Vampire TV shows won't be going away anytime soon. Midnight, Texas fills the void left most recently by The Vampire Diaries, which recently wrapped its eight-season run on The CW. (Although spinoff The Originals just kicked off its fourth season.)

"It's great if vampires are here to stay," said Vampire Diaries alum Kebbel about the influx of vampires on television over the years. And this time around, the actress says, she won't be playing a vampire, but instead falling in love with one. "I loved being a part of Vampire Diaries, and I was grateful to be on this show and be a human who is in love with a vampire."

Owusu-Breen explained, "There's new imagined elements that Charlaine introduced. It gets to be a metaphor for things we struggle with. It allows us to play with really human emotions in a larger-than-life world."

And the cast says there hasn't been a vampire yet on television quite like Mensah's Lemuel. "We got the coolest vampire you've ever seen on the screen," said Lewis.  

However, Midnight, Texas is about much more than just vampires. "Vampires are one aspect of this mythology, [but] there are other parts. There are ghost stories, took, explained Arnaud.

One other character to watch out for on the show? A talking cat.

Joked Bruce, "We call him the Don Cheadle of the show. He's the scene-stealer." 

Midnight, Texas premieres July 25 on NBC. Watch the trailer below:

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