"Midnight Texas" Producers on Adapting from Novels and Inclusive Representation

Adapting a fan-favourite series from novel to live-action can pose a number of challenges. Midnight, Texas is based on a set of three novels from Charlaine Harris, who is best known to television viewers for being the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries which were adapted into the HBO series True Blood.

Monica Owusu-Breen was at the helm of developing Midnight, Texas into a television series and was drawn to the material for the characters themselves as well as the manner in which she related to the characters. "I fell in love with these characters, I fell in love with their relationships, I fell in love with their love stories. So that was super important. We took parts of the first book and the third book for the massive plot of the season. In terms of the individuals stories, Midnight, Texas, one of the beautiful things about it is it's a tiny little town and so it moves at a tiny town pace. When we adapted it for NBC, they asked if we could add incident. It was about adding more than subtracting. It was about keeping true the heart and the spirit of Midnight and its characters but adding more plot and incident."

"We both fell in love with the books immediately so we came at it from a place of fondness and admiration," adds producer Mark Hentemann. "You'll see throughout the course of the first ten episodes, there's so many things that are pulled from all three of the books and there's still a lot more left for a second season, a third season, and a fourth season but like in any adaptation, a writer needs to run with it and turn it into a living, three-dimensional show so a lot of it is also inventive."

Midnight, Texas not only combines a diverse group of supernatural types, from vampires, were-tigers, angels, psychics, and witches, the representation expands to more resonant social groups such as race, gender, and sexuality. Owusu-Breen shares how inclusivity is an essential message to the show's writing. "The heart of the show, the theme of the show, that a group of very diverse people who have different talents, who bring different things to bear, who are really different from each other but can come together to form a community that has each other's back in the face of adversaries, that to me felt so perfect and beautiful and representative of what I want to see on television."

"The tagline 'Only Outsiders Fit In' really resonated with us when [the] marketing team came up with that. We kind of feel like Midnighters ourselves in the real world,"says Hentemann.

Watch our full interview with Midnight, Texas producers Monica Owusu-Breen and Mark Hentemann here:


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