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Evil creators tease miracle-laden CBS series: 'We’re avoiding the exorcism of the week'

By Jacob Oller & Tara Bennett
Aasif Mandvi and Katja Herbers in Evil

A priest, a skeptic, and a contractor walk into a haunting. And the priest and contractor are the same guy. That's not a joke, that's the premise of CBS' upcoming Evil, the Mike Colter- and Katja Herbers-starring horror series from creators Robert and Michelle King. After scaring the pants off attendees of its first San Diego Comic-Con panel (during which it screened its pilot episode), the show held a conference at the TCAs that let fans into even more details about the upcoming odd couple spookfest.

Like that it won't always involve a possession. Teasing the show's second episode, the Kings explained that the more psychological-skewing show will explore many facets of the otherworldly. While expressing love for The Exorcist, Robert King said that "we’re avoiding the exorcism of the week."

"The second episode is about miracles," he said. "There’s a school where all the girls are laughing and it’s almost viral." That level of spooky ups and downs means that the episodes won't always be expected horror — in fact, the pair said that it wouldn't get much more gory than the series premiere.

While Michelle King noted that this was always planned to be a network show, the pair name-dropped Hannibal as the golden standard for network horror gruesomeness. That could come into play when fans find out whatever show villain Michael Emerson is hiding, since the conference teased his dark secret. "We wanted to avoid The X-Files certainty, so it’s a little more vague," Robert said of the episode's endings. No easy answers to be found here, which makes sense with the believer/skeptic dynamic at its core. "We’re trying to say it's not a binary thing. If there are miracles, why is God choosing winners or losers? Why would God ignore some prayers?"

The rest of the show's members have taken that openness to heart. Colter said some of his real life played into creating his character. "My mom says there is an angel looking over us," the actor said, "and I believe there are things we can’t see, or explain, and I love that." Aasif Mandvi, Colter's co-star, agreed. "I do have a belief there is more than what is explained," Mandvi said. "My character comes from a more religious family and shunned it for the world of science. Personally, I do have a belief that there are more things in heaven and earth." Some of these things will be found on social media, which will be a big part of the first season. Twitter has definitely made the world more evil, right?

Evil, in all its incarnations, premieres on Sept. 26.

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