For a sleepy little town in the middle of Texas, Midnight sure attracts some strange characters, and it's only going to get freakier in the second season of the NBC drama. Loosely based on Charlaine Harris' supernatural Midnight, Texas books, the eponymous series picks up where Season 1 left off with the formerly reluctant psychic, Manny Bernardo (Francois Arnaud), putting down roots in the town that's filled with witches, angels, vampires and even a talking cat (hello, Mr. Snuggly!).
We sat down with the new showrunners Nicole Snyder and Eric Charmelo to talk about how the fresh hotel proprietors are going to shake up the little hamlet, what romances are going to dominate the heart-strings, and the long-term plans for the series.
You both consulted on Midnight, Texas during the first season when Monica Owusu-Breen and David Janollari were showrunning the series. What did you learn from them that laid the groundwork for the new season?
Nicole Snyder: First off, I just want to say that Monica is a friend of ours. She is the best boss we have ever had next to EP David Schulner (Do No Harm). It was so wonderful working with her in Season 1 basically creating the world, the stories and the relationships. We were able to be in the writer's room breaking the season arc, and breaking more than half of the season with them. So, we felt very comfortable with the world and the characters. By the time we were asked to take over the show, it felt like we mostly knew what we were doing.
At the end of Season 1, new hotel ownership was teased. We know they're played by Nestor Carbonell and Jamie Ray Newman, who were on Bates Motel together. How did you grab the pair for this season?
Nicole: When Eric and I were coming up with Season 2, and our new characters, we were riffing on the character of Kai (Lucero). We used as a reference Richard Alpert's character from Lost saying he's kind of like that. And we said. "Oh, it would be great if Nestor would play Kai. Nestor is not going to play Kai. What if Nestor plays Kai?!" And then we reached out to him…
Eric Charmelo: We had a history with him from Ringer.
Nicole: He said "Yeah! Let's talk" We got on the phone and we just started pitching the character, the story, and the hotel. Eric and I kept waiting for him to hang up, but we never heard the dial tone. He just said "Keep going, keep going. Okay! Let's make this work. Let's do it."
Eric: It's crazy and it's fun. It's a wild ride this season. And I think he just liked the vibe of it.
Nicole: And, we told him he gets to walk on water.
Who wouldn't sign on for that? What about Jamie's pitch?
Nicole: We had never worked with Jamie before, but when she was brought up by our casting director, Sara Isaacson, we got so excited because we love her. We love her look. We love her talents. She came on board, and it's truly an embarrassment of riches this season. Jamie, Nestor, Josh Kelley; they're all so great. They're all so gorgeous and talented.
What's the dynamic we can look forward to with the couple?
Nicole: I think Jamie and Nestor having that previous relationship working as love interests on Bates, there was an instant rapport. It made them feel like a real married couple. They had this comfort. They had this banter. They are just really great together on screen.
Charlaine Harris' books are full of love triangles, so what can we expect in that arena this season?
Eric: I mean, the most combustible love triangle this season is between Joe (Jason Lewis), Chuy (Bernardo Saracino), and Walker (Josh Kelly). Walker is this gay demon hunter, and he awakens purpose in Joe. Now that Joe no longer has to hide being an angel, he essentially can live as an outed man. He was born and bred to hunt demons, and Walker awakens that need in him. And he essentially starts leading this double life where by day he is married to a half demon, and at night he's hunting demons with Walker. It's a very juicy storyline and it will climax in a very provocative, combustible way.
So, let's talk about Fiji. She went through a dramatic rite of passage finally doing the deed with Bobo (Dylan Bruce) last season. What does that mean for her now?
Nicole: For Fiji, it means better hair, better clothes, better sex. A lot of sex. (Laughs) But to answer it seriously, I think it's Fiji coming into her own emotionally, physically, as a witch, as a woman. She has more self-confidence this season. She has more of an excitement, of an empowerment about her life, and about her magic. Bobo is along for the ride. They have nonstop sex. They incorporate magic into their sex life. They call it the "levitating lovers in love." They have floating sex. She hits the ceiling. But, you've got to throw rocks at the characters. Not all the couples can stay happy and blissful for too long. Their sex magic actually has some dangerous results that affect their relationship.
Let's talk big picture. When you looked at building Season 2 over nine episodes, do you write it with a beginning, a middle and an end? Or, do you leave it open-ended in case you get another pick up?
Nicole: It's always important when you break a season of a TV show, that your ending is actually the start of the next season. We just broke the finale not that long ago, and we really spent a lot of time in our Act 6, saying 'What's that jumping off point? Where do we go from here? And, what can we tease? What can we get the viewers excited to come back for?' I don't think you ever think it will end, unless you get the cancellation notice. You have that hope, and ignite new stories, and get people excited.
Watch our talk with the cast at NYCC 2018:
Midnight, Texas returns for Season 2 on October 26 on NBC.