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‘Midnight’ hour: NM-filmed series about town of ‘outsiders’ premieres on NBC

“Midnight, Texas,” is about a mysterious safe haven for those who are different.

For months, viewers and fans have waited patiently for the drama to premiere on NBC.

From left, Parisa Fitz-Henley as Fiji, Kellee Stewart as Madonna, Sarah Ramos as Creek, François Arnaud as Manfred, Arielle Kebbel as Olivia, John Paul Howard as Connor Lovell and Bernardo Saracino as Chuy in a scene from the pilot episode of “Midnight, Texas.” (Courtesy of Cathy Kanavy/NBC)

The cast has a panel at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, and when the series pilot airs at 9 p.m. Monday, July 24, New Mexicans will see familiar scenes, because the series was filmed in Albuquerque, Belen, Bernalillo and Santa Fe.

The series is based on the New York Times best-selling book series by Charlaine Harris – author of the novels that inspired HBO’s hit “True Blood.”

It tells the story set in a remote Texas town where being normal is really quite strange and only outsiders fit in.

It’s home to a vampire, a witch, an angel and a hit woman.

That is, until the arrival of a powerful psychic and the murder of one of their own.

As the town’s residents fight off outside pressures from ever-suspicious cops, deadly biker gangs, and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form an unlikely but strong family.

“This is more than a vampire series,” says Jason Lewis, who plays Joe Strong. “This series has a lot of heart. The story is great, and the bond that the ‘Midnighters’ create is amazing. That’s what’s great about this show.”

Cast and crew filmed the 10-episode series from October through February. The production was housed at Albuquerque Studios.

According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production employed over 450 New Mexico crew members and about 1,800 New Mexico background talent workers.

Over the course of filming, the cast developed a bond akin to the one of the characters on the show.

François Arnaud as Manfred in a scene from “Midnight, Texas.” (Courtesy of NBC)

Along with Lewis, the series also stars François Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Peter Mensah, Sarah Ramos and Yule Vazquez.

Toward the end of filming, the cast had a consensus of being captivated by New Mexico.

Yul Vázquez stars in “Midnight, Texas” as the Rev. Sheehan. (Courtesy of Cathy Kanavy/NBC)

“Those sunsets,” Kebbel says. “They are some of the most beautiful and magical things I’ve witnessed.”

Lewis says he was also impressed by the cuisine in Albuquerque.

“We went a lot to Los Poblanos (Historic Inn & Organic Farm),” Lewis says. “With the filming schedule, we were able to become New Mexicans and explore the area. We all lived here for months and were able to explore.”

Bruce plays Bobo Winthrop, one of the humans who live in Midnight.

“I think Bobo feels like he has to protect his friends,” Bruce says. “The bond that has been built is amazingly beautiful. All of the characters have different backgrounds, yet they have built this community of outsiders who are all welcome. It’s a beautiful story.”