Soon, more than just podcast fans will be welcomed into Night Vale—the strange, desert town where dog parks should never be talked about, strange lights hover over the local Arby’s, and no one knows whether they should be more afraid of the man-eating librarians or street-sweeping days.
For years, the Fortean shenanigans of this surreal little town have been enjoyed by listeners who tune in to the dulcet tones of mysterious host, Cecil (played by Cecil Baldwin), the local radio broadcaster who always seems to know everything that is going on, no matter what. Now, thanks to FX, we’ll finally get to see this weird town come to life.
Gennifer Hutchison (who has worked on shows like Breaking Bad and The X-Files) is bringing the idea to television to the excitement of creators Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor, who are also executive producers. In addition to the TV show, Harper Perennial will be publishing additional script books for season three and four of the popular podcast. Seasons one and two, as well as The New York Times bestselling books Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours (both by Fink and Cranor), are available now.
While details are still scant, the show has a lot of directions it can go. The podcast follows the daily news of the small, desert town of Night Vale, narrated by the odd and sometimes unhinged, Cecil. However, news in Night Vale is not like news everywhere else. Between bake sales and community concert announcements, Cecil also reports on angels that help old ladies change their light bulbs, a mysterious woman who live in your house unseen (but still in the running for town mayor), and the beautiful scientist Carlos (played by Dylan Marron), who comes to study the strange town, and stays when he discovers instead, Cecil. That isn’t to say there isn’t already a strong narrative to pull from. Through the short news bulletins, Night Vale manages to weave a complicated tale of where this world comes from and who controls it.
Within the podcast format, the team has had a unique opportunity to play in a world both very familiar, and at the same time, completely unknown. Any story covered in the podcast has lots of room to breathe and be fleshed out, but as the novels show, there is plenty of room for new stories too.
Since podcasts have no visuals, fans have come up with all sorts of interpretations for Cecil, his boyfriend Carlos, and the many characters who populate this anomaly of a town. With Fink and Cranor so involved, we can be sure the diversity that appears in the podcast will make its way to the small screen. While we don’t know yet if this story will follow Cecil, his boyfriend Carlos, and their friends and companions, there’s no doubt that Night Vale (if handled well) could be the next big thing.
Haven't ever listened to the queer adventures of Night Vale? Start listening here!