Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
In 2007, before Twilight fever had spread across the country and turned vampires into the emo icons for the young adult crowd, this series bowed on CBS in the Friday night hour following that network’s popular supernatural series Ghost Whisperer. It focused on a vampire named Mick St. John who chooses not to feed on the innocent and who works as a private investigator. He also keeps a close eye on the human woman Beth Turner whom he saved as a child and who has grown up to work as a police detective. The idea for this series started as a novel by creator Trevor Munson (later published as Angel of Vengeance) and then was adapted into a screenplay (he allegedly wanted Bruce Willis to play the lead). But an executive at CBS convinced Munson to turn the script into a TV series pilot and Beauty and the Beast creator Ron Koslow was brought in to assist. When the series debuted, it pulled decent ratings, but those began to slip off and it started to lose some of the audience from its Ghost Whisperer lead-in. Then the Writer’s Strike hit and this show, like most other scripted series, disappeared for several months during the 2007-08 season. But Moonlight was one of the few to get a handful of episodes tacked on after the strike ended. When it returned, though, its numbers dipped further and CBS elected not to bring it back for a second season. But the show had developed a loyal and vocal fanbase, and they organized blood drives across the country to support it and convince CBS to give it a second chance. That was not sufficient to change the decision of the network executives, and Moonlight remained cancelled. However, the network would then continue to struggle with the 9 PM hour on Fridays in the seasons to come, slotting in other shows that drew even lower numbers than what Moonlight had seen. If CBS had kept the show around, it might have performed well enough in that hour paired with Ghost Whisperer that it could have survived several more seasons. But that network has long shown an aversion to genre shows and this one joined other casualties from that time such as Jericho and Eleventh Hour. Though series star Alex O’Loughlin would have greater success with CBS as the lead in their reboot of Hawaii Five-0. Moonlight has since been released on DVD, so those who missed it or want to revisit it can go back and enjoy this promising supernatural series cut down in its prime.
Aired: CBS, 2007-08, 1 Season Totaling 16 Episodes
Created By: Ron Koslow, Trevor Munson
Starring: Alex O’Loughlin, Sophia Myles, Jason Dohring
Buy the Moonlight DVD set and book from Amazon.com: