Upfronts: ‘Moonlight’ dims at CBS

MoonlightmickFrosh CBS drama “Moonlight” may be facing “Jericho” syndrome. The vampire drama starring Alex O’Loughlin has its rabid fans, but not quite enough of them to make it a slam-dunk pickup for season two.

The Warner Bros. TV drama seemed to be about 50-50 for a renewal during the weekend, but those odds are getting longer, insiders say. CBS is high on a bunch of its drama pilots this year (no surprise there) and thus, there may not be room on the Eye’s sked for more “Moonlight” next season.

Speculation is that “The Unit,” another bubble drama that is expected to secure a renewal, may move into “Moonlight’s” Friday 9 p.m. berth in the fall.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 54

Leave a Reply

54 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life. A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

  2. hihi says:

    cbs should read this…..they’ll be surprised ;)

  3. Janice says:

    There were more things going on behind the scenes than budgets, or changes of show runners, which you might not be aware of. For instance, a non-profit group PTC (Parents Television Council) had been writing multitudes of letters to CBS boycotting the network, secondly this same group also wrote letters in mass mailings on a weekly basis to FCC, and every company that advertised their product (Ford, Nissan, Dannon, JC Penney, Macy’s, etc.) boycotting their products until the advertisers pulled away the dollars saying no one in the organization would purchase or support the products.
    Also, the Nielsen ratings were incorrect in their numbers, therefore CBS had to designate a phone line for demographics to a voice mail box, though they could never keep it open long enough to pull out all of the messages. Another thing is Warner Bros. approached CBS saying they would put in more money to the budget if CBS did. CBS refused, because of this non-profit council.
    I understand the need to monitor the viewing of television for our children, but by law the networks have to post the age groups for the categories of a show TV-14 was “Moonlight’s” rating. CBS had been losing percentages in ratings since the post-writer’s strike, but they were still number one of the most viewed station, but we can honestly say every network was affected by the writers strike.
    Since PTC and other companies like this has a great deal of power, and they repeatedly do this with every network, creating chaos, unemployment, and loss of dollars for every company involved that advertises their commercials during a show, not to mention forcing advertisers to withdraw their advertising dollars to the networks that air shows they don’t agree with. One pharmaceutical company was forced to downsize by 700 people, by this non-profit organization making sure their products are not supported.
    There are parental controls on televisions to block children of a certain age group from viewing. Also, they write the FCC continuously as well. Why isn’t anyone investigating them or associated groups?
    There is more violence, obscene language, sexual content, and gangs in schools for every age group. When a ten year old walked into a school with a handgun. Girls are getting impregnated at younger ages all the time. This group should be more involved with their children’s education, and make unscheduled stops in the schools, instead of sitting at home every day and monitor shows at different times of the day.
    A recession is not only because of the war, it contributes, but an organization such as this continually affects other people’s lives, and they continue to do it, get away with it, and add to the recession, because unemployed people cannot make rent/mortgage payments, put food on the table, or barely make their payments on the electric bills.
    I am deeply saddened that CBS dropped “Moonlight,” but living in what is supposed to be a democratic society, not a militant dictatorship, or using terroristic tactics telling us as a people, what we are allowed to watch and view, as well as the networks, and advertisers. This is wrong, and no one should have that power over us.
    Everything starts at home and it is the parent’s responsibility of what their children are allowed to watch, read, and view, not the teachers. Is this group next going to start the burning of books?
    I’m proud to say I am a fan of “Moonlight,” but I also view other shows as well. They are worse than the Internal Revenue Service, and when people get a letter from the IRS, it strikes absolute terror. Well this organization seems to do the very same thing, except they are accomplishing much more.
    The majority of shows the PTC endorses are game shows, not much else. Here I was born and raised as an American, where I thought I had freedom, and we followed the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.
    I’m not saying this only because I want my show back, but when do we as a people, put terror tactics behind us? Check them out, and check with your sources. I definitely oppose an organization that purposely puts people out of work, causing financial distress, and contributing to the recession and the decline of the economy. Also, I will not allow anyone censoring what I view or my children. That is my responsibility, not theirs. They are supposed to put their thoughts on a board to inform not cause heartache for so many people. I wonder how they would feel if the tables were turned on them?
    Thanks for listening, and please investigate. I’m not making accusations, I’m being honest and forthright.
    Janice

  4. Kathy Weidner says:

    You know for me, it happens on CBS more than any other network. I find a show I like, they don’t give it a chance, and then it gets canceled. This one really breaks my heart though. Moonlight was the 1st show in a long time that I was really excited about watching. Friday night viewing for me became an event. Now that yet another show I like has been canceled, I’ve decided to show the same consideration to CBS that it has shown Moonlight, I’m not giving CBS a 2nd chance either. I’ve been disappointed by them for the last time. Why would I try another show on their network, it will just get canceled too. I’m not only excercising my right to comment, I’m excercising my right to flip the channel. I just hope another network picks up Moonlight and mops the floor up with CBS when the ratings come in.

  5. Karen Walton says:

    Well CBS, you made the biggest mistake of the year . . . not enough fans? Hmm . . .well, you just lost another when you canceled Moonlight this week.

  6. Julie Satzik says:

    I feel a bit awkward. I don’t usually write in about TV shows and I am a bit concerned I may sound a bit geeky but here goes. I am among those that can’t believe Moonlight has been cancelled. I made sure I was home for every episode and still taped it just in case I was called away and might have missed something. I have also gone to amazon.com to sign up for a notice when the Moonlight season comes out on DVDs (strangely, this service is available for Moonlight but not for other CBS shows that are not cancelled like Numb3rs 4th season). The show won it’s time slot, it won the people’s choice award, and its male lead is everywhere publicity-wise. It has everyhing: romance, angst, mystery, comedy, a hero with a flaw (a must for any classical story). I hoped the bad guy would get it in the end; that the girl would get the guy, at lest in the end; that Joseph would drop one of his snarky comments; that Mick would be the gentleman that most women still dream of in this age where manners are considered obsolete; I enjoyed escaping for an hour. Some may say it’s not realistic or it’s too far fetched. Well that is what I am looking for after a hard week. It’s fiction. It worked for Beauty and the Beast several years ago. Women were all over it. I can’t speak for men(perhaps they watch for the fights and Beth), but women love the romance; the promise of a soul mate type of love.
    If it had received proper publicity early on and had not been preempted on several occassions, I have no doubt the ratings would have been higher. On Fridays, the only CBS I watched was Numb3rs. I would throw a DVD in until Numb3rs came on it I got home before 9 pm (Numb3rs air time in Chicago). I actually watched the complete CBS lineup when Moonlight started. I Ghost Whisperer on as background noise while I ate or worked around the house so I could hear the start of Moonlight. And to replace it with The Unit of all things. I usually like military shows but I could barely make it through the first few episodes and the last season, with the team on the lam and their wives living on the base not getting harrassed about their husbands, PLEASE. Talk about lame. I find vampires more belieavable.
    Thank you for the chance to voice my opinion.

  7. Michelle Todd says:

    I am so surprised by CBS’s Decision to cancel moonlight. I think the writer’s strike hurt the momentum of Moonlight building its audience, and that given the passion of the audience it does have, CBS would be wise to give it the proper chance it deserves. Honestly, it is the only show on television that I make sure I tune in to see. My only hope is that if CBS is too blind to see what a mistake it is making, than another network will have the brains to grab it up.

  8. Casey says:

    Wow, I will be so upset if they take away Moonlight. I’ve never been a fan much of CBS shows (other than Ghost Wisperer) so I think if they make a extremely dumb choice as this, I will just have to not watch CBS at all anymore. It won’t be worth it…

  9. VeeMaxx says:

    Welcome to the world of Jericho, Moonlight fans! CBS only cares about money, not quality. The fandoms must work together to have our voices heard. we want QUALITY programming!!

  10. Helen says:

    Moonlight is tracking the same demo numbers as Jericho, 1.9/ 2.2.
    Old people are watching a show that is supposed to be geared towards hot young sexy people, since Moonlight is supposed to be about hot young sexy people.
    It is very easy to win your time slot when you basically have no competition. Friday night is a dead zone, put Moonlight up against some real competition and what would happen? Moonlight’s numbers are not growing.
    Worst yet, the young people who are watching GW tune out after the show is over and tune back for Numbers.
    CBS does not own Moonlight, unlike GW and Numbers so they don’t have a stake (pardon the pun) in the show, very easy for them to cancel it.
    For all the buzz a few fans are creating on the internet it is not translating into eyeballs. The peanut campaign has taught CBS that just because a few fans make some noise, it won’t guarantee viewership.

  11. jwsmeemaw says:

    This is unbelieveable! Ghost Whisperer had low numbers to start with, and look where it went when given a chance..just to mention one. The strike did not do Moonlight any favors, either. It is a great show, and derserves a second chance. We aren’t talking Jericho here..Moonlight is in a class by itself. Come on CBS an WB..don’t let Moonlight be a victim of infighting over money! Give it a chance..those new shows sound lame, and other than a handful of exsisting shows, not much else the Eye has to offer is worth even paying the sattelite bill!

  12. Laura M. says:

    Well, this is certainly a downer after all our hopes and expectations! I know Moonlight has hit a few bumps along the way, but it has really come into it’s own. Alex O’Loughlin and Jason Dohring in particular have contributed, separately or together, most of the show’s most memorable (and best-acted) scenes. If CBS does not renew Moonlight, they will be making a big mistake.

  13. Medmom says:

    I guess shock is the best word to use to describe me feelings right now. I am amazed that a show such as Moonlight, something missing from network television for a long time, could be taken off the air. That is a real shame, especially since the show was never really promoted well by CBS and could have done well if it had gotten that much needed publicity. I think the fans did much of the publicity for CBS. If CBS has done the unthinkable and cancelled Moonlight, I only hope that some other sensible cable network picks it up and promotes it only to become a raging hit. Seriously disappointed if CBS makes this decision.

  14. poly says:

    I really can’t believe what i’m reading right now. How can they do this to us?! I’m not speaking only for me,I’m doing it for lots of people out there.I live in chile and it’s really hard for us to watch moonlight, most of all because of the hour where it’s transmited (at 12 at night on wensdays ) and people haver to wake uo early the next day but we watch it anyways…this show has drama, accion, romance..it has it all, and cancelling it, it would be really a lack of respect for us… and I think that if they have some intelligence left there, they shouldn’t cancel it…they can’t cancel moonlight.

  15. LittleMissAddicted says:

    Cancelling Moonlight would be a huge mistake for CBS in so many ways. Keeping the show would be excellent for the network, not to mention the fact that rabid fans would be eternally thankful. :D

  16. Jennifer Nigro says:

    Please don’t cancel my most beloved show. I have arranged my entire work schedule just so I wouldn’t miss a single episode. I love this show. It is my crack!!!!! Please we need to keep it on air!

  17. Jennifer Nigro says:

    Please don’t cancel my most beloved show. I have arranged my entire work schedule just so I wouldn’t miss a single episode. I love this show. It is my crack!!!!! Please we need to keep it on air!

  18. Christy says:

    Is CBS on CRACK!?! Moonlight is the best show they’ve EVER had and they are treating it like garbage. What the hell else is new? Could I ever expect something good and decent to last long here?
    Newp.
    I can tell you right now, CBS will never grace my TV screen again if Moonlight is not renewed. It’s the only show I watch on CBS…and if it goes..I’m gone.

  19. Moonlily says:

    I have always been extremely selective in what I watch on TV, and when I find something I love (which is becoming rarer all the time), I’m loyal. Moonlight is just such a show. I don’t think I’ve ever been so captivated by a TV show before and I’m nearly 50 years old! Certainly have never part of a fanbase before! I think dropping a quality show like Moonlight would be an enormous mistake. Change the day or time slot if necessary but please don’t let it disappear forever.

  20. Julie Knauss says:

    If CBS chooses to cancel Moonlight then I choose to no longer watch CBS. Why would any network cancel a show that wins the People’s Choice for Best New Show? Perhaps CBS doesn’t understand what “People’s Choice” means? The people, viewers, choose Moonlight. The viewers voted for Moonlight. The viewers want to continue to see Moonlight on a weekly basis during the TV season. The viewers would appreciate CBS’s renewal of Moonlight for a second season.

  21. Moonlight Fan says:

    This is just amazing. HEY CBS!!! REMEMBER WHO WON THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD for best new show??? IT was MOONLIGHT, not the Unit or any other show. Maybe the reason why you have to keep re-vamping your schedule is because you don’t listen to the people! I had just about given up on TV period until Moonlight came along. This may be the final nail in the coffin.

  22. Amanda says:

    They cannot cancel moonlight, that show is one of the only shows I make sure not to miss, if they cancel the I will never watch anything else that they put on CBS I don’t know if we could find to do like the fans of Jericho did but I’m sure the fans of Moonlight can find something if they are going to be dumb enough to cancel the show.

  23. Lindyrb says:

    I certainly hope this reporter is wrong….very, very wrong. At my house, we’ve actually rearranged our Friday evenings to ensure we’re home from dinner, work or shopping in time to catch Moonlight. We’ve even started watching Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs, which we weren’t watching before. We DVR Moonlight, then often watch it again during the week.
    This is a well written, well acted drama that captures the imagination. I certainly hope CBS will have the foresight to give it time to continue to develop and grow. It’s definitely gathered a very loyal following very quickly, given the poor time slot and the chaos surrounding the writers’ strike.
    Please give this show a Season Two!

  24. Rangerette says:

    Dear Moonlight fans, Yes I would agree Moonlight was a very good show but then again so was Jericho and look where it is at. CBS is in the business of making money. They don’t care about quality tv or if anyone likes what they put on as long as they make money. If the fans of these shows what to make any kind of difference in how we are counted or in what we are given to watch I agree we are going to have to start working together to get it done!!! If we get the fandoms of 2 or 3 of these shows together making some noise than I think we have a much better chance of being heard!!!

  25. evah says:

    I won’t believe it until I read it officially that it is cancelled..
    MOONLIGHT is a winner in it’s Friday night time slot.
    CBS knows it. We know it.
    I’ts not broken…so why try to fix it with a series such as “The Unit”
    No way. No How.
    CBS, are you listening? One more viewer will be lost to you on Fridays.
    If Moonlight goes.. so goes me.

  26. Emily says:

    CBS.CANNOT.BE.SERIOUS.
    Moonlight is a GOOD show. Nothing will do as well with the young demo in that slot on FRIDAY night.
    COME ON CBS! You know the fans want it.

  27. Hayworth Honey says:

    Cancelling “Moonlight” would be a huge mistake on CBS’ part. Give it the second season “Moonlight” and its fans deserve. If next year is in fact “Smallville’s” last season, how about running it before or after “Supernatural”? That would be a great fit.

  28. MARILOUISE K says:

    What kind of rationale is it when the People’s Choice(yes I said PEOPLE’S) winner is facing cancelation? I must not be the only one watching. Does this mean that the networks dont care what the people want?

  29. cg says:

    I was under the impression that Moonlight won it’s timeslot on Fridays. That should be reason enough for CBS to keep the show going. If thats not enough, look to all the prior comments from the rabid fans-I include myself among them!

  30. N2N2 says:

    Moonlight fans, Welcome to the Jericho Club! We tried to tell you – to tell all fandoms. The fight to save Jericho is about the fight to save quality TV.
    CBS is in the business of selling advertising space – not quality TV shows. The show is just the vehicle to get advertisers to shell out the biggest bucks per second of time. So the formula is how much does it cost to produce a drama versus how much does CBS collect from advertisers per second during that time slot = return on investment. Reality TV is cheap to make which raises the return on investment and thereby increases the dividends to the shareholders and that is what they are in business to do. They don’t care if they entertain you; they don’t care if you don’t watch because you don’t have a Neilsen box and because you don’t they won’t even KNOW you are not watching.
    I watched Moonlight too but I have learned to not care any more. As I don’t count, I’ll watch it online when I choose too. And the day is fast approaching that my new TV will become a great big computer monitor . . . like next month. NetFlix is about to increase their business big time! And while I have always been a reader, I am now a BIG-have-lots-of-time-to-read reader.
    Unless and until all fandoms unite and fight for each other, TV dramas are dead.

  31. jd says:

    WOW, my son and I both enjoy Moonlight. I have watched The Unit but he has no interest. The Unit seems an odd show to put on Friday. It costs a lot and Friday is not exactly a bumper night for TV viewing.
    Moonlight was very enjoyable and a little different. I was looking forward to and still hope to see a second season. The Unit is not what I look for on a Friday evening before unwinding. Networks seem to like instant success or nothing. I will be very disappointed in CBS if drops Moonlight.

  32. Mimi says:

    Moonlight is my guilty pleasure. I really enjoy watching and haven’t missed a show. Great TV? Maybe not, but then, not much is these days. At least it’s different… entertaining, with a good cast.
    I refuse to watch reality garbage and quiz shows. That doesn’t leave much that I care about on the tube, though I do watch cable shows… but as for network TV, it’s mostly just awful.
    Alex is such a charismatic hunk! I’d miss those striking eyes.

  33. Elia says:

    That is the stupidest picture to represent MOONLIGHT. And CBS authorized that picture, then they are even more stupid to cancel the show. What show are they going to put in its place? A medical show about doctors in love? A show about pretty lawyers fighting horrible crimes? What other unoriginal show can CBS put on? MOONLIGHT is an original, sexy, mysterious show. But what do I know?

  34. lunarlover says:

    i cannot believe after all of the efforts by loyal fans and even giving us hope for a second season; CBS is going to pull the rug out from under us at the last second. I was never much of a tv watcher anyway but this will put an end to ever watching anything again. CBS has no clue to what the viewer really wants. They just want to play it safe and force feed the same old crap.

  35. anonymous says:

    you people are funny. if the show was a huge hit meaning CBS would lose A LOT of viewers, wouldn’t it be doing better in the ratings and thus be renewed? jericho fans take note the show performed worse in season 2 and Nina Tasler clearly made a point if the show was to succeed it would have to do better then season 1. it didn’t and now another show is in danger. if more people watched, then it wouldn’t be in danger.

  36. nat says:

    Moonlight HAS to get picked up!!!!!
    It is such a brilliant show with great actors CBS is deaf dunb and blind if they let this show go.
    Come on CBS RENEW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Karen Emrey says:

    CBS,
    If you are this dumb to cancel Moonlight – then I will stop watching the few shows I watch on CBS now and I will let the sponsors know that I am not buying their products. Your entire line up would be better if you dropped the reality and game shows – that would help stop the dumming down of America. All the reality shows do is to encourage everyday people to be more rude and nasty with everyone they encounter. CBS could attract more dedicated viewers by keeping the quality shows, Moonlight, and putting on shows that inform and educate the public. The informational shows do not have to be dull. Take a look at the old Digging for the Truth on History, and the new Expeditions into the Unknown with Josh Bernstein on Discovery. Josh Bernstein is a captivating host who neither dumbs down a show nor goes over everyone’s heads. He had a HUGE following on History, the biggest show they ever had! When Josh went to Discovery, the new History host bombed and they didn’t even finish showing the taped shows. History listened to its viewers when they yelled about the new host and they lost all the viewers. Viewers will walk and talk. All the RABID viewers will boycott CBS and its sponsors, do you really want to risk that? In this economy everyone is carefully choosing what they purchase, being angry with CBS sponsors will drive them to other companies’ products.

  38. Quentin says:

    Moonlight was a mediocre show at best. That lead couldn’t act his way out of a bag much less affect a consistently convincing American accent. Good riddance

  39. Lisa says:

    Moonlight is the only show I really watch on CBS, but I was starting to stay watching a little later and give Numb3rs a shot and I was definitely going to check it out next year. Out of the new pilot pick ups, ‘The X List’ was the only one that caught my interest, so CBS wouldn’t be drawing me in with a slew of great new shows. Moonlight and The X List were what I wanted to watch on CBS, but I was willing to give some other shows a chance. If CBS wants to keep us 18-35 yr old viewers, they need to keep shows like Moonlight.

  40. Becca says:

    While the article does not exactly exude confidence to the fate of our beloved Moonlight, I’m sure there are cable channels that are salivating over the prospect of getting ML on their stations. Breathe in, breathe out

  41. Suzanne says:

    Well, you can add me to the list of folks who are done with CBS is they cancel Moonlight. I love this show and just cannot understand how CBS could not see it’s potential.

  42. Kublai says:

    I can’t believe they gave Moonlight a full season. That show is an awful, third-rate knockoff of Forever Knight and Angel. I watched the first few episodes and couldn’t believe something that campy and half-witted was actually made.
    “Moonlight is the BEST show on CBS”
    Actually that may be true. But that only speaks to the generally abysmal quality of shows on CBS. I’m always stunned every time I see a CSI, et al, at just how mind-numbingly awful those shows are.
    But still, it’s amazing that no matter how patently bad a show is, there’s always a whole bunch of vocal internet fans who proclaim it to be the best thing ever.

  43. ferger1 says:

    CBS would be crazy to drop a quality show like Moonlight… If they do I will never watch another show on CBS again. I don’t care what is! If they think I am kidding… they sure will find out. No CSI.. No Ghost Whisperer, there is nothing that will bring me back.
    It’s Moonlight or nothing!!!

  44. dave c says:

    this show cant be too expensive, surely at least a mid-season pich up

  45. Sue says:

    If CBS doesn’t give a show with the potential that Moonlight has a second chance at a normal season, then I am done watching CBS.
    No drama, no screaming, just done. Why waste my time supporting a network that has such odd taste. I get that the ratings weren’t great but it was an odd year to say the least. The one thing the writer’s strike taught me was there are a lot of ways to spend my time. I have limited my tv viewing since the strike was over. This will seal the deal for me.

  46. Peachy says:

    Not surprising. Moonlight didn’t get great ratings.

  47. dejaVUalloveragain says:

    hey Moonlight fans….welcome to JERICHO post traumatic stress syndrome…now you know how it feels…..

  48. Dreamer says:

    I hope this isn’t true :(
    Hopefully CBS will renew this show, do they not see what the possibilities are for Moonlight if given the chance?
    Please renew CBS….Please!!!!!!

  49. Mona says:

    I just have to say something…CBS what is going on???? Moonlight is a great show…please give it a chance…and if you decide to cancel the show…I hope it goes to Cable.or another network picks it up…I am not a happy camper..please give Moonlight the greenlight for a 2nd season. Thanks…

More TV News from Variety

Loading