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May 17 2007

CBS to copy Angel? CBS has four new hourlongs and a new sitcom coming to its schedule this autumn. One of these shows are “Moonlight” about a vampire who makes his living as a private detective.

Hercules writes "“Moonlight,” from writer-producer Ron Koslow (CBS’ “Beauty and the Beast”), is about a vampire who makes his living as a private detective. No word on whether his firm is called “Angel Investigations” or not. Alex O'Loughlin (“The Invisible”) stars."

Is it just be but does this not sound a little bit too much like Angel? CBS further explains in their press release "immortal vampire/private eye and his struggle to exist with the curse of being undead. It also follows his internal torment as he falls in love with one he should not, one who is mortal and therefore out of his reach, as well as his dealings with the woman who made him a vampire, his sire Corinne."
Any thoughts?? Should one be mad, irritated or happy??

Yeah, some discussion about this can be found here.
Mad and irritated is my take on it. Bloody mad. How very shortsighted to have taken Angel off at the height of its popularity and then a couple of years later put something else on. Ooooh, now I'm very mad.
To be fair, CBS didn't cancel Angel.
I'd be fine with the idea if it wasn't pretty much our Angel with just a different cast. I'm all for new supernatural shows but lets be creative and original and not copy another's work.
I remember people accusing the Angel staff of copying Forever Knight.
You can watch a trailer here:

how disgusting... there's even a shot of him on the top of a building in a black trenchcoat... no shame! the whole episode just looks like a rehash of angel/tina, even his office looks like it has the downstairs part where he lives... it was so angel like.
I dont care about this to be honest because I wont be watching it. There was only one Angel:)
Oh God, sorry....ive changed my mind. Im super pissed about it now. 'When darkness falls...a hero will rise'?.....the Angel-like lair, the Angel-like romance, the Angel-like billowy black jackets. What were they thinking?

And Mick StJohn....Mick St fricking John? What kinda name is that. At least Angel is a cool name. it has connotations. Mick StJohn sounds like a soccor lout. Oh God. I have to lie down......

Shame CBS!!!!!! Knowing this stupid world it'll probably be a mega hit. Bitter?

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2007-05-17 17:06 ]
OMG. I didn't realize how much of a rip-off this would be until I saw the preview. Not only is it a rip-off of Angel, but it's a BAD rip-off! Additionally, they also had to make a freaking religious reference with this imposter's name too -- St. John??? Why not just name him Gabriel, and REALLY try to give him the name of an angel?
Come now, that appears to be set in New York, not Los Angeles. Obviously, it's an entirely different concept.

The other big difference, judging by that trailer, is that this appears to be very cheesy. As I recall, Angel was actually a good show.

Too bad it's not on opposite Bones. Then we could see an Ex-Angel vs. Angel Wannabe showdown!
This show will probably be crap, but seriously: Forever Knight.
I'll give the show a chance; afterall, as another poster mentioned, Angel was somewhat similar to Forever Knight. I loved Forever Knight but the Angel story lines were greatly different (FN was basically a cop vs human bad guy show with great mythology mixed in). If this show can distance itself from the Angel mythology somewhat, it could be good...I don't mind the hero in a black trench coat...vampire dress codes are somewhat limited...I hope it doesn't involve huge doses of christian mythology as did Forever Knight though. Blood Ties (on Life Time) is a bit similar as well, in that show's case, we have a human PI with a vampire partner fighting all sorts of supernatural beings and I like it as well.
Don't worry, it won't last. CBS already tried ripping off a better show this past season. 3lbs was a blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of House.
wow, i'd just rather have Angel back.
then again, i wasn't too keen on Firefly at first (ducks)....i thought it was a rip of Farscape. fugitives in a spaceship running from the government? of course after seeing Firefly i realize they aren't alike at all. except that one part i just mentioned.'s hoping CBS delivers something original.

it could happen
Apparently Joss was unaware of Forever Knight when he did Angel, and at a press conference he was asked about the similarities in the concept - he apparently felt a bit stupid, and something akin to a hack ;)

In the end, the similarities between FK and Angel were only superficial (vampire detective seeking redemption, and hoping to regain his mortality), as the shows were very different. I'm going to watch Moonlight, and I hope that again, the similarities will only be superficial.
aapac - Thanks for posting the trailer....ehe....
Ok, it is cool that some people (CBS) obviously sees the potentioal...but ripping off Angel like that is just crazy.
The scenes of "Mick StJohn" (wasn't there a mark StJohn in Kiss in the mid 80's???) on the roof was a bit too much.
Maybe they can doa spinn-off about this high-school girl that hunts Vampires? Maybe Mick can get a crew together constsiting of this English guy who knows alot about vampires and demons and maybe a black guy that kicks vampire butt...

I'll probably check it out though...
Just goes to show - there's nothing new under the sun.
Well, at a certain point, any storyline has already been written. So at least for me, it is not the storyline, but the way of telling it, that make it special. Joss has used a lot of other characters and storylines in his work, but I never compleined that he was missusing dracula, zombies or frankenstein ... So let's give it a shot. It's either crap or ok or even great, but I won't be able to tell, unless I have seen at least a view episodes, and let the cast and the writters settle the characters a little.
Also - a shot of a hero on the rooftop looking down on a city...Angel wasn't the first show to use that imagery. I am not a comic book queen but I'm pretty sure many superheros have used that shot. I know that image is heavily used in Batman.

It may not be bad. Just have to wait and see.
Funny, IMDb lists this as "Twilight". Seems Ron Koslow likes night-based genre shows, so a vampire show was almost inevitable.
Hey, it's the guy from The Shield.
It's easy to pile on here, but I'm going to give Ron Koslow some slack. He created Beauty and the Beast, one of the most out-there, original, virtually unclassifiable series in TV history (turning Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton into cult legends), and if he wants to do the vampire genre, I'm tuning in to see what he has planned.

Granted, from the series description and the preview, it does seem like he's been watching his FK and ANGEL tapes on permanent loop--but maybe Koslow's vamp detective series will skew towards lushly romantic rather than broodily superheroic....

[ edited by cjl on 2007-05-17 19:56 ]
Fridge full of blood? Check.
Tall, dark and broody? Check.
No nookie for many decades? Check.
Blond love interest? Check.
Hatred of doors? Great big Check.

I don't know much about intellectual property law, but if I was a Fox attorney I'd be all over this.

Just from the trailer, I already don't like the Mick character. He needs an accent and better hair and a different coat. I already like the morgue attendant based on his 20 seconds of screen time. I give it five episodes until cancelation.
I hear you on Ron Koslow, cjl. My bitterness over what happened to B&TB has faded down to nothingness over the years, and now I'm just grateful we got the three seasons we did, Season 3 being as troublesome to some, like me, as Season 6 was to some Buffy fans. Someone above mentioned that Moonlight looked cheesy from the preview (which I can't watch at work). Blood Ties also has somewhat limited production values, but I'm enjoying the characters, which if strong enough can make me overlook a lot in a show. Will I watch this new one? I'll give the pilot or first episode a shot. Will it have any staying power? (The Blade series hardly lasted one season) I guess the really important question is, are there enough interested viewers to make a difference.
Selannia said:

I give it five episodes until cancelation.

Be fair. It isn't airing on Fox.

I dunno. David Boreanaz's portrayal of a sometimes-dangerous-most-times-brooding vampire made us believe. He had the look, the voice and the lines to sell it. Angel is an example of the finest TV storytelling.

This CBS knock-off looks like an Angel wannabe designed by a clueless committee. The guy comes across as your average squeaky-clean Joe. The way the sets are lit and the way everyone is smiling reminds me of some daytime soap opera.

Sorry, it's not Angel.
I believe that Marv Wolfman deserves credit for creating the first PI vampire, Hannibal King.
Xoynx - Hannibal King was/is cool (the comicbook one...not the one in Blade Trinity)
Given my love of Ron Koslow, and my driving need NOT to jump to conclusions and bash something before I've even seen it, I'm tempted to play devil's advocate here and say that I'll give this show a chance. As was already mentioned above there are only a finite number of stories in the universe, and by this point in time you're bound to start seeing some of them repeated. But even so it's the way those stories are told and interpreted that makes them unique and interesting.

However... I have to consider my undying devotion to Angel when giving this show a pass. And then there's the preview footage...

*sigh* Really? High-speed setting sun over city skylines? Billowing black trenchcoat while standing on the precipice of a tall building? P.I. practice? C'mon guys, seriously?
Rip-off it may surely be, but I loves me them vampires so I'll give it a chance to impress. And, hey, if it turns out to be crap, my tv has special controller that allows me to change channels with the mere flick of the finger.
There was a short clip on YouTube from the show. It shows the siring and what the vampires look like in the mirror...

Personally I don't think O'Loughlin has enough charisma for that role. At least not according to the preview clips. DB already did this thing so well... However I don't like to bash things beforehand either so I hope the show has something original in it - even though it's hard to see it yet.

Oh, I had totally forgotten Forever Knight... By the way, it was also on CBS.
i hate vampire stories (and sci-fi stories, and fantasty stories of any sort - beauty & the beast? pardon me while i throw up in my mouth a little upon being reminded of that bit o' schmaltz), they're embarrassing & juvenile & cheesy. yet Buffy, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity are my fave bits of entertainment ever, topping all else. that's because of Joss & his inimitable talents, and this isn't his show. so yah, i'll be taking a pass on the Angel rip off.
First thing I thought after reading this was that this show would be copying 'Forever Knight' not 'Angel'.

Forever Knight was a great show. I wonder if its out on DVD.
I've seen sets of Forever Knight at Deep Discount DVD but they seemed pricey to me. Perhaps Amazon might have a lower price.
I was able to get all three seasons of Forever Knight on sale one day at Walmart for $19.97 each...they are about $40 each most places though. It was a great show (ranks behind only Buffy, Angel and Xena on my list of favorites), unfortunately two of the best characters were eliminated for season three (Janette did appear in one episode). I thought the characters, the dark philosophical issues and the flashbacks were excellent.
I was able to get all three seasons of Forever Knight on sale one day at Walmart for $19.97 each..

Are they the Canadian episodes that were about 7 minutes longer than the 40 minute Anerican episodes?
Selannia said:

I give it five episodes until cancelation.

To which williamthebloody1880 responded:
Be fair. It isn't airing on Fox.

If it was on Fox, I'd give it three episodes.
My honest opinion after coming home and watching the preview three times just to be sure, is that this has nothing to do with trading on Angel, and everything to do with becoming the modern-day Beauty and the Beast (and for those that hated the show it will come as a relief, I'm sure). The blond woman is a crime reporter, Catherine Chandler was an Assistant District Attorney. St. John is a sometimes paid, but often vigilante crime-fighter, Vincent come out of the tunnels. This one's admittedly handsome but still a self-admitted monster.

This dialogue: "Sixty years is a long time to deny yourself the touch of another, but you do it because you just can't bear the thought of seeing yourself as a monster in someone else's eyes." The blond woman seems to have the same compassion for him as Catherine did for Vincent. In fact, the hug in her apartment is practically a carbon copy of V & C on her balcony. The two people looking at the same view of nighttime New York City from different vantage points, lost in thoughts about each other, that famous view of the Brooklyn Bridge lit up at night. I get no Angel vibe from this at all.

Angel is and always will be the gold standard for what it accomplished.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-05-18 03:28 ]
Uh-UH, t r a c y - don't be hatin' on the B&B. To my twenty-something (at the time) sensibility, it was sweeping and romantic and at times epic. I'd never seen anything like it. I even got my grandfather hooked, and he was the most brilliantly logical, analytical man I've ever known.

And as far as this show goes? Who cares if it rips off AtS? At the very least, it may spark up viewer interest again for something JOSS may want to do (please gawd). Those of us hoping against hope that he might someday soon wrangle some cool deal with HBO (those bastards), always like to see crap like this. It makes the Whedon star shine that much brighter.

And hey, if some folks are peeved about it? Don't watch.
Well TJ, I'm not sure that makes me feel better. You're absolutely right in saying Angel is the gold standard, but I have a deep and abiding love for B&tB too. I'm no more enthusiastic about seeing it dismembered and pieced back together Frankenstein-style than seeing Angel bastardized.

But what the hell, I'm still likely to check it out.
Hmm, I guess I'm more defending Angel than talking up Moonlight. Don't get me wrong, I loved B&TB also and have to admit I got a little thrill seeing and hearing those very familiar visual and verbal clues.
As others have said, anyone who thinks that Angel was in any way, shape, or form original is delusional. And the idea of a vampire PI way predates both Angel and Forever Knight.
Actually, I'm getting a strong "Moonlighting" vibe...
I didn't suggest that Angel was "original". Quite the opposite, in fact. I believe that there are a finite number of stories in the universe, and all we can do is find unique ways of telling and interpreting them.

My own impression of Moonlight upon first hearing the premise was exactly that... I recognized that it's not possible to boil a complex story down to its barest essence and expect that to convey the entirety of it. Saying that this new show is about a vampire PI didn't immediately condemn it as a "copycat" for me, just as it didn't condemn Angel for me that it came after Forever Knight.

What has done it in for me (or almost so) was watching the trailer and seeing certain cues that I feel are a touch too similar. Certainly the nature of a vampire PI show carries with it certain elements, and those elements are likely to repeat in one form or another in each different telling. But there seem to be some visual cues present in that trailer that at the very least cause me to raise an eyebrow.

Plus, it's that time of year... the time of year when networks prove once again how idiotic and subhuman they are by announcing what good shows they're gonna cut this year so they can make room for the next great reality show... or the next version of one or more of the shows they've just cancelled. So I'm sorry, but this time of year never inspires me to be optimistic and earns networks no love from me, generally speaking.
... i thought it was a rip of Farscape. fugitives in a spaceship running from the government?

Which in turn, was similar in premise to "Blake's 7" a UK sci-fi show from the late 70s/early 80s featuring, yep, a bunch of criminals and rebels in a spaceship on the run from an authoritarian regime. New ideas are very, very hard. New takes on old ideas ? Not quite so hard. And, apparently, really crappy 'reality' dreck is a piece of piss ;).

It's also worth remembering that we only hear about the stuff that makes it to development (i.e. pilot or later). I'm not sure we'd ever hear about the totally original stuff since that is, for the most part, not given a chance. Most TV execs, just like most movie execs, prefer to bank on known commodities which may also explain why so many genre shows have pretty clear 'inspirations'. Even 'Angel' (particularly season 1) had the semi-offical mission statement "Touched by an Equalizer".

I believe that there are a finite number of stories in the universe ...

Sort of agree. I'd say there are a finite number of stories in the humanverse since the sorts of things we can imagine may well be limited by our biology (e.g. the fact we have two genders or how we see colours or hear sounds or even think) and cultural development (e.g. language etc.) but totally alien cultures and biologies could, presumably, come up with totally alien ideas (e.g. Katraxian Bag-shunter meets Katraxian Bag-shuntrix, Katraxian Bag-shunter loses Katraxian Bag-shuntrix, Katraxian Bag-shunter wins the love of Katraxian Bag-shuntrix in the end. See ? Completely unfathomable ;).
I too wasnt suggesting that Angel as a concept was 'original'. There are many vamp detectives.

But what I was railing against was the obvious rip-offs. The quick shots of the sun, the billowy coats, the whole 'look' of it. I couldn't watch it with the sound on - but to me it looked like a cheap fan copy of Angel.

And nobody replaces Angel!
I'm not impressed by what I've seen of this show so far.

The great thing about living in Australia is that our free to air networks only pick up guaranteed hits. So I'll only get to watch this if it doesn't blow.

Mind you, that's also the bad thing.

Most of me is in slight disbelief that CBS are taking the risk on this poor cousin of a new show when they could have picked up 'Angel' on the cheap, along with it's established cast and couple of million viewers.


(Oh yes, all these years later, it's still a bitter pill to swallow.)
Err, cos two years ago (when Angel was cancelled) they didn't want a vampire show ? Then stuff like 'Heroes' came along and made it clear there was a (big) mainstream audience for genre shows, and hey presto, more demand from the networks. I think it's also true that shows often tend to get more expensive after 5 years because contracts need to be renegotiated etc. so Angel may not have been that cheap after all.

(out of curiosity, anybody know if anyone from The WB ended up at CBS ?)
The YouTube preview, brief as it is, looks cheesy. I'd love to support any genre effort on network, but only if it's a quality show. not holding out too much hope for this one.
TV is stupid, they could have Joss if they knew how to treat him right :)
Moonlight does correct one glaring deficiency in the Buffyverse — it takes place in New York, and Joss always neglected NYC. I mean, grungy homeless bum Angel and two scenes with Nicky and Spike, all in flashbacks? Long live New York knockoffs of established shows! ☺
I'm trying to imagine Buffy set in NYC, and by extension, Angel. What do you call a spunky, blond superhero NYC gal who loves to shop, what is the parallel to a valley girl? Because that's why B&A were LA/Calif.-based, rather than ignored.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-05-18 17:56 ]
Really, I think 20th Century Fox has just decided to franchise Angel. I'm sure that once this thing airs, its real title will be revealed as Angel: New York.

Be sure to look out for Angel: Cleveland, Angel: Des Moines and Angel: Nova Scotia, coming soon to an unabashedly rip-offing network near you!

So does anyone else vow to lock up the execs in a room with Darla and Drusilla if this somehow becomes a freak blockbuster hit?
Not to plug my own work, but if you want an idea of what a Slayer in New York would be like, read my novel Blackout, which focuses on Nikki Wood. *big grin*

And when I saw the trailer clips for Angel, my first reaction was "ah, they're riffing on Forever Knight, with a bit of Highlander thrown in."
I'll check it out, Krad.

Alls I know after thinking about this some more, is if it has poetry recitations and a psychic bond, I won't be able to resist.
Hey! He quoted Harmony!
Hmmm...a vampire P.I., eh?
Sort of like Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez?

[ edited by AmazonGirl on 2007-05-19 04:43 ]

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