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May 28 2007

Matt Roush Answers Questions on Moonlight - CBS' New Angel-Like Show. Potential spoilers for those who are not completely up-to-date with all American shows.

In the 3rd and 4th questions on the page, Roush suggests that genre-fans, and Whedonites in particular, should not be so quick to pre-judge the upcoming new shows Moonlight and New Amsterdam.

It seems like good advice to wait and see. I was interested in Roush's comments about the Fox scheduling of DB's show "Bones" as well that were in his comments. He was responding to a question I had asked about the Fox schedule. It's always nice to have a TV Critic on the side of your favorite show. Roush has been very supportive of "Bones."
Not sure I agree with Matt Roush's statement in that article. Seems like a bit of a blanket statement, to me. Sure, maybe some Whedon fans can be close-minded, when it comes to new supernaturally themed shows, but I think, on the whole, we're pretty good about it.

However, I do think we can at least express some exasperation about the concept behind Moonlight. While we haven't seen the show and cannot evaluate its potential thematic impact, its premise is very derivative. I think it would be fair for us to be upset, too, if it was announced that a new show about a valley girl fighting demons would be airing, this fall.

Just my two cents...
Of course, as I said last time, Angel is -- on the face of it -- a copy of Forever Knight. And was accused of being that copy when it first aired. Mostly by people who hadn't actually, you know, seen it.
A while back a poster here (Sorry! Can't remember who...) made a good point. He or she said that Lost and Gilligans Island have the same initial premise. I think that's really all that needs to be said.
And there's the whole Cowboy Bebop and Firefly thing.
Heh, that's exactly what I said in a forum a couple of weeks back.

Nice to know I'm not the only to have a wait-and-see approach. ;)
I just hate the thought of it, 'tis all.

As a character, Angel had already spent 3 seasons on BTVS being validated in his own right, with his own following, back story and fan investment.

The decision to go with the vampire detective genre then was NOT necessarily a direct rip off from Forever Knight.
It was more of a natural progression- given Angel was seeking redemption, the city was full of demons to be hunted down and he somehow needed to earn a living. Plus the detective genre handily introduced new plot situations every week.

Anyway, what was he going to be- a lifeguard?
(Baywatch meets Buffy... now THERE'S a thought!
Plus bonus extra crispy vampire!)
Angel the private detective thing didn't last too long anyway -- that show reinvented itself more often than Madonna. By the end Angel was CEO of a law firm.. Now, if season two of Moonlight happens to have the lead becoming a board member of Halliburton.. (And at least they don't have a character called Cassie) (Yes, I'm looking at you, Hex).
For me the frustration about these two new shows being aired is directly related to the way Angel was cancelled. If Angel hadn't been carelessly cancelled to make way for a vampire show remake (Dark Shadows) whose pilot was so awful that it never even aired, the prospect of a new 'vampire detective' show would go down a little easier. That being said, I'm going to give these shows a chance. Maybe we'll be surprised and they'll be good.
Well Angel itself wasn't that original, and i never liked the whole mystique/love/vampire angle, to me that's just plain boring and unrealistic.
Angel grew away from that after a while, becoming less about love-interests and more about redemption.
As for this new show, well the vamps look weak, and the main-protagonist would be dusted by Spike in less the 5 seconds,hehe.
I think MR has a good point. Admittedly, I would rather Joss was the one that was tapped to do a new genre show, but condemning genre shows before they air will not help get Joss back on TV. CBS had nothing to do with canceling Ats so being angry at them for greenlighting a show with a similar premise does not make a lot of sense.

TV likes to jump on bandwagons. Any success of a genre show will help get others on the air. Any success of a vampire show will make vampire related entertainment more likely to happen. Therefore success of a show like Moonlight should help the possibility that Joss could come back to TV in some form. So I for one hope it is successful.

My conflict is that , though I will give Moonlight a try, I probably won't end up watching it because I don't really like vampire stories much. I love BtVS in spite of its premise, not because of it. So I have to hope that a genre I am not that crazy about will achieve greater success so a writer I love will be able to come back on TV to produce shows that are not really about the genre he is supposed to be writing in.

Damn. I think I just figured out why Joss is not on TV.

(Ok, sometimes I'm a little slow.)
For me the frustration about these two new shows being aired is directly related to the way Angel was cancelled. If Angel hadn't been carelessly cancelled to make way for a vampire show remake (Dark Shadows) whose pilot was so awful that it never even aired, the prospect of a new 'vampire detective' show would go down a little easier.

Eactly. Nobody cares about Claire from Heroes being heavily inspired by Buffy because BtVS ended on its own terms. The hostility towards shows like Moonlight stems from the fact that we could have had something better (Moonlight has some really big shoes to fill so I feel pretty confident in stating that Angel is better before even having seen it), a sixth season of Angel, instead.
But you'll never get a 6th season of Angel now. No-one has the option of relaunching Angel. I guess the notion of boycotting all vampire based show on principle because AtS was cancelled strikes me as a bad idea. As for Heroes Claire being heavily reminiscent of Buffy I don't actually see that at all which may be why there hasn't been an outcry about it.
Actually there has been an outcry about it. Maybe you should get out of your cave more often ;-)
Okay slight thread-jack here, but I had to say something:

I'm not seeing where these comparisons of Buffy and Claire are coming from. I mean, yes, both are ordinary girls who become something extraordinary, but the similarities stop there. Buffy used her uniqueness for something noble. Claire, while she did try to help, spent most of the season whining about how she was a freak (and before anyone flames me, I actually like Claire's character). I'm sorry, but when it comes down to it, the characters aren't really that similar.
I'm not really interested in that New Amsterdan concept at all, which actually reminds me more of Adrian Paul's "Highlander" show, rather than any of Joss'creations. Was never fond of that Highlander show, neither for it's spin off which if I remember it right was called "Raven" or something of the sorts. That's the reason I won't even check it out.

In "Moonlight" case, can I say that I was mostly let down for Joel Silver's involvement in the show, rather than all those comparisons to either Angel or Forever Knight. Of course, I'll consider checking the pilot before giving further conclusions, cause I might end up enjoying it.

It's not like I don't follow genre shows. I still do, I was just not really conviced by all the new shows. The only one I might try out, even though I'm, still really mad at The CW, it's that "Reaper" show.
Actually there has been an outcry about it. Maybe you should get out of your cave more often ;-)

*blinks* Wow, condescending much? ;-)
I'd say there are certainly similarities between Claire and Buffy, but they tend to be fairly superficial. Sure, they both started as blond high school girls who would prefer to be popular cheerleaders rather than superheroes with a not-entirely-pleasant destiny, but that's merely what they are. Who they are is a different story, defined by the story.

And as for Firefly, I remember the first commercial I saw on Fox. A sci-fi western, a group traveling together on a ship led by a heroic captain who works on the wrong side of the law, a mysterious dark haired girl stashed in the luggage... I really thought I was seeing an ad for a live-action version of Outlaw Star until the name of the show and the creator came up. Luckily, I already knew who Joss was by then; if the show had been done by someone I wasn't familiar with, I might have written it off as a ripoff, even though again, the similarities are very much on the surface.

[ edited by Lady Brick on 2007-05-28 18:42 ]
It is really quite odd that both of these shows are coming out that seem exactly alike let alone the Angel resemblance. But shall we take a stroll down memory lane? Remember last year the two Saturday Night Live type shows both on NBC? Couldn't be more different. Still a little sad about Studio 60. Awww dude, WHY did I bring it up?

I will give both of these shows a shot. Might as well. If they aren't any good we can at least say "They ain't no Angel" and really mean it :)
newcj said:
TV likes to jump on bandwagons. Any success of a genre show will help get others on the air.


You said it before I had a chance. I'd like to stress the point of "any success" -- the networks need to see that people will tune in to these shows and give them a chance.

People from groups such as ours are the mainstay of the genre, and if a goodly portion of us turns our back on the first rounds of the current bandwagon, the whole idea could be abandoned. That means a serious lack of supernatural/paranormal/mythology-based stories on tv for the forseable future.

Look at what's happening with sitcoms.
I wish the best to the creator of "Moonlight". In all honestly, I doubt I'll watch it. The thing is, I already know what it's about so not caring much. That's just the truth.
I think in the end, the reason why the prospect of these two shows is provoking to me is that they remind me that Angel was cancelled, and that there is no Joss-created show on tv , despite the fact that he wants to do it, and has said so.

So why aren't the networks going to him for their genre shows? I can't help but feel that they are just going for the most predictable stuff they can get away with, and hope that the fans of shows which transcend the genre, like Angel will still watch them...along with a more general audience.

Basically, I think it shows disrespect for their entire tv audience- they just don't believe people want to watch creative shows, with developed characters, and real issues to think about. For all I know, the new vamp shows could turn out to be great, and I'll certainly give them a chance. It's just that the announcement of the 2 of them brings these pissy thoughts to mind.

I'm more interested in checking out Pushing Up Daisies though.
Very understandable, toast :)
I am outraged! Er, itchy. I meant itchy. How weird that vampire/pi is a genre?
"they just don't believe people want to watch creative shows, with developed characters, and real issues to think about."

Toast, I think they do believe this and they have very good reason to believe it. For the majority of their audience it is absolutely true. Kind of hard to fault the networks for seeing reality.

I'm looking forward to Pushing Daisies as well. :)
Look at what's happening with sitcoms.

Care to expand on what you mean? What is happening to sitcoms?

Also, I wish that all the people who are going ga-ga over Pushing daisies now would've bothered to tune in to its spriritual predecessor Dead like me way back when, so that it didn't have to be cancelled. Such a loss for television. Truly a transcendent show.
Don't worry, Storyteller, I'm pretty sure Pushing Daisies will get canceled after 4 episodes. ;)
I'm thinking 3 episodes. After all, this is Fox.
There's nothing new under the sun, is there? Especially in TV.

If I had to pick only one thing about any new vampire-as-PI/hero show on a major network to be aggravated about, it would be that just over three years ago, all of us were rooting for Joss to find a new home for Angel, begging anyone and everyone we could think of to take the show on and keep it going, but got no takers. So we're fans, we lost our favorite show, and for any network to take that concept now - three years too late - and quite possibly with the thought that they'll find a ready-made core audience in Angel fans, is... frustrating, and possibly a little insulting. I think a lot of the fan reaction to the news about this new show isn't so much that we're closed-minded or not willing to go out on a limb, but that we feel we were ignored by the networks then, treated as if we didn't matter. Why should we watch your stupid clone - even if it turns out to be a very good clone - when you could have had the original vampire hero but ignored us when we needed you?
True statement, capra. Still can't bring myself to watch it.
I'm having a hard time thinking of many shows that weren't stolen from another idea. How many shows/movies are there now about a protagonist who is psychic or communicates with the dead or something? A bajillion? (I just realized, after I typed that, that it could be seen as a jab at White Noise 2. No jab intended: it's a genre movie and that's where the genre is right now, and I loves my captain. I was more thinking of Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, Psychic Detectives, etc.).

How about Heroes:
You've got the one who can walk through walls. The indestructible one with the crazy healing rate. The one who can absorb other people's powers. The psychic. Nope, that sounds nothing at all like the X-Men. The first time I saw it, I was shocked... not at the ripoff, but that I hadn't heard anyone mention it before.

A vampire detective... well, like 75% of all shows seem to be about a cop, detective, doctor or lawyer. They want to put a spin on it, so they went vampire. Then they had to pick from one of those 4 options, and they picked detective. It doesn't bother me; it's par for the course.

Too bad they didn't pick the doctor angle. Now there's a show! Every week, the vampire doctor has to struggle with his urge for blood as he operates! As the season progresses, he's caught sneaking into the blood supply, and has to explain it using increasingly bizarre (but funny) stories! One of the nurses thinks something is funny with him... she becomes his foil! Every time he does something vampirey, she shows up and becomes more suspicious! But the other nurses won't listen to her because he's so damn cute! They just think she's crazy!

Next week: a patient comes in with a gunshot wound. He says it was an accident. But was it? Vampire doctor uses his power of mesmerism to find out the truth, and the truth is so shocking that you can't miss it! Tune in!

Wow, that idea really got away from me =x That was fun.
Eh. This is nothing compared till to the big hoohaa over Reaper in October.
Actually, Pushing Daisies will be on ABC, though I don't know if that'll help. I've seen the pilot, and it's quite good. Looks to be my new favorite show. Funny...and weird. So yeah, I'm definitely worried about cancelation.
Vampire Doctor? I'd watch that. :D
hacksaway is correct. "Pushing Daisies" is in ABC.
And a double ditto on the "I don't know if that'll help".

Cause after all for every In Case Emergency (trashy show, with a good cast, I they actually sticked with the 13 episodes produced), there's a Miracles or a Jake 2.0. I fondly miss Jake 2.0. Just hope they'll actually give PD a more lasting chance.

Vampire Doctor? I'd watch that. :D


For any other Scrubs fan, why am I having a weird flashbacks right now?

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2007-05-28 22:38 ]
storyteller said:
Care to expand on what you mean? What is happening to sitcoms?


The networks have sharply cut down the amount of new sitcoms coming this fall due to waning public interest. If I remember correctly, NBC isn't bringing any next season. In truth, I think most of the public is just tired of predictable comedy, but the bigwigs see it how they want to see it.

Oh, I second the interest in dispatch's vamp doctor idea. Love it!
Hmmmm. Reaper. Now if only the e and a were replaced by an i and p. That's one Id've made many burnt offerings to see on TV.
And as for Firefly, I remember the first commercial I saw on Fox. A sci-fi western, a group traveling together on a ship led by a heroic captain who works on the wrong side of the law, a mysterious dark haired girl stashed in the luggage... I really thought I was seeing an ad for a live-action version of Outlaw Star until the name of the show and the creator came up.


I was an avid fan of Outlaw Star back in the day. So when someone on another board pointed out the similarites between the two, it was also interesting to find out that Joss apparently hadn't seen the Outlaw Star or Cowboy Bebop at the time.

For any other Scrubs fan, why am I having a weird flashbacks right now?


Put Zach Braff in the role, and I'll be there with bells on. :)
I'm curious about these Scrubs references.....never seen the show.
Having been a fan of "Dead Like Me," I really hope "Pushing Daisies" succeeds. As for Vampire Doctor (Dr. Acula?), love it! "Reaper" is a Kevin Smith production, so I have to at least give it a try. As for all the vampire detective shows in the near future, not so sure. It's especially painful and ironic to see FOX airing "Bones" before "New Amsterdam." The vampire show I have some hopes for is "True Blood" on HBO. It's got Alan Ball at the helm, which might be good.
Well, I for one am looking forward to Moonlight and New Amsterdam...they both might suck but I'll hope for the best. I love the fantasy genre, new shows like Painkiller Jane and Blood Ties have held my interest (Blood Ties the better of the two imo...love Vicki Nelson, yes she reminds me of an older Buffy or Veronica). When I list my favorite TV shows of all time (and at my age, "all time" is pretty much all time tv-wise), I have Buffy and Angel at the top followed by Xena and Forever Knight. Other fantasy genre shows in my top dozen include Dead Like Me, Charmed, Dark Angel, The Highlander (do agree that The Raven was terrible though) and Hercules. So...I'm willing to give anything new in the genre a chance.
Impressed though I am with the idea for Vampire, MD, I think we are more likely to see vampires redecorating each other's crypts, and making insulting remarks about how victorian clutter is "so last century." That sort of thing is much cheaper to produce, and people do watch it.

I loved "Dead Like Me", too.

[ edited by toast on 2007-05-29 00:00 ]
Roush mentioned that they were recasting the female lead. I wonder if Charisma is interested?
I will give both new shows a try, my wish to support genre shows on network outweighs my irritation about canceling Angel. Unfortunately, from the brief video previews I've seen, Moonlight looks just bloody awful while New Amsterdam looks very promising.
And it has working against it not only Fox, but an airtime up against that insult to the intelligence of humanity, American Idol.

But HBO has a vampire show in the works, created by Alan Ball?? That made my day, off to see if I can find out more.
"I think in the end, the reason why the prospect of these two shows is provoking to me is that they remind me that Angel was cancelled, and that there is no Joss-created show on tv , despite the fact that he wants to do it, and has said so.

So why aren't the networks going to him for their genre shows? "

toast; what is your source for this? What you're saying is implying that Joss would love to do a new show but no network will work with him. I can't believe that's true. I'm betting all the networks (CERTAINLY the CW) would love to work with him if he were willing. But after Angel's cancellation (but I think more so Firefly), he hasn't seemed ready to want to give TV another shot. I really hope he changes his mind soon though, since it's the medium to which he's best suited IMHO.
Actually, there's a movie from 1991 called "Son of Darkness: To Die For 2" with a vampire E.R. doctor who calls himself Max Schreck (yes, like the star of "Nosferatu"). When one of his vamps shows up at the E.R. for a bag of blood and complains that it's cold from being in the fridge, he says something along the lines of, "I can't exactly pop it in the microwave for you." I found the premise of the first "To Die For" (and no, this has nothing to do with the movie starring Nicole Kidman) even funnier -- vampire realtors! Talk about blood-sucking loan rates ... Seems to me that if you're going to do some sort of vampire procedural, cop/detective works better than doctor/lawyer, just because the superstrength thing comes into play less frequently (one would hope) in an exam room or a courtroom than on the street.
The close-mindedness of genre fans (especially from the Whedon camp, seemingly) toward any show that even remotely sounds like Buffy or Angel seems so counterproductive to me. Maybe the show won't work. Maybe it will suck. But wouldn't you like to see the networks swing the bat in this arena again? I just don't get this cynical POV.


I kind of understand Ausiello's comment, even though it's just as sweeping and generalizing as he's accusing us of. But when we first heard about the possibility of a TV show based on Tanya Huff's Blood series, many here were up in arms over it being an Angel ripoff, not bothering to discover that Huff published the first book the year before Buffy the movie, 6 years before Buffy the series, and nearly a decade before AtS.

I personally am willing to check out any genre show that comes along in the hopes that we get another Buffy, another Lost, another Heroes, and even another Jericho. That Jericho has been canceled makes me mad but doesn't leave me swearing off new shows forever. I like catching lightning in a bottle and it'll never happen if I don't open the bottle in the first place.
Trek_Girl42 said:

I'm curious about these Scrubs references.....never seen the show.

Dr. Acaula is awesome. He needs a whole episode to himself. I seriously recommend you have a look around for a picture of him.

I've heard of the similarities between Firefly and Cowboy Bebop but I've never heard of Outlaw Star. It sounds very interesting and that scene Lady Brick linked to was freakishly similar looking to a certain other characters famous scene.
Eric G: He said he really misses tv, and that it is what he likes best- at the Wesleyan thing.
toast, that still doesn't mean that he hasn't been approached by the studios trying to entice him back.
I have to agree with capra

Its not so much the 'vampire-as-detective' concept that aggravates me. Its just that the promo looked a like a fanmade Angel-homage. Angel was cut off in it's prime. And yes I still mourn it, as Im sure many many other do too.

So when we see something that is #such# an obvious Angel-alike - then of course we are going to be upset and peed off. Cos Angel should have gotton more seasons.

Ah Im just bitter!:)
I'm just glad to see that the networks still have an interest in trying out genre shows. Wasn't so long ago that it seemed like reality television was all they had any intention of pushing. Not that I hate reality television but I like to see a fair balance in what is being offered by the networks.

I won't deny that some of these series seem to be using tried and tested concepts but then how many shows are totally original these days? It's like how bands are accused of ripping off old songs because one of their tracks sounds a little like something that was written a decade ago. Eventually all new songs will sound like something that already exists because there will simply be so much to compare them to. Same goes for television shows. There are only so many basic concepts to go with.

What matters is quality and finding a new angle for that basic concept. I'll be giving all of these new series a chance to impress me when they eventually reach the UK. Well, at least the ones that survive long enough to be called a series anyway. I'm pretty fussy with what I spend my time watching so chances are that not many will be for me but hopefully there will be one or two gems this year that will both survive the axe and also be what I'm looking for. Fingers crossed.
Alan Ball's new show is based on Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series of mystery novels. Worth reading for supernatural mystery fans, for certain.
I don't know, I liked Harris' earlier work, but that series just didn't grab me. Barely made it through the first one.
hiya new kid in town. I strongly recommend Charlaine Harris' Southern Gothic series. Sookie is a great character, a telepath. In the first book she meets a vampire, saves his life. There are were creatures, other vampires and even good ole rednecks.

I live in the UK and hearing of shows we may or may not get for a couple of years is making me drool. sorry bout that. What is nice though is if one your shows gets a short run, it may still get picked up here. The terrific Wonderfalls, and Dead Like Me made it here. We've currently got Jericho and I'm saddened to hear it was cancelled. Dresden Files was a much watch for me, and has got me reading Butcher's books. And then there is HEROES, brilliant. And yes Scrubs should have an entire episode on Dr Acula. Cheers all.
I just sent Roush an email with an address for this page.
if by 'Angel-like' you mean 'blasphemous, weak-minded copy' then sure, I see what you're driving at.

unless the show has Angel or "Angel-like" brilliant writers, I don't see the thing lasting past 5 episodes.
Personally, the more vampires on tv the better :) I love the bloodsuckers. Here's hoping it won't - err - suck. *cringe* that was bad, sorry.

Do I miss Angel? Oh yeah. I miss Forever Knight too but loving FK didn't put me off wanting to watch Angel. If recycling ideas from the Master means one less crappy reality show on the air than I'll try and support it. And if it does... suck, then I'll just have to break out my well-worn Angel DVDs instead.
Am I the only one who pictured Bruce Willis without the fangs but a lot of vamping, and Cybill Shepard with well her own fangs (not the vampire kind). Moonlight-vamping, or am I the only one who remembers that show, feels like been there done that no matter how you look at it.

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