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Just a place to dump my rants into, for better or for worse.

My Moonlight letter.

5/19/2008 3:39:27 PM permalink

The following below is a letter I will be sending to the addresses listed below concerning the TV show Moonlight being cancelled. I know well enough this show hasn't had many fans. In fact, I know quite a few of you hated it, or regarded it as an Angel knock-off. On its own merits, I dug the show, rather than criticized it for not being Angel. However, underlying this letter lies a deeper problem that affects many good shows that deserved a better fate than given. Shouldn't there be a better way to handle this? There has to be.

Read on.

CBS Network
Nina Tassler
7800 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

CW Network President
Dawn Ostroff
4000 Warner Blvd.
Bldg 168
Burbank, CA 91522-0002

Over the last few days, I've had to explain to my lovely wife,
over and over again, the show was dead. Dead, dead, dead.
It's over. No season two. Not a chance. Not happening. Moonlight is gone.
It's teeth have been yanked from its one-season-old gums.
Does she have an understanding as to why? Believe me. I try to explain to her how
Hollywood works, but I'd have a better chance explaining to a 5 year old
why she can't go to the moon on a pair of roller skates. And even if she were
to finally get it, the heartache from the truth remains inevitable.

When Moonlight started, reviews were not so pleasant. It seemed too derivative
of past shows, the acting was so-so, and so on. Even when I started watching
the show, I had my own misgivings. From the first episode, I'd watch with arms
crossed, and my face in full smirk mode. "Go ahead. Impress me," I dared.
But since my wife loved Ghost Whisperer, and Numb3rs, the in-between filler
seemed good enough to sit through. Within weeks, our interest in the show grew.
And by the writer's strike, we were very eager to see more episodes.
It had gained its legs, and had improved a great deal.

You see, I understood the show had to have its own voice. Its own unique take on
the genre and separate itself from the others, and sure enough, it was developing
one. A really good one. By then, it seemed a perfect fit between GW and Numb3rs.
At last, my wife and I can sit together and enjoy 3 hours of TV we didn't have to
argue over. We loved it. But then, the numbers weren't enough for CBS, and they
decided to ax the show. (By doing that, it also showed, at least to me, how pathetically
little weight the People Choice Awards had with any network considering a show's
chances. It makes me wonder what point there is in such an award show at all,
especially if it is held in such low regard. But that's a gripe for another day.)

But to convey to you why the cancellation of this show broke my wife's heart, and
severely disappointed my own, goes back several years, over several shows and
several networks. We've come to enjoy many shows that we really did love, only to
find it killed off after only one or two seasons. After a while, it made us wonder
if we should bother to watch TV at all. NBC was the worst in cancelling shows that
we genuinely cared about, with Journeyman being the latest. Outside of Heroes,
she now has no interest in anything NBC puts out. None. She's sworn them off
and had enough.

I will say this: CBS rocks da house far better than NBC ever will, in my book. They
had the heart to give Jericho a chance, and that spoke volumes to me. They cared
about their audience enough to listen, and it was far more than NBC would ever think
to do. But from what I understand, CBS learned from its Jericho experience, and is
loathed to repeat it.

I understand its business, but damn it, why Moonlight? So many far less interesting
shows were put to rest. Grouping Moonlight with them was shameful. It deserved better.
And when it came to giving it over to CW, why all the bureaucratic red tape between the
two of you? (if indeed the stories about it circulating the net are true - don't worry.
I keep my salt shaker handy) Hollywood decisions are a beast to comprehend,
even with all I've come to learn over the years, but how many good shows have
to continue to get killed off because the numbers aren't stellar?
Regarding Moonlight, why the trouble with so many showrunners for it?
That's enough to kill any TV show, no matter what it is. You'd think,
in spite of any success it had, you wanted it to fail.

And now I learn it's being replaced with the "Ex-List"? The premise is about as
fascinating as an hour-long episode on the history of drywall. My wife refuses to
watch it, determined to just watch GW, then go on the internet while Numb3rs is
taping. The cool triumvirate of tv watching has been killed for us. Thanks a lot.

I wanted to write a letter, pleading and begging you not to do this.
I wanted to write a letter on just how much I love this show, and how much of a mistake
I think you're making in axing it.

But quite frankly, the problem is far deeper than that, and instead, I'm writing about
my disdain for how television is being run.

It's things like this that discourages viewership of network TV.
And with so many things to choose from when it comes to spending time,
as valuable as time is nowadays, we chose to watch Moonlight, and loved it.
Thanks to this cancellation, without any second shot given to it from other networks,
I'm now apt to spend that time elsewhere.

I don't know about you, but I am sick to death of this. I'm so freakin' tired of
falling head over heels for a show, regardless of ratings, and then watch it get
kicked to the curb. You see something new and wonderful, it blossoms, though it may
start off as an ugly duckling, the beginnings of its swan-like grace begins to show,
then it gets put out of its misery right before your very eyes, with no hope of rescue.
And then you're ask to simply live with its demise, and accept a new one to take its place.
And all because not enough people are watching.

I can't make people watch. The move to put Moonlight to another network that could
better benefit from its current ratings level would be the best thing for it, and for its fans.
Just because a baseball player doesn't make it in the big leagues, he's not told to
give up playing the game forever, but instead is put somewhere in the Minor leagues.
At least he's given a chance to still play the game he loves. He's downgraded, but not out.
And if he has fans, at least they're not cheated from seeing him play.

The sad thing is, even if Moonlight was moved to CW, it would no longer
be a part of the cool triumvirate on CBS Friday nights. It was a nice tradition to enjoy,
even if for one season. Oh well. You can't have everything.

Do I believe anything will come of this letter? No.
My voice is too small against an issue too big.
My expectations, therefore, are like this vampire tale that had
heart and soul: dead, dead, dead.

Thank you for your time.


Tags: tv, cbs, disappointment, moonlight


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Date Joined: November 13, 2006