Moonlight: CBS

premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

“What a freak show prime time has become. You’ve got your satanic messenger boys, your time-traveling sad sacks, your psycho chefs, homicidal housewives, superhero slackers, crazed sugar magnates, fox-trotting has-beens and, oh yes, a town populated and governed entirely by kiddies. Adding a crime-solving vampire to this mix isn’t exactly cataclysmic…. Alex O’Loughlin makes an ingratiating Everyguy out of St. John, managing to bring something fresh to a role whose origins go back a million years or so…. The most disappointing thing about this sanguinary pretty boy is that show creators Trevor Munson and Ron Koslow decided to make him a private eye. Oh, jeez, another one? And that means yet more murders and the solving thereof on what’s clearly become the Criminal Broadcasting System, all crime all the time…. Moonlight should try to cure its split personality and the producers should decide whether they are doing a vampire show or a detective show. As there’ve been far too many of the latter, here’s one vote for the former, and for bite over bark. (Washington Post

Moonlight…arrays a dark familial back story against the standard vampire tale, with sophisticated wit. Trouble is, it could be too cool for the room: CBS has stated its intention to get crazy with its programming and push into new territory this season. The question is whether the CBS audience, which skews older and more traditional than the other broadcast networks’, will come along.” (The Denver Post

Alex O’Loughlin is such a charismatic figure as Mick and has such great chemistry with Sophia Myles, as Beth, that this show probably could have succeeded as a standard private-eye drama with abundant sexual tension, ditching its ghoulish gimmick. As it is, Moonlight is not only not for the squeamish, it very likely is not for the CBS audience, traditionally the most staid among the major networks. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

“The new CBS series Moonlight doesn’t get any points for originality, but it sure gets some for brazenness. Its elements are so shamelessly copied, the whole show should be sponsored by Xerox. [It’s] TV’s first drama series about a Los Angeles vampire who "moonlights" as a private eye since - well, since Angel, the wonderful spinoff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Right there, Moonlight is suspect. If you’re going to introduce your own version of a long-in-the-tooth private investigator, shouldn’t you at least have the imagination to select another city? (New York Daily News

“It seemed a perfect marriage, a modern Night Stalker, appealing both to fans of Buffy and of CSI. But something got lost between concept and execution, and instead of suspense we get silliness…. [At the show’s conclusion] we’re all supposed to be sad because love means never telling anyone you’re a vampire. Only the real reason we’re sad is that Moonlight just makes us miss Buffy and Angel all over again.” (Los Angeles Times)