Let's return to August 2007... several promos for Moonlight were airing on CBS. The most memorable one was probably Celine Dion's "Taking Chances," which forever linked that song to Moonlight in the minds of many fans. But some fans may have seen a promo that used clips from an early version of Moonlight with a different cast...


In 2007, CBS commissioned a pilot "presentation" instead of a full-length 42-minute pilot for a new vampire drama named Twilight. The pilot script for Twilight—later changed to Moonlight to avoid confusion with that other vampire series—was shortened to 25 minutes and filmed. CBS liked the presentation enough to order the series. However, in going from pilot to series, the show's setting was changed from New York to Los Angeles and the entire cast was replaced except for the series lead, Alex O'Loughlin.

Warner Bros. New Series 2007-2008 DVD

The pilot presentation never aired, but Warner Bros. did include it on a DVD set with all of their 2007-08 pilots that were ordered to series. The DVD set was sent to various media people for previewing.

Compared to Moonlight, the pilot presentation is more noir but also more fairy-tale-like, which seems a contradiction until you remember that fairy tales in their original form were often quite dark. (The typeface of the Twilight logo even has a once-upon-a-time flourish that is lacking in the more blocky typeface of the Moonlight logo.)

Twilight and Moonlight logos

Twilight (and to a lesser extent Moonlight) defined its noir story as an urban fairy tale, using fairy tale in its original darker sense as opposed to the Disney-fied meaning used today in phrases like "fairy tale romance." This dark fairy tale is reminiscent of Moonlight co-creator Ron Koslow's earlier series, Beauty and the Beast, right down to the vampire makeup being more beast-like than what we later saw in Moonlight.

Here is a look back at a Moonlight that could have been...


Script to Screen

A look at the differences between the script and the filmed pilot presentation