It wasn't dead, only resting. Now, the CBS vampire drama Moonlight returns with a vengeance.
2008 has been shockingly good to a TV series that no one predicted would last more than a few episodes. Not only is it capturing ratings, but it's grabbing awards, as well.

Coming back from the Fall Break, Moonlight hit the ground running hot with its first episode of the new year, January 11th's "Love Lasts Forever." SyFy Portal's ROBIN BROWNFIELD gushed that it was "funny, enthralling, and heart-wrenching all at once," and viewers agreed.

MICHAEL HINMAN at SyFy Portal reports that the vampire show earned a 5.2 rating/9 share according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen Media Research, winning the hour that contained repeats for the most part. The show now is about half a ratings point below its all-time high.

This strong showing rode the tail of Moonlight's win three nights earlier for Best New Drama at The 34th Annual People's Choice Awards.

Alex O'Loughlin, who plays L.A.'s sole vampire P.I., Mick St. John, accepted the award for the cast via video from Australia.

It's a remarkable turnaround for this show, which had been a critical bomb. The above-quoted Brownfield wasn't always so glowing in her reviews--she originally gave Moonlight four to six episodes before a sudden death. So, why the change of fortune?

"Because Alex O'Loughlin is the hottest guy on television," wrote retired schoolteacher CHERYL to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He has created a very charismatic, sexy character. It is the only program in years that my daughters (38 and 26) and I never miss."

Cheryl, by the way, has "zero interest in vampires."

So, there's little doubt about the main reason for the staying power of a show that has shamelessly swiped from its vampire detective forebearers, Angel and Forever Knight. In her review of "Love Lasts Forever," SyFy Portal's Brownfield kicked off her description of the episode by mentioning that it started "with Mick doing some of the hottest push-ups I've ever seen."

Moonlight co-stars Sophia Myles (Underworld) as Beth, Shannyn Sossamon (One Missed Call) as Coraline, and Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) as Josef. The final pre-strike episode airs this Friday (18 January) at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. However, one can be pretty confident that it'll return from the darkness...or the fans will want blood.

[Thanks to STONE MARTINDALE at Monsters & Critics, and to GAIL PENNINGTON at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for additional material.]
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