Vampires, for the most part, have always been successful on the small screen (as well as on the silver screen). In most recent years, we've had True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Penny Dreadful just to name a few. Prior to that, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Forever Knight, and even Dark Shadows proved that no matter what decade we were living in, viewers were interested in vampires. Maybe that's why the we found the premature cancellation of three exciting vampire shows disappointing. We knew that, given a chance, these three programs could have grown into phenomenons.
Starring Alex O'Loughlin (Hawaii-Five-O) and Sophia Myles, Moonlight debuted in the fall of 2007 on CBS. With a vampire detective (O'Loughlin) and a tabloid reporter with a nose for deeper stories (Sophia Myles), the show also starred Jason Dohring of Veronica Mars fame. A mixture of action, comedy, and romance, Moonlight soon developed a rabid fan base and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama in 2008. It ranked 89 out of 289 series that season, but it wasn't enough to save the drama from cancellation. Moonlight was considered for a second season by both Syfy and the CW, although, ultimately both channels decided to pass. Fans were devastated.
This program could have been hugely successful if given the chance. Unfortunately, the Writers' Guild of America strike in 2007–2008 shortened the show's first season to only sixteen episodes, which didn't give much of an opportunity to grow. In 2010, the CW aired Moonlight alongside The Vampire Diaries, and the show averaged 1.41 million viewers. Other CW shows average less than that today and have been renewed. Imagine what could have happened had the CW picked up the show in 2008. As an aside, Moonlight also won a Saturn Award for Best Television Series Release on DVD in 2009. Not bad for a cancelled television show.
2. Blood Ties
Technically, this fascinating vampires series starring Christina Cox, Kyle Schmid, and Dylan Neal aired for two series, although that only culminated in 23 episodes. Based on the books by Tanya Huff, Blood Ties featured a private investigator losing her eyesight, a 470-year-old vampire, and a detective who doesn't believe in the paranormal. Though it didn't earn awards like Moonlight or attract as many viewers, it did develop a strong fan following with a petition started to either bring back Blood Ties or to offer a TV movie to tie up the loose ends left in the finale. Fans were still actively petitioning as late as March 2016.
The three main characters on Blood Ties had strong chemistry, and this show , which aired in 2007–2008 could have been a strong contender were it given half the chance The Vampire Diaries has been given. Unfortunately, this show aired on the Lifetime channel, which is more popular for its contemporary dramas like Army Wives and Devious Maids. Had Blood Ties been picked up by a channel with more ties to the fantasy/paranormal community, Blood Ties could still be going strong.
Airing only ten episodes, Dracula, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) and Jessica De Gouw (who also played The Huntress on Arrow) had barely gotten its feet off the ground when it was cancelled by NBC. A compelling story about a vampire determined to seek revenge on the people who destroyed his life centuries ago, it added a strong dose of chemistry with the the lead actress portraying the reincarnation of Dracula's dead wife. Though it was nominated for two People's Choice Awards in 2014, the ratings weren't high enough for NBC to keep it on the next season's roster.
This is another one of those shows I believe would have had a better shot on the CW. It's lowest-rated episode garnered 2.4 million views, well above ten of the the channel's recently renewed series. Though Dictionary-Dictionary announced in February 2016 that Netflix would be continuing the show for a second season, there does not seem to be any movement in that direction which is disappointing.
With the popularity of vampires that has lasted decades and strong fan popularity, these shows should not have been cancelled. There were more stories to tell, cliffhangers that left fans hanging in limbo, and so much more twists and turns to unravel. Unfortunately, it looks like viewers won't get closure and three wonderful series have been dusted permanently.