I think that's the real problem. It's exactly what gets me so mad at Disney with their constant sequels: quality is overlooked because enough people will be (somewhat) satisfied with the same old stuff we've seen a thousand times already (I'm trying very hard to keep my language clean here!). The same thing is happening on TV. The cookie-cutter dramas and "un-reality" shows are the status quo. You know exactly what you're getting into. The networks can bank on it. They're reliable. Predictable. Boring.
Then you have a show like Moonlight--fantastic acting, great production, the best soundtrack I've EVER heard in a TV show--but no built-in fan base. In fact, before the show aired you had the invariable skeptics comparing it unfavorably to Angel (and Forever Knight). It is hard to get a new vampire show up and running. In the past couple years they've tried it twice, and both times it's been shot down after only one season (Blood Ties supposedly had 2 seasons, but apparently all 22 episodes were supposed to be Season 1). But we did everything we could for Moonlight, and CBS won't give them another chance.
Sigh. I think the previous success of shows like Buffy and Angel actually can work against new vampire dramas, because you do have people who think only one show can be good and none of the rest can ever compare. Then you have the genre fans (like me) who can see the good (and, yes, bad) in each show.
For your reading pleasure, I will give you my 3-sentence analysis of all of the vampire dramas that I've seen, to date.
Forever Knight (1992-1995): Follows Officer Nick Knight, an 800-year-old vampire, in Toronto.
I love it because: It's the original "vampire-as-crimefighter" show. And I giggle every time I hear Nick's partner's name (Schanke, pronounced "skanky.")
If I could change one thing, I would...give it some humor. Seriously, this show is almost as melodramatic as "Interview."
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003): Follows Buffy Summers, the Chosen One who must slay the demons/vampires/random creepy crawlies along with her band of supernatural sidekicks.
I love it because: Joss Whedon is a master genius, Buffy kicks serious butt, and it has some good eye candy (I still think Oz is the perfect boyfriend! I love him!). And the musical episode.
If I could change one thing, I would...give at least one love story a happy ending, or at least a semi-happy one. Whedon must've had some serious heartbreak in his life.
Angel (2000-2004): The Buffy spinoff follows her undead love interest, Angel, the vampire with a soul.
I love it because: it's the first vampire show I ever watched, it has Charisma Carpenter (who also kicks butt!) and I just think all of the characters are fantastic. I even love the bad guys (in a 'l0ve-to-hate-them' sort of way)
If I could change one thing, I would...resolve the ending. Could we be a little more open-ended, please? And also not kill off half of the main characters in the last season.
Blood Ties (2007-2008): This underrated Lifetime drama follows Vicki Nelson, a human PI, and her undead assistant Henry Fitzroy.
I love it because: it has Kyle Schmid, Christina Cox is awesome, Kyle Schmid, Vicki kicks butt, Kyle Schmid, some really funny episodes...and did I mention how hot Kyle Schmid is? Mmm, he can seduce me any time!
If I could change one thing, I would...make it more consistent. The show was actually pretty hit-or-miss; I loved a lot of the episodes, but some of them had awful storylines. At least the acting (and eye candy!) was always top-notch.
Moonlight (2oo7-2008): Mick St. John, an undead PI, solves cases with the help of his possible-girlfriend Beth ("It's complicated")
I love it because: Alex O'Loughlin is an awesome actor (and nearly as hot as Kyle...seriously, very close second...Kyle's closer to my age), the music rocks, it has Jason Dohring as Mick's old buddy (seriously, like 400 years old!) Josef, they're finally going somewhere with Mick and Beth's relationship
If I could change one thing, I would...NOT CANCEL IT!!! Arrrrrgh! Oh, and also have some women kicking butt. Come on, step into the 21st century. Women can slay the dragons too, you know.
In happier news, happy birthday to Twilight star Robert Pattinson! Yay Edward!