'Monk' Starts Pursuing Final Cases In Summer 2009


Tony Shaloub will play Adrian Monk for the "characters" network for one more season.

USA Network has picked up Monk for an eighth and final season, with a 16-installment order from Universal Cable Productions.

The final season of the series, starring the Emmy- (three), Golden Globe- and SAG- (two) winning Shaloub in the title role, will debut next summer, announced Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president, original programming, USA Network and co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions.

"We want to build to a spectacular conclusion for this wonderful show.  By many measures, Monk is the most successful series in the history of basic cable television -- and it was certainly the original tentpole of our 'Character' brand," said Wachtel in a statement. "Our fans have been extremely dedicated and season eight should prove to be a very satisfying reward."

The series, which revolves around Shaloub’s obsessive-compulsive detective, enjoyed its top season last year. Debuting in 2002, Monk averaged 13% more 18-to-49 viewers, 9% more adults 25 to 54, 30% more 18-to-34 viewers and 20 more total viewers in 2008 than the series averaged through 2007. Through 2008, the series averaged an audience of 2 million persons 18 to 49, 2.5 million adults 25-54 and 5 million total viewers.

The Feb. 22 show was its most-watched episode ever with 7.55 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, live + seven-day data.

Monk's comical crime-solving techniques stem from the unsolved murder of his wife, as the detective developed an abnormal fear of germs, heights, crowds and virtually everything else, not to mention his day-to-day existence.