NBC U Inks Monk Syndie Deals

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Mr. Monk will meet broadcast syndication in the fall of 2008.

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution secured deals with stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for Monk, USA Network’s quirky detective series, starring Tony Shalhoub, who has won Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild best-actor awards for his portrayal of the obsessive-compulsive title character.

Monk, currently in its fifth season on the characters network, will air on NBC owned-and-operated stations WNBC-TV and KNBC-TV in the Big Apple and Los Angeles, respectively, as well as on Fox O&O WFLD-TV Chicago for weekend runs, via barter deals in which the stations and NBC U Domestic Television Distribution each will control seven minutes of ad time during the one-hour drama.

The stations will be able to air two different episodes per weekend.

A spokesman for NBC U said the distributor is pursuing deals on a market-by-market basis. USA earlier this year secured strip rights to Monk in 2008, when just under 100 installments will be available. In January, USA ordered 16-episode fifth and sixth seasons of the show.

Monk is the ideal one-hour weekend series for local broadcast stations -- it’s smart, it’s funny and each episode is self-contained,” said Sean O'Boyle, senior vice president and general sales manager of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, in a prepared statement. “And on top of that, the most successful basic-cable drama of all time is also advertiser-friendly.”

Monk has long been at or near the top of basic cable’s original-series leader board.

During 2005, new episodes averaged 5.1 million viewers, trailing only TNT’s The Closer among original series.

Through the first two installments of its fifth campaign’s run in July, Monk has averaged just under 5 million viewers on Friday nights.

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