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Monk is an American police procedural comedy-drama, created by Andy Breckman and starring Tony Shalhoub as the titular Adrian Monk. It is primarily a mystery series, although the show also features broad comic touches. It is unusual for shows of this genre because its principal character, Monk, accompanied by his astute brilliance at solving crimes, is beset by a range of psychiatric disorders brought on by severe trauma, the peculiarities of which largely define his character-role in the series. The show debuted on July 12, 2002, on the USA Network. Its eighth and final season began on Friday, August 7, 2009 and will end on December 4, 2009 with part 2 of the two-part series finale, Mr. Monk and the End.


Adrian Monk was a brilliant detective for the San Franciscomarker Police Department until his wife, Trudy, was killed by a car bomb in a parking garage, which Monk then believed was intended for him. Trudy's death led Monk to suffer a nervous breakdown. He was discharged from the force and became a recluse, refusing to leave his house for over three years. He was finally able to leave the house with the help of his nurse, Sharona Fleming (Bitty Schram). The breakthrough allowed him to work as a private detective and a consultant for the homicide unit despite retaining limitations rooted in his obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), which had grown significantly worse after the tragedy.

Monk's compulsive habits are numerous, and a number of phobias compound his situation, such as his fear of germs. Monk has 312 fears, some of which are milk, ladybugs, harmonicas, heights, imperfection and risk. The OCD and plethora of phobias inevitably lead to very awkward situations and cause problems for Monk and anyone around him, as he investigates cases. These same personal struggles, particularly the OCD, are what aid him in solving cases such as his sharp memory, specific mindset and attention to detail. In one episode entitled "Mr.Monk and His Biggest Fan", Marci Maven (Sarah Silverman)had compiled a list of all of Adrian's fears and had put icons on her desktop of them. On another episode, he tried to conquer his fears by doing various activities which involved his phobias. For example, he tried drink milk, climbing a ladder, putting a ladybug on his hand, and when things were scattered unorganized across a table, he could not help the compulsion to arrange them neatly.

Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) and Lieutenant Randall "Randy" Disher (Jason Gray-Stanford) call on Monk when they have trouble with an investigation. Stottlemeyer is often irritated by Monk's disorder, but respects his friend and former colleague's amazing observational abilities, as does Disher. Ever since childhood, Monk's obsessive attention to detail allowed him to spot tiny discrepancies, find patterns, and make connections that others often fail to make. Monk continues to search for information about his wife's death, the one case that he has been unable to solve.

Sharona decided to re-marry her ex-husband and move back to New Jerseymarker, and Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) was hired as Monk's new assistant—a widow and mother of an eleven-year-old daughter (now 17). Monk has a brother Ambrose (John Turturro), and a half-brother, Jack, Jr. (Steve Zahn), whose existence Monk discovered in the fifth season.


Main characters

Name Occupation Portrayed By Seasons
Adrian Monk Private Consultant Tony Shalhoub 1–8
Natalie Teeger Monk's second assistant Traylor Howard 3–8
Sharona Fleming Monk's first assistant/nurse Bitty Schram 1–3, 8
Captain Leland Stottlemeyer SFPD captain: Robbery, Homicide Ted Levine 1–8
Lieutenant Randy Disher SFPD lieutenant: Robbery, Homicide Jason Gray-Stanford 1–8

Character Natalie Teeger made her entrance into the show partway through the third season when actress Bitty Schram, who played Monk's nurse Sharona Fleming, left "precipitous[ly]", reportedly due to a contract dispute. The new actress, Traylor Howard, had not yet seen the show and was not enthusiastic about her manager's urgings to audition for Sharona's replacement. However, she did try out and got the part. Despite the initial "cool" reception from fans, show co-creator Andy Breckman believes Howard quickly and successfully filled the void. "I will always be grateful to Traylor because she came in when the show was in crisis and saved our baby [....] We had to make a hurried replacement, and not every show survives that. I was scared to death."

Bitty Schram returned as a special guest star during the 8th and final season on October 23, 2009 (Mr. Monk and Sharona), in order to give closure to her character, who departed from the show abruptly in season three after re-marrying her ex-husband and moving back to New Jersey. In this episode, Sharona confirms that she and her ex-husband, Trevor, are now separated for good and in the end, she actually falls for Randy, who obviously likes her enough to kiss her and drive her to the airport to head back to New Jersey. Sharona does tell Monk, however, that she will be coming back to San Francisco a few weeks later to handle her law suit against the country club where she broke her arm after solving a stressful case involving the murder of her Uncle Howie with Monk and Natalie. Still, this was Sharona Fleming's final appearance on the show.

Secondary characters

  • Julie Teeger (Emmy Clarke): teenage daughter of Natalie Teeger. First appeared in "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring."
  • Benjamin "Benjy" Fleming (Kane Ritchotte during pilot episode and second and third seasons, Max Morrow during first season): Sharona's son. Last appearance was in season three, "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month," though he was mentioned in eighth and final season episode "Mr. Monk and Sharona."
  • Dr. Charles Kroger (Stanley Kamel): Adrian Monk's psychiatrist. Actor Stanley Kamel died of a heart attack on April 8, 2008, between production of seasons six and seven. His character was said to have died of a heart attack as well when Monk restarted. His last appearance was in season six, "Mr. Monk Paints His Masterpiece."
  • Dr. Neven Bell (Héctor Elizondo): Adrian Monk's new therapist. First appeared in "Mr. Monk Buys a House."
  • Kevin Dorfman (Jarrad Paul): accountant and next-door neighbor of Monk. First appeared in "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy." Dorfman was murdered in "Mr. Monk and the Magician."
  • Harold J. Krenshaw (Tim Bagley): a rival of Adrian and another patient of Dr. Kroger with whom Mr. Monk supports constant disputes for his incompatible obsessions. Harold is constantly trying to find out who Monk's new psychiatrist is (Dr. Bell). However, he did uncover Monk's psychiatrist in the season seven finale, "Mr. Monk Fights City Hall." In the episode "Mr. Monk Goes to Group Therapy," Harold and Monk finally become friends by conquering claustrophobia together. Harold generously leaves the group at the end of the episode so that Monk can share private therapy with Dr. Bell.
  • Ambrose Monk (John Turturro): agoraphobic brother of Adrian Monk. Seems to be based on Mycroft Holmes (smarter brother of Sherlock) First appeared in "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies."
  • Jack Monk (Dan Hedaya): father of Adrian and Ambrose, abandoned the family when Adrian and Ambrose were young (left for Chinese food and never came back) and started another family. Appeared in "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad".
  • Jack Monk Jr. (Steve Zahn): the other son of Jack Monk, Adrian's half brother. Appeared in "Mr. Monk's Other Brother."
  • Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck (Adam Arkin, Tim Curry, and Ray Porter): Adrian Monk's archenemy and most hated rival. A wealthy and morbidly obese financier whom Adrian blames for ruining the remainder of Trudy's life. Just as Adrian Monk is compared to Sherlock Holmes, it's possible that Dale Biederbeck (the "Genghis Khan of World Finance") is compared to Professor Moriarty (the Napoleon of Crime). First appeared in "Mr. Monk Meets Dale the Whale," at the end of which Monk sends him to prison for a murder-for-hire. Biederbeck later appears funneling information to Monk about Trudy's murder.
  • Linda Fusco (Sharon Lawrence): Captain Stottlemeyer's girlfriend. First appeared in "Mr. Monk, Private Eye". She was later proven by Monk to be a murderer in "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend."
  • Trudy "T. K." Jensen Stottlemeyer (Virginia Madsen): Captain Stottlemeyer's love interest. First appeared in "Happy Birthday, Mr. Monk" and marries Stottlemeyer in "Mr. Monk is the Best Man."


Most episodes have titles in the form of "Mr. Monk and (a person or thing)" or "Mr. Monk (does something)", much like novels in a series about a starring detective. While solving a murder is the plot for most episodes, there are a few episodes in which Monk helps investigate other crimes, such as a kidnapping in the season two episode "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny." In season seven, in the 100th episode, Mr. Monk solved his 100th (and 101st) case since his wife's death, a milestone in his career.

Here's What Happened

Every episode features a sequence in which Monk reveals how the crime was committed. Most of these sequences are featured near the end of the episode but have been known to occur at the beginning. Some of these sequences are told in an unusual fashion, such as being told to a bear (Mr. Monk Goes Camping), in the form of a bedtime story (Mr. Monk and the Kid), and being chanted during a ritual at a monastery (Mr. Monk and the Miracle).


According to an interview with executive producer David Hoberman, ABC first conceived the series as a police show with an Inspector Clouseau-like character suffering from obsessive–compulsive disorder. Hoberman said ABC wanted Michael Richards for the show, but Richards turned it down. Hoberman brought in Andy Breckman as creator, and Breckman, inspired by Sherlock Holmes, introduced a Doctor Watson-like character as Monk's nurse and an Inspector Lestrade-like character which eventually became Captain Stottlemeyer.

Although ABC originated the show, the network handed it off to the USA Network. USA is now owned by NBC (NBC Universal). Monk was the first ABC Studios-produced show (formerly Touchstone Television) aired on USA Network instead of ABC. Although ABC initially refused Monk, they did air repeats of the show on ABC in the summer and fall of 2002, and then again in the spring of 2004. On January 12, 2006, USA Network announced that Monk had been picked up through at least season six as one of the "highest-rated series in cable history." Season 5 premiered Friday, July 7, 2006, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. This marked the first time change for the program, which aired at 10:00 p.m. during its first four seasons. The change allowed the show to work as a lead-in to a new USA Network series, Psych, another offbeat detective program. Monk has followed a consistent format of airing half of its 16 episodes in mid-year and the second half early the following year. USA Networks announced that Monk s final season will run during mid-2009.

Previously aired episodes of Monk began airing on NBC Universal sibling network NBC April 6, 2008. NBC eyed the show because its block with Psych could be plugged into NBC's schedule intact. The shows are being used to increase the amount of scripted programming on the network as production of its own scripted programming ramp back up following the writers' strike. Ratings for the broadcast debut were well below NBC averages for the time period. The show came in third behind Big Brother 9marker on CBS and Oprah's Big Give on ABC.


Although set in San Franciscomarker and its area, Monk is for the most part shot elsewhere except for occasional exteriors featuring city landmarks. The pilot episode was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the subsequent Season 1 episodes were shot in the Toronto, Ontariomarker, area. Most of the episodes in Seasons 2-6 were filmed in the Los Angeles, Californiamarker, area, including on-stage at Ren-Mar Studiosmarker for seasons 2-5 and at Paramount Studios for season 6 (these include Adrian’s apartment, Stottlemeyer's precinct house, Dr. Kroger’s office and Natalie’s house).

Many scenes in Season 4 were shot in San Francisco, in downtown Union Square and Chinatown (shown in "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty," as the police chase Escobar up Jackson Street).

Theme music

During the first season of Monk, the series used a jazzy instrumental intro to the show by songwriter Jeff Beal, performed by guitarist Grant Geissman.The theme won the 2003 Emmy Award for Best Main Title Music.When the second season began, the series had new theme music, a song entitled "It's a Jungle out There", by Randy Newman. Reaction to the new theme was mixed. A review of the second season of Monk in the New York Daily News included a wish that producers would revert to the original theme.Shalhoub expressed his support for the new theme in USA Today, saying its "dark and mournful sound,...[its] tongue-in-cheek, darkly humorous side.... completely fits the tone of the show."Newman was awarded the 2004 Emmy Award for Best Main Title Music for "It's a Jungle out There".This debate was referenced in the episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star", which features an actor who plays a detective in a TV show, and several characters mention an in-story controversy over the change of that show's theme music, including obsessed fan Marci Maven, played by Sarah Silverman. In the epilogue of the story, she implores Monk to promise her that he will never change the theme music if he ever gets his own show. When Monk agrees to the promise (only so he can go back to bed), the original music is heard as the scene fades to credits.

The original theme is also heard in episode 8 of season 3 as Monk drives to Los Angeles with his neighbor and father-in-law. It is also heard in several other episodes as the show enters the credits and then kicks into the new theme's instrumental.

For the season 6 episode, "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," guest star Snoop Dogg performed a hip-hop version of "It's a Jungle out There," and he accompanied Monk with "Here's What Happened" in rap form.

The June 16, 2008, re-airing of the first episode featured a new credit sequence with the Newman theme.

Randy Newman also wrote a new song for the final episode entitled "When I'm Gone." The song will be released on December 1, 2009.

Little Monk

USA Network premiered a 10-episode online series entitled "Little Monk" on August 22, 2009. It includes Adrian Monk and Ambrose Monk during their middle-school years, bringing a back story to Monk's detective skills and phobias. However, as they would have been middle schoolers in the late 1960s and early 1970s, viewers will see anachronisms; the various cars seen in the episodes do not belong to the time-period. Moreover, the fashion of all the seen characters does not fit the times.

Other media


The show's soundtrack features its original music score, composed by Jeff Beal.


A "behind the scenes" audio podcast entitled "Lunch at Monk" is available for download through the USA website. [50151] In the podcast, cast and crew members of the show are interviewed over lunch.


Lee Goldberg has written several novels based on the show. The novels are written in first-person narrative form, from the perspective of Mr. Monk's assistant Natalie. The first novel, Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse, was the basis for the fifth season episode "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing."

Title Author ISBN Publication date
Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse Lee Goldberg January 2006
Mr. Monk Goes to Hawaii June 2006
Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu January 2007
Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants July 2007
Mr. Monk in Outer Space October 2007
Mr. Monk Goes to Germany July 2008
Mr. Monk is Miserable December 2008
Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop July 2009
Mr. Monk in Trouble December 1, 2009
Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out TBA TBA

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the first six seasons of Monk on DVD in Regions 1 and 2, and Season 7 in Region 1. The first five seasons have also been released in Region 4. Monk episodes from seasons 1–8 are also available on iTunes. All seasons are also available in HD format.[50152]. It should be noted that the Region 2 DVDs of seasons 1-3 are in the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Title Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4
Season One June 15, 2004 December 27, 2004 January 20, 2005 January 18, 2005
Season Two January 11, 2005 July 18, 2005 September 19, 2005 September 21, 2005
Season Three June 5, 2005 February 27, 2006 March 7, 2006 March 22, 2006
Season Four June 27, 2006 September 18, 2006 TBA November 15, 2006
Season Five June 26, 2007 September 17, 2007 TBA April 1, 2009
Season Six July 8, 2008 September 8, 2008  – TBA
Season Seven July 21, 2009 TBA 2010 TBA 2009 TBA
Season Eight TBA 2010 TBA 2010 TBA 2010 TBA
Seasons 1–4(The Obsessive Compulsive Collection) June 27, 2006 November 20, 2006

(R2 has different cover art)
  Not Released
Seasons 1–5 N/A October 22, 2007

(only available in R2)
  Not Released
Seasons 1–6       Not Released
The Best of Monk November 17, 2009      
Complete Series       Not Released

Awards and nominations

Awards won

Emmy Awards:
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub (2003, 2005, 2006)
  • Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Jeff Beal (2003)
  • Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Randy Newman (2004)
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series John Turturro (2004)
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Stanley Tucci (2007)

Golden Globe Awards:
  • Best Performance by an Leading Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy Tony Shalhoub (2003)

Screen Actors Guild:
  • Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub (2004, 2005)

Award nominations

Emmy Awards:
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub (2003-2009) 7 nominations
  • Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Anya Colloff, Amy McIntyre Britt, Meg Liberman, Camille H. Patton, Sandi Logan, Lonnie Hamerman (2004)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" Randall Zisk (2005)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Laurie Metcalf (2006)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Sarah Silverman (2008)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Gena Rowlands (2009)

Golden Globe Awards:
  • Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy (2004)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy Tony Shalhoub (2003-2005, 2007, 2009) 5 nominations
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy Bitty Schram (2004)

Screen Actors Guild:
  • Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shalhoub (2003-2005, 2007-2008) 5 nominations


Region TV Network(s)
Arab World MBC 4
Asia STAR World
Latin America Universal Channel Hallmark Channel
Country Series Title in Country TV Network(s) Series Premiere
Hallmark Channel
Network Ten (original run)

and TV1 (re-runs)
Austriamarker Monk ORF 1
Belgiummarker VTM
 Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker FTV
Brazilmarker Monk, um detetive diferente

(Monk, a different detective)
Rede Record

Hallmark Channel

Universal Channel
Bulgariamarker Монк (Monk) bTV



Diema 2
January 3, 2007

August 19, 2008

September 22, 2008

April 14, 2009
Canadamarker A-Channel, Citytv, TVA (French), Canal Mystère (French)
Chilemarker Hallmark Channel
Colombiamarker Record
Croatiamarker Monk HRT 2marker
Cyprusmarker Ντετέκτιβ Μόνκ

("Detective Monk")
CyBC October 8, 2006
Czech Republicmarker Můj přítel Monk

("My friend Monk")
Denmarkmarker Monk (Canal+)/

Detektiv Monk (TV 2 Charlie/TV 2)
Canal+ (first run), TV 2 Charlie (re-runs), TV 2 (first run on national television)
Egyptmarker MBC 4
Estoniamarker TV 3 September 6, 2003
Finlandmarker Monk YLE TV1 September 11, 2004
Francemarker Monk TF1marker, TV Breizh March 22, 2003
Germanymarker Monk RTL June 29, 2004
Greecemarker Ντετέκτιβ Μονκ

("Detective Monk")
Star Channel
Jamaicamarker Monk Television Jamaica May 2005-
Hollandmarker SBS6
Hong Kongmarker 神探阿蒙

("Detective Monk")
TVB (Season 5) September 18, 2003
Hungarymarker Monk - Flúgos nyomozó

("Monk - Nutty detective")

and Viasat3
Icelandmarker Stöð 2
Indiamarker STAR World
Irelandmarker RTÉmarker
Israelmarker מונק Israel 10

and Hallmark

and Star World
Italymarker Monk Rete 4

June 9, 2005

May 1, 2008
Japanmarker 名探偵モンク [Meitantei Monk]

("Great detective Monk")
NHK BS-2 March 30, 2004
Country Series Title in Country TV Network(s) Series Premiere
Kenyamarker Kenya Television Network
Lithuaniamarker Detektyvas Monkas ("Detective Monk") TV6 September 6, 2003
South Koreamarker 탐정 몽크 [Tam Jeong Monk]

("Detective Monk")
KBS 2TVmarker & Fox KBS : Only Broadcast Season 3
Mexicomarker 4tv, The Hallmark Channel, Universal Channel
Nepalmarker Monk Star World
Netherlandsmarker SBS6 December 6, 2007
New Zealandmarker Television 3 and SKY 1 (Now Called "THE BOX")
Norwaymarker TV2 Zebra & Hallmark Channel February 19, 2008
Philippinesmarker Star World
Polandmarker Detektyw Monk

("Detective Monk")
TVN (free-tv-premiere), TVN Siedem (free-tv-re-runs)

Canal+ (first run), Canal+ Film (re-runs)

Universal Channel (re-runs)
April 11, 2003
Portugalmarker TVI and FX
Romaniamarker Pro Cinema
Republic of Macedoniamarker Kanal 5
Russiamarker Дефективный детектив

("Defective Detective")
Channel One 2006, 1-3 seasons
Детектив Монк

("Detective Monk")
Telekanal Zvezda
Serbiamarker Детектив Монк

("Detective Monk")
Slovakiamarker Monk Markíza
Sloveniamarker POP TV September 8, 2004
South Africa SABC 2
Spainmarker Monk Calle 13 cable/satellite

Canal 9 (Valencian Communitymarker)

ETB2 (Basque Countrymarker)

8tv (Cataloniamarker)

TVG (Galiciamarker)

TV Canaria (Canary Islandsmarker)

Telemadrid (Community of Madridmarker)
Swedenmarker Canal+ Film 1 (first run)

and Kanal 9 (re-runs)

and Comedy Central Sweden (re-runs)
April 8, 2003
Switzerlandmarker Monk SF zwei, 3+, RSI La 1 (form. TSI 1), TSR 1
Taiwanmarker Monk 神經妙探 Videoland — W Movie Channel July 14, 2004
Thailandmarker Star World
Turkeymarker Dizimax, TNT Turkey
United Kingdommarker BBC, Hallmark Channel
USA Network (original airing)

and Universal HD (syndication)

and NBC (syndication)
July 12, 2002


  1. http:/
  2. Tony Shalhoub and Hector Elizondo talk about season seven of Monk
  3. Monk TV Series News: Emmy Award-Winner Hector Elizondo to Appear in Monk
  4. "Mr Monk and His Origins," a special feature packaged with the Season One DVDs
  5. IMDB - Monk Filming Locations
  6. Monk Set Visit II
  7. The Official Website of Lee Goldberg
  12. /

External links

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