Monk: Sharona (Bitty Schram) Returns for Last Season Episode

MonkUSA’s Monk may be leaving the air after its eighth season wraps up, but there is a bit of good news in store for longtime fans.

Monk centers on Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), a brilliant San Francisco detective who has a breakdown following his wife’s murder. After a three-year absence, Monk returns to the force to help do what he does best: solve crimes. Of course, for someone suffering from severe OCD, that’s no easy task — but it’s usually Monk’s OCD that ends up helping him solve the case. Series performers also include Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine, Traylor Howard, Stanley Kamel, Bitty Schram, Emmy Clarke, Kane Ritchotte, and Hector Elizondo.

The show premiered in 2002 and was a surprise hit for the USA Network. One of the most endearing aspects of the show was the close relationship between Monk and his practical nurse/assistant, Sharona Flemming (Schram).

Schram left the series in the middle of season three due to a contract dispute, though producers insisted they just wanted to “take the show in a different direction.” Her spot in the cast was filled by Traylor Howard as Monk’s second assistant, Natalie.

Sharona’s absence was explained by having the character move back to New Jersey with her son, after remarrying her ex-husband Trevor Howe. She is mentioned but not seen at the end of season six when everyone believes that Monk has died. She apparently sent flowers and attended the funeral with her son, Benjy.

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In the novel Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants by Lee Goldberg, the character returns to San Francisco after her husband has been accused of murder. Monk eventually clears him and Sharona returns to her husband with the knowledge that her eccentric friend is being well cared for by Natalie. It’s a bit of closure that TV viewers didn’t get — until now.

Schram is reprising her role as Sharona for an episode of the Monk TV show’s final season. It’s unknown how the writers will reintroduce her but one scenario invloves Natalie and Sharona exchanging war stories about the detective.

Shalhoub is excited about his former co-star’s return. The two ran into each other last April when Kamel (Dr. Kroger) passed away.

Shalhoub said, “We couldn’t think of a better way to help wrap up the series than with the return of Bitty’s character. Bringing some closure to Sharona is long overdue.”

Season eight of Monk is expected to premiere this Summer. Shalhoub says the writers are hard at work wrapping up unresolved storylines. It’s unknown where in the final 16 episode run Schram’s appearance will fall but it’s certainly a nice way to help end the series.

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71 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Faisal says

    I watched the final Monk episode a few hours ago and I LOVED it. It closed the biggest case in the series plus a nice surprise. Monk seems to be changing for the better. But the best thing about it was the montage at the end and the way they tied the last episode to the first one. The new song along with the montage at the end was the icing on the cake. The episode was very special.

  2. k ecia says

    monk is the greatest sleuth of all time i think that you should really do special i am a true detective my husband told me i derive 30 ocsar i act not for a living but i can he also said i have watch so many detectived shows that do the perfect crime no one would find out that comes from watching monk and other detective shows give me more monk please.

  3. k ecia says

    monk is awsome i watch each and every series ithink they should have special two hour special matlock or perry mason you just can,t let it end monk can make alot of money on special i know i am the master at tv

  4. Bruce says

    to Jojo — the last song was done by Randy Newman as well, and there was an ad at the end of the show that you can download an MP3 of it, I assume on the Monk website.

    While the song was good, I’m one of those who has never fully gotten over the fact they replaced the original theme with that silly intro by Newman, most famous for his derisive songs like “Short People.”

    The opening theme is an overstatement of what we already know, and was like pouring syrup on a souffle.

    If you liked the opening, that’s great, and I hope you can find the ending song. However, for me, Randy Newman is the ONLY thing I will not miss about “Monk.”

    It was also interesting for me to see the “Monk on the Run” rerun where he tells “Dale the Whale” that he doesn’t have the killer’s name, but knows he’s “the Judge.” I had forgotten that little piece of information. Really tied loose ends together.

  5. Jean says

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the final episode because I was afraid the writers were going to kill Monk off. He should live ,heal, and marry Natalie.

  6. Big Daddy says

    Monk finale was bittersweet. Very sad that the show is ending but it was nice to finally find Trudy’s killer after watching for 8 years. The suicide was kind of disappointing – you wanted him to suffer more (life sentence, electric chair, etc.). I think at the ending, Monk was not wearing his trademark white shirt. Instead, he was wearing something that resembled a brown, mock turtleneck. Perhaps it was a sign of change and better things to come for Adrian Monk.

  7. FLORIDA fan says

    Thanks to everyone who was involved with MONK. It certainly entertained my family and we will miss it. We loved the dry humor which is so hard to do well with the mix of drama. It was superb and will be a classic.

  8. Jan says

    I’m going to miss the show. Can’t wait to see what happens tonight. I think Trudy may stil be alive, at least, I hope so and they are reunited.

  9. Shirley Aldeman says

    I have always enjoyed watching this show. It was the highlight for the end of the week for me. I think it was fun to see Tony’s wife on in different parts in the shows. I also like that he had one of the fellows from Wings on the show. I reminds me of the fun of that show as well. He seems to not forget people he has worked with. I was very sorry to hear he will not be coming back. I always watch the Monk marathon they do on the weekends sometimes.

    So I would like Tony to know he brought laughter to many people.

  10. Paula says

    Simply, the whole cast made Monk what it is — a delightful entertaining and light-hearted detective show. Thanks for the laughs, coming to my house on Friday nights, and the lovable quirks. You all will be missed.

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