On Friday December 4, the television series Monk, which premiered on July 12, 2002, came to an end after eight entertaining seasons. With a tear in my eye, I said good-bye to my old friend, Adrian Monk as the final montage was shown. Evidently, I was not alone in wishing Mr. Monk a fond farewell. The series finale drew a record 9.44 million viewers. Prior to Friday night’s finale, Monk had never drawn more than 7 million total viewers. The wrap beat the previous high-water mark by 37 percent.
Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data shows the series finale of Monk now stands as the most-watched episode of an original cable series, edging past TNT’s The Closer, which drew 9.21 million viewers.
For those of you not familiar with Monk, here is a brief history.
Adrian Monk was a brilliant detective for the San Francisco Police Department until his wife, Trudy, was killed by a car bomb in a parking garage. Monk believed the bomb 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. He was finally able to leave home with the help of his nurse, Sharona Fleming. This allowed him to work as a private detective and a consultant for the SF PD despite his phobias embedded in his obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), which had grown appreciably worse after the tragedy.
Typically, Captain Leland Stottlemeyer and Lieutenant Randy Disher would call on Monk when they had trouble with a murder investigation. Monk's obsessive attention to detail allowed him to detect the most minute discrepancies, discover tendencies, and make connections that others would fail to make.
Other regulars were Natalie Teeger who was hired as Monk's new assistant, when Sharona decided to re-marry her ex-husband and move back to New Jersey. Teeger, a widow, was the mother of daughter Julie. Monk had a brother Ambrose, and a half-brother, Jack, Jr.
It should be noted that, in my humble opinion, the show lost something when the feisty Sharona moved on after season three. Much to my delight, she did appear in an episode in this last season.
Adrian Monk also went through two psychiatrists during the run of the show. Dr. Charles Kroger counseled the detective the first six seasons before giving way to Dr. Neven Bell during the final two.
The one case that Monk never had been able to solve was the death of his wife. Throughout the series, he continued to search for information about her death. Finally, he solved it in the series finale.
With this case closed, the series came to a close.
I was happy to see the obsessive-compulsive detective finally find closure with the tragic death of his beloved Trudy. It made me even happier to see him have joy in his life again when he was reunited with Molly, his 26-year-old stepdaughter, a newspaper movie critic.
Good-bye my old friend, I am going to miss you. Until next time…from the booth.