BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Peacock announced Wednesday evening via Twitter that a “Monk” spinoff movie is coming soon to the streaming service. An official date has not yet been confirmed, however Peacock has encouraged fans, “Bulk order your wipes, the rewatch starts now.”
“Monk” ran for 125 episodes between 2002 to 2009 on USA Network. The eight-season series starred Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as title character Adrian Monk, a private detective and former police officer with obsessive-compulsive disorder, who lost his wife Trudy in a car bomb attack, which caused him to have a mental breakdown.
The series, set in San Francisco, also starred Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs) as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer, Jason Gray-Stanford (A Beautiful Mind) as Lt. Randy Disher, and Bitty Schram (A League of Their Own) and Traylor Howard (Son of the Mask) as Monk’s assistants, Sharona Fleming and Natalie Teeger, throughout the span of the series. It also stars Melora Harden (The Office) as Trudy Monk in flashbacks and dreams.
The show was created by Andy Breckman and won eight Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award during its run. The movie has been billed as “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.” According to a report from TV Line, the movie will welcome back Levine, Howard, Gray-Stanford, Hardin, and Hector Elizondo, who played Monk’s therapist, Dr. Neven Bell. It is unclear whether Schram will reprise her role as Sharona, or if Alona Tal (Veronica Mars) will return as Trudy’s daughter, Molly Evans.
The movie follows a 2011 spinoff of fellow USA Network program “Burn Notice,” as well as a series of three spinoff movies to date of psychic detective show “Psych,” which aired on the network from 2006 to 2014. In the “Psych” series finale, four of the show’s main characters moved to San Francisco. The presence of Adrian Monk was alluded to, but he was never seen. It remained unclear whether the character would appear onscreen again.
In May 2020, as part of Peacock’s “Peacock at Home” variety show during the COVID-19 pandemic, the streamer released a 7.5-minute short, titled “Mr. Monk in Quarantine.” The segment was used to provide levity during the quarantine period of COVID, while also sharing tips on how to stay safe during the early stages of the pandemic.
In a 2021 interview with News 4, “Psych” creator Steve Franks discussed the possibility of Monk making his return as a cameo in a future “Psych” spinoff now that the series were both based in the same city. Franks said it was up to whether Breckman and Shalhoub wanted to bring the character back, but added that he’d welcome Monk in the future if that was the path the character took. Now, Monk will mark his return in his own film.
Though it is unclear whether Monk and the “Psych” cast will ever be seen together onscreen, save for a few promos from when the series shared a release night, Franks said he likes to believe they share the same universe. “We like the idea that somehow, they share the same universe,” he said. “I hope Andy Breckman’s okay with that fact.”
Shalhoub teased the upcoming “Monk” spinoff in an interview with Dr. Loubna Hassanieh on her “Unheard Stories” series, saying that production will begin in May. “I’m not sure if I’m doing a spoiler-alert here, but we’re doing a ‘Monk’ 90-minute movie for streaming,” he said. “We’re going to start shooting that in May, and it’s Monk post-COVID, so he’s in trouble. So we’re bringing everybody back, all of the characters.”