This summer, get ready to say goodbye to one of the most successful series in basic cable history. As reported previously, the USA network decided to put an end to the long-running comedy Monk for its eighth and final season. But before the defective detective solves his last case, he'll be reuniting with a long lost friend.
According the network's press release, original cast member Bitty Schram will be reprising her role as Sharona for a guest appearance during the eighth and final season of Monk.
"We couldn't think of a better way to help wrap up the series than with the return of Bitty's character," lead star Tony Shalhoub, who plays Adrian Monk, said in a statement. "Bringing some closure to Sharona is long overdue."
Schram (A League of their Own) was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal as Sharona. She reportedly left Monk halfway through the third season due to a contract dispute though it was explained by the network that they wanted to take the character in a new direction. Sharona's role as Monk's assistant was later replaced by Natalie Teeger, played by Traylor Howard.
To refresh your memory, Sharona is a divorced practical nurse from New Jersey and a single mother with a young son named Benjy. During the first three seasons of Monk, she initially served as Monk's nurse before becoming his first assistant. When Monk became a consulting detective, Sharona helped him out, often doing independent investigations. She last appeared on the show's third season in the episode Mr. Monk and the Two Assistants where she moved back to New Jersey with her son to re-marry her ex-husband.
Don't forget to catch the all 16 brand-new episodes of Monk's final season this summer on the USA network.