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‘Monk’ tidies up NBC schedule

Zap2it.com

NBC is turning to its cable sibling USA to help fill out its midseason schedule.

The broadcast network will repurpose episodes of USA’s popular shows "Monk" and "Psych" on Sunday nights beginning in March. Both series are set to return with new episodes in January.

"This is an excellent opportunity to showcase these two critically acclaimed cable hits," NBC co-chairman Marc Graboff says. "It’s a win-win situation. The shows, both produced by our own Universal Media Studios, receive additional exposure while providing great programming for NBC."

They’ll also fill a hole, brought on by the writers’ strike. The network will fill the first few Sundays of 2008 with specials and movies, but beyond that no firm plans were in place.

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NBC also will repurpose episodes of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which moved its first run to USA this season, on Wednesday nights starting next month.

"Monk," which stars Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub as a detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder, will be getting its second go-round on a broadcast network. Early in its run, episodes were repurposed on ABC (whose corporate sibling Touchstone TV is also a producer of the show).

Both it and "Psych," which stars James Roday as a police consultant who lets the cops think he’s psychic — although he’s just really observant — are strong performers for USA. "Monk" averaged close to 5 million viewers a week in its most recent summer run, while "Psych" pulled in better than 4 million.

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