During its eight seasons, the adventures of Tony Shalhoub’s obsessive-compulsive private eye was one of the most popular programs on cable. It also helped inspire the lightly seriocomic “blue skies” aesthetic which USA Network would adopt as its brand identity during the ‘00s. Without Adrian Monk, Neal Caffrey, Michael Weston, Shawn Spencer, and more might not exist.
Without Monk’s impact on USA, This Was Television’s own Cory Andrew Barker might never have found the inspiration for his master’s thesis, and thus found himself relegated to a life of shucking corn and ranking the Top 143 Stalks of the season. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Milton Berle, Mr. Television (d. 2002); Susan Blu, 80s voice actress (64); Bill Cosby, wearer of legendary sweaters (75); Anna Friel, the girl called Chuck (36); Topher Grace, basement dweller (34); Mel Harris, steadfast Steadman (56); Cheryl Ladd, angelic (61); Denise Nicholas, Room 222 guidance counselor (68); Michelle Rodriguez, tailie (34); Jay Thomas, ex-Mr. Tortelli (64); Phoebe Tonkin, teenage witch (23).