Dumb Career Moves

Sharona I’ve been absorbed in all things MONK today… writing book #2, reading scripts for season #4, watching last night’s season #4 premiere, and catching up on some of the supplementary materials in the DVD boxed set of season 3.

And I’ve come to this c0nclusion. Bitty Schram leaving MONK is going to go Toma0down in history as one of the great dumb career moves, right up there with Tony Musante leaving TOMA, McLean Stevenson leaving MASH, Shelly Long leaving CHEERS, Valerie Harper leaving VALERIE, Wil Wheaton leaving STAR TREK, David Caruso leaving NYPD BLUE, Erica Eleniak leaving BAYWATCH, Herve Villachaize leaving FANTASY ISLAND, Redd Foxx leaving SANFORD AND SON, and George Lazenby walking away from James Bond, to name a few.

18 thoughts on “Dumb Career Moves”

  1. Why did she leave? Any information I dig up seems to be conflicting. I do like the new actress and the fact that she has now become Monk’s assistant.
    Will you continue to write Schram’s character, or shift to the new actress?
    JDC

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  2. I don’t feel comfortable discussing the details behind her parting with the show.
    The departure happened in the midst of production last season, so I think the writers may not have had the time to concentrate on Natalie’s character that they would have liked.
    The fourth season scripts were crafted with her unique character in mind from the outset and I think it comes through. I’ve read all the scripts for this season and her character really takes shape. You’ll warm up to her. I have and I really like her.
    Of course, it helps that I’ve written one and a half novels (so far) in Natalie’s voice, so I feel a special connection to her.

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  3. Glad to hear that she (Natalie) is going to be better this season. I can’t really picture Schram in much other than her role on Monk, the only other part she was memorable (at least to me) in was her smallish role in “A League of Their Own”. To me though, she made Monk the show it was and whatever salary disputes that were going on (if that is in fact what was happening) they should have paid her what she was asking – the missing chunk of the show is too stark. Hopefully, they (or maybe I should say “you”) will get Natlie feeling more like she belongs this season.

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    • Gosh, I never liked her character & as someone who lives in and loves San Francisco always felt that she was out-of-place . I don’t know anyone who dresses that way or has such a terrible accent.

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    • I agree with you. The males get higher salaries, woman not. Very tipic and a really shame. We are in a mascilist world, especially film industry.

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  4. she made Monk the show it was

    I have to disagree. The show is Tony Shalhoub. Yeah, Stottlemeyer and Disher and, now, Natalie are important parts…but in my mind, the series is called MONK for a reason.

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    • I’m just watching the series for the first time and I’m just a couple episodes into Sharona being gone and I’ve got to say, it’s not the same. She really did make the show what it was. Whether or not this new character ends up being good, I don’t think the show would have accumulated as many fans as it had by that point without Sharona. She is my favorite character

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  5. I was really worried that Sharona leaving would ruin Monk. It has done the opposite in my opinion. Season 3 was getting bad with the characters becoming caricatures. Natalie revived them.
    I’m glad to hear she’ll get developed better this season. I did feel like she was short changed last year, but chalked it up to the last minute addition hoping it would change this year.
    Now, if I could only get a chance to watch Friday’s premier.

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  6. I agree, Monk is the main character and that’s why the show is named after him.
    I wasn’t all that chuffed with Sharona, her character got on my nerves at times.
    That’s my 2p, like it or leave it. :o)

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  7. Gosh, I never liked her character & as someone who lives in and loves San Francisco always felt that she was out-of-place . I don’t know anyone who dresses that way or has such a terrible accent.

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    • Even though the show is pictured in San Francisco it doesn’t mean that everyone in it is from there. I don’t think they mentioned in the show where the characters were originally from. So it could be that Sharona moved there and her accent is somewhere else.

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  8. Sharona was from New Jersey hence her moving back there to be with her ex husband. Also the fact that the writers did an episode where Natalie is arguing with Monk over her pay which she eventually gets is a bit of a dig at Bitty if its true that whole issue with her leaving is pay. If the 2 other actors who asked were Stottlemeyer and his side kick, I can see Stottlemeyer getting more as he is an important part but the other guy Bitty should have had more more pay than him but we all know now sexism is alive and well in this industry. Bitty Schram really brought Sharona to life and the chemistry between her and Shalhoub was great to watch.

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  9. Sharona was a wonderful part of the show. I loved her character. Natalie was fine, but Sharona was far more interesting. I was disappointed when she left.

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