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USA Renews Monk, Adds Two Shows

USA picked up a fifth and sixth season of its original hit series Monk, as well as rights to strip the show beginning in 2008, the network said Thursday at its Television Critics Association press tour presentation.

The NBC Universal cable network has ordered 16 episodes for seasons five and six and will strip all six seasons, a total of 93 episodes, beginning in 2008. The show, about an obsessive-compulsive detective, is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Mandeville Films and Touchstone Television.

USA also unveiled a pilot for Underfunded, a one-hour drama about the Canadian Secret Service. Mather Zickel, best known on TV for his role on Comedy Central’s Reno911!, has signed on for the starring role.

The network is also at work on The Great American Christmas, an unscripted holiday movie from Gary and Julie Auerbach, whose Go Go Luckey! production company produced MTV’s hit drama/reality show Laguna Beach and A&E’s own current hybrid Rollergirls. Christmas, about six dysfunctional families during the holidays, will run in December 2006.

USA averaged 2.67 million viewers in prime during fourth quarter.