Traylor Howard and Tony Shalhoub by Peter "Hopper" Stone/USA Network Traylor Howard and Tony Shalhoub by Peter "Hopper" Stone/USA Network
The when: Fridays at 9 pm/ET on USA Network

Why watch?: The introspective detective is back on the job for the second half of

Monk's sixth season. Tony Shalhoub ( see related Q&A here) plays Adrian Monk, the eagle-eyed and obsessive-compulsive investigator with fears galore (dirt, asymmetry, heights, pretty much everything), whose sharp mind still fingers the right culprit every time. Add to that his wife Trudy's mysterious and haunting death 10 years ago and you've got one complex crime-fighter. But don't get your tissues out yet. Despite those facts, Monk has some of the smartest humor around. And this many years in, it still remains a refreshing and believable jaunt into a life very different from those we usually see on TV. We only wish the season were even longer. Who's who: Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) gets by with a little help from his assistant/right-and-left-hand woman, Natalie Teeger ( Traylor Howard), who always has a hand wipe at the ready. Though Monk always sleuths out the bad guys in the end, he also gets tips from SFPD detective Leland Stottlemeyer ( Ted Levine), his sometime-boss who, along with his second-in-command Randy Disher ( Jason Gray-Stanford) have come to respect the high-maintenance investigator's unorthodox working style. But Monk might not be the man he is today without his therapist, the wise and very patient Dr. Kroger ( Stanley Kamel). What's next: New adventures are nigh as the detective gets into more trouble this season getting locked in a bank vault, becoming a surprisingly successful painter, and even running from the law himself in the cinematic two-part season finale where more clues about Trudy's death will be revealed. Say what?! Though Monk now films in San Francisco, it's first season was filmed in Vancouver and Toronto - not an easy feat when you're trying to make your set look like Northern California. What do you say? Monk fans, what keeps you tuning in on Friday nights? Got any ideas for new Monk cases you'd like to see? And do you think the mystery of Trudy's death will ever get solved? - Sandra Kofler Use our Online Video Guide to follow the investigations. More Strike Survival guidance: " What Emily in Marketing Is Watching " Reno 911! Makes for Arresting Comedy " TBS' 10 Items or Less: Check It Out! " Movies-on-TV: Ken Fox's Picks for the Week of Jan. 14 " What Adam in Video Production Is Watching " Knight Rider, Grammys and More Specials to Watch For " Your Guide to January Premieres