USA (ended 2009)
|Viewership is not falling. Where did you get that idea? There's been a slight increase in the ratings numbers during the summer season compared to last year. Every year since season one Monk has gained more viewers. The sixth season finale received the hghest rating ever (6.9 Million) for a Monk episode on USA. It's really phenomenal for a show that's been on as long as Monk has.|
I don't think there's been any drop in the actual production values (script quality is a matter of opinion, but they sure as heck aren't paying the writers any less for them) and I know there weren't any production budget cuts for the seventh season. I'm pretty sure we will see a season eight and a Variety article, while not announcing a renewal for Monk, certainly seems to hint that they're getting closer.
Excerpt from Variety.com
USA renews 'Psych,' 'Burn Notice'
Both shows have received 16-episode orders
By DANIEL FRANKEL
Oct 9, 2008
USA Network has renewed two drama skeins that helped it win basic cable's summer ratings crown. Cabler has reupped "Psych" for a fourth season and "Burn Notice" for a third. Both skeins have received 16-episode orders, USA said Thursday. With the earlier renewal of rookie thriller "In Plain Site," "Monk" remains the only established USA original in limbo.
"We'd love to see a season eight of 'Monk,' " said Jeff Wachtel, exec VP of original programming for the network. "We're talking right now, and we'll make an announcement when the time is right."
I wouldn't bet against a season eight for Monk.