How Much Did Bitty Schram Make Per Episode On Monk?

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Bitty Schram’s role as Sharona Fleming on the popular television series “Monk” made her a familiar face in households around the world. The show, which aired from 2002 to 2009, followed the life of Adrian Monk, a brilliant but obsessive-compulsive detective, with Schram playing his practical nurse and assistant for the first three and a half seasons. While the series was well-received and Schram’s performance was a hit with fans, questions often arise about the financial aspects of her role, particularly how much she earned per episode. In this article, we delve into the details of Bitty Schram’s earnings on “Monk,” her career trajectory, and the factors that influence the pay of television actors.

Understanding TV Actor Salaries

Before we explore Bitty Schram’s earnings, it’s important to understand how TV actor salaries are determined. Factors such as the show’s budget, an actor’s experience, and the success of the series all play a role in how much an actor is paid per episode.

  • Show’s budget: The overall budget for a series can greatly affect cast salaries.
  • Actor’s experience: More experienced actors with a proven track record may command higher salaries.
  • Series success: As a show becomes more popular, actors may negotiate for higher pay.

Bitty Schram’s Role on “Monk”

Bitty Schram was cast as Sharona Fleming, a character that quickly became a fan favorite. Her chemistry with Tony Shalhoub, who played Adrian Monk, was a key element of the show’s success. Schram’s portrayal of Sharona was praised for adding a dynamic and compassionate element to the series.

Salary Information for “Monk” Actors

While exact figures for Bitty Schram’s salary per episode on “Monk” are not publicly disclosed, it is possible to make an educated guess based on industry standards and the available information about the show’s budget and the salaries of her co-stars.

Comparing Salaries with Co-Stars

It is known that Tony Shalhoub, the lead actor, earned a significant amount per episode, especially in later seasons. As a supporting actress, Schram’s salary would have been less, but still substantial given the show’s success.

Contract Negotiations and Departure

Midway through the series, Bitty Schram left “Monk” due to a contract dispute. It was reported that she and some of her co-stars were seeking pay increases, which suggests that their initial salaries were up for renegotiation due to the show’s popularity.

Industry Standards for Supporting Actors

In the early 2000s, supporting actors on successful, prime-time television shows could expect to earn anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 per episode, depending on various factors.

Estimated Earnings Per Episode

Based on these industry standards and considering the show’s success, it is estimated that Bitty Schram’s salary per episode was likely in the lower to mid-range of this scale.

Factors Influencing Bitty Schram’s Salary

Several factors would have influenced Schram’s salary on “Monk,” including her previous acting experience, her role’s importance to the show, and the length of her tenure on the series.

  • Previous acting experience: Schram had a solid acting resume before “Monk,” which would have positioned her for a decent starting salary.
  • Role importance: As a main character, Schram’s salary would reflect her significance to the series.
  • Tenure: With each season, her salary could have increased due to standard raises and the show’s growing popularity.

Impact of Syndication and DVD Sales

Actors often receive additional compensation from syndication and DVD sales. It’s likely that Schram has benefited financially from “Monk” being syndicated and sold on DVD.

Post-“Monk” Career

After leaving “Monk,” Bitty Schram continued to act, appearing in various television shows and movies. These roles may have been influenced by her exposure and earnings from “Monk.”

Summary Table of Bitty Schram’s Estimated Earnings

Below is a summary table of the estimated earnings Bitty Schram made per episode on “Monk,” based on the available information and industry standards:

SeasonEstimated Earnings Per Episode
1$20,000 – $40,000
2$25,000 – $50,000
3$30,000 – $60,000

FAQ Section

Why did Bitty Schram leave “Monk”?

Bitty Schram left “Monk” during the third season due to a contract dispute, reportedly over salary negotiations.

Did Bitty Schram return to “Monk” after her departure?

Yes, Bitty Schram returned for a guest appearance in the show’s eighth season.

How does Bitty Schram’s salary compare to other TV actors of the time?

While not as high as lead actors, her salary was likely competitive with other supporting actors on successful prime-time shows.

Do actors get paid for reruns and syndication?

Yes, actors typically receive residuals for reruns and syndication, which can be a significant source of income.

Has Bitty Schram discussed her earnings from “Monk” publicly?

There is no public record of Bitty Schram discussing her specific earnings from “Monk.”


In conclusion, while the exact amount Bitty Schram made per episode on “Monk” is not publicly known, we can estimate that her earnings were in line with industry standards for a supporting actress on a successful prime-time show in the early 2000s. Her role as Sharona Fleming not only contributed to the show’s success but also likely provided her with a substantial salary and ongoing residuals from syndication and DVD sales. Despite her departure from the show due to contract negotiations, Schram’s performance on “Monk” remains memorable, and her financial compensation, though not publicly disclosed, was undoubtedly reflective of her contribution to the series.

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