Traylor Howard is joining the cast of "Monk."

She will play a former bartender and single mother who becomes Monk's assistant, the USA Network said this week. Tony Shalhoub stars as Adrian Monk, an obsessive-compulsive private eye.

Bitty Schram, who played Monk's personal nurse, recently left the show. USA and Schram's management said the split was amicable, and the network said "Monk" had decided to go in a "different creative direction."

Howard has appeared in several TV series, including "Boston Common" and "Braum and Alice."