Here's what Lee Goldberg, author of the 'Monk' and 'Diagnosis Murder' tie-in novels, and who produced 'Diagnosis Murder', had to say about the season finale for 'Monk':
I thought the two-part MONK season finale was great, but it points out one of the pitfalls of writing a tie-in series while the TV show that it is based on is still in production. It means that there are going to be some continuity miss-matches between the TV series and the books...and there's nothing that can be done about it.
Of course, in Toobworld we don't count the tie-in novels as being part of the overall TV Universe because of such discrepancies. (And believe me, I'd REALLY love to throw "Mr. Monk And The Two Assistants" into the mix!) When you think of the hundreds of 'Star Trek' franchise tie-in novels and of those for 'Doctor Who', it would be impossible to keep the "Zonks" from ruining the whole concept of a unified field theory when it comes to the TV Universe.
And you can't pick and choose what books to include into the TV Universe; it's not only unfair, but the process would drive you mad. Mad, I say! (Otherwise I'd gladly accept Barbara Hambly's 'Star Trek'/'Here Comes The Brides' novel "Ishmael" into Toobworld, as I've often stated here in the past.) And the same would go for the audio plays for 'Doctor Who' produced by Big Finish.
Straight-to-DVD productions (like 'Babylon 5: The Lost Tales'), online video (the "Missing Pieces" of 'Lost') and certain movies can be absorbed into the TV Universe. (This includes the 'Star Trek' franchise, 'Maverick' - with splainin, and the 1966 'Batman'. The series of 'Batman' movies launched in 1989 at best belong in the 'Birds Of Prey' alternate TV dimension.) Being visual media, they're easier to deal with anyway; most times they are striving to remain constant with what was already established in Toobworld.
I realize this is a retread of old "Inner Toob" material, but new visitors arrive here every day. Observations made by others like Goldberg give me the opportunity to clue them in on what exactly all of this craziness is. So that's why I trot out the rules by which I keep the sandbox clear of contamination.
Otherwise it gets treated like kitty litter and becomes too big of a mess.