Psych's Eighth Season Likely to Be Its Last

USA Network confirmed late yesterday that reports of the Psych's eighth season pickup were indeed true--but that the additional season would be only eight episodes, bringing the series total to 119.

While USA made no specific declaration regarding when or if the series would end, most series that get a shortened season (their normal order is 16 episodes) at this stage in their development will end after that season.

If these eight episodes do signify the end of the series, Psych would be the second-longest-running USA Network show of all time, just behind Monk, which ran until 2009 and ended its run with 125 episodes. It's likely that any further extension would be at least six episodes and would tie or surpass Monk.

The series follows James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a fake psychic who uses his real detective skills as a contractor investigating murders for the police, and his best friend/business partner Burton Guster, a pharmaceutical salesman played by The West Wing's Dule Hill. The series has distinguished itself in a crowded field of hour-long procedural crime dramas with a series of pop culture and geek culture guest stars and an irreverent personality that includes non-stop references to movies and other TV shows, and "theme" episodes including hours that homaged Alfred Hitchcock films, slasher movies, John Hughes and Twin Peaks.

"Well, everybody’s in on that now. Those scripts come loaded with pop culture and obscure references and everybody’s in on the fun now," Roday told us when we spoke in 2010. "I think in the very beginning it was us doing that stuff in the moment and a lot of improvisation and then once we sort of realized 'Oh, my God, this can be our niche,' everybody sort of jumped on board."

Psych's seventh season begins in February. If its eighth season is indeed its last, don't expect that announcement officially anytime soon, lest it dampen enthusiasm for this year.