I mean...I think it may lead to an interesting trend of starting niche shows on basic cable, and once they make it big (critical acclaim, audience recognition), move it to network.
For now, they may just be hoping to get more people to tune in to the cable broadcasts...but in the future, it's very possible. A lot of shows would benefit. Prime-time TV is risky, and networks are very timid with new shows. If ratings aren't stellar, they get pulled after only a few episodes.
I think something like "What About Brian?" could have been huge on Lifetime, and maybe "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" could have had a longer life on Bravo. (Granted, both of those shows had a full season run before being cancelled, but it's hard to think of a better example, as shows that get pulled after only three episodes don't ingrain themselves in memory.)
I also think it's quite brilliant that they're airing the episode with NBC alumnus Jason Alexander. Try to rope in those "Seinfeld" fans. (I hope it works, "Monk" is excellent.)
In related news, it's really hard for me to watch Ted Levine as Capt. Stottlemeyer when just this morning I watched Silence of the Lambs (in which he plays the woman-suit making, psychopathic killer Buffalo Bill). I mean, he looks extremely different now, but his voice has that same deep, gravelly quality. "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again." *shudder*
And on a sad note, Stanley Kamel, the actor who played Monk's psychiatrist, died last week.