It’s shake-up time for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
Sources from the “L&O” galaxy say that stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, and Eric Bogosian are all expected to be phased out at various points during the series’ upcoming ninth season. Julianne Nicholson left the show a few months ago. Executive producer Dick Wolf is turning to’Jeff Goldblum, who joined the cast last season, to remain as lead detective in the series along with’Saffron Burrows, who was recently cast to replace Nicholson as Goldblum’s partner.
It’s a big change for a show that has weathered a lot of casting changes since it began in 2001. D’Onofrio and Erbe have been there since the beginning, while Bogosian joined in 2006. Since then, the original pair have had to make room for Nicholson and Chris Noth, who left last year. Goldblum arrived in 2008.
Details about D’Onofrio, Erbe and Bogosian’s exit are still unclear as the actors’ deals are being worked out. The network only recently renewed the Wolf Films/Universal Cable Prods. series for a ninth season, slated to premiere in late spring with a two-parter.
How interesting that Wolf has decided to go this way since D’Onofrio, while erratic, has been very popular. But “L&O:CI” is a USA Network show now after running on sister channel NBC. And USA, insiders point out, likes lighter fare when it comes to its shows. Goldblum is more in the tradition of Tony Shalhoub’s “Monk” than D’Onofrio.
While D’Onofrio is departing as a regular, it is possible for him to reprise his character in guest stints.
“Law & Order” just keeps chugging along in its various guises. The names change but the music remains the same.