Chris Noth, Jeff Goldblum

Mitchell Haaseth/NBC, ZumaPress.com

He may not have made it as a hallucinating detective, but Jeff Goldblum has been assigned to Major Case.

USA confirmed Thursday the veteran actor will be replacing Chris Noth on Law & Order: Criminal Intent next season.

Noth, who perhaps became a little too Big for the badge, is still shooting episodes for the series' ongoing seventh season, so it's currently unclear how Detective Mike Logan will be making his second exit from the ever-evolving franchise.

Just this year, longtime mothership resident Jesse L. Martin was replaced by Anthony Anderson, while Law & Order: SVU lost Adam Beach and Diane Neal (whose ADA shoes will be filled next season by Michaela McManus). And Criminal Intent enjoyed a brief stay by Alicia Witt while Noth's onscreen partner, Julianne Nicholson, was on maternity leave.

"I've been in the Law & Order franchise a long time," Noth told the New York Post. "I've pretty much squeezed all the juice out of that role."

But, he added, "the show keeps morphing and always finds new people. I'm gonna miss everyone I work with every day."

The 53-year-old Wisconsinite left the original L&O in 1995 after his character supposedly punched out a homophobic politician, only to show up on Criminal Intent in 2005, when he and Annabella Sciorra started alternating episodes with Kathryn Erbe and a fatigued Vincent D'Onofrio (who very well could meet his quirky match when Goldblum arrives).

"Chris has been a member of the Law & Order family since the beginning, and Mike Logan is one of the most popular detectives in the history of television. We all wish him the best," creator Dick Wolf said.

However, Wolf added, "Jeff is one of the most exciting actors around and is a perfect addition to the Law & Order: Criminal Intent ensemble...Jeff's presence will add a new dimension to an already successful show."

Goldblum, whose film and TV credits are many, most recently starred on the short-lived NBC drama Raines as an L.A. homicide detective who carries on imaginary conversations with his victims.

But USA has already renewed Criminal Intent for a 16-episode eighth season, so maybe he'll be able to close more cases in New York.

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