Law and order, criminal intent, Jeff Goldblum, Vincent D'Onofrio

USA Network Photo: Miranda Penn Turin

Looks like early retirement for some of the stars of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, the Dick Wolf-helmed franchise is preparing for yet another major cast overhaul, with four Criminal Intent's regulars headed for the door next season: Vincent D'Onofrio (Det. Robert Goren), partner Kathryn Erbe (Det. Alexandra Earnes), Eric Bogosian (Capt. Danny Ross) and Julianne Nicholson (Det. Megan Wheeler).

Picking up the slack on New York City's Major Case Squad will be Jeff Goldblum, who joined the series this season replacing Chris Noth's Mike Logan. Goldblum's Det. Zach Nichols will take over team originally led by D'Onofrio's character. No word yet exactly how CI's writers will phase the foursome out.

A little bloodletting perhaps?

Nicholson is turning in her badge after just giving birth to her second child. The pregnancy, in fact, was written into Wheeler's storyline last season. British actress Saffron Burrows is coming aboard as a replacement for season nine, scheduled to premiere next spring on USA Network.

The cast switcheroo is partially to save money. Another reported reason behind the movie has to do with USA. The cable network, which began airing Criminal Intent in 2007, has been leaning toward a lighter tone—see: Monk, Burn Notice and Royal Pains.

Goldblum's quirkiness (like his ongoing hilarious plugs on The Colbert Report) apparently fits better than the brooding D'Onofrio. But he might not be gone for good. Det. Goren might pop up as a guest star in future episodes, similar to Noth after his exit.


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