The unthinkable has happened. After eight seasons, Law & Order: Criminal Intent will be without lead detective Robert Goren for the first time, as Vincent D'Onofrio will be leaving the show to do more film work. And he's not alone, either -- Kathryn Erbe (Det. Eames), Julianne Nicholson (Det. Wheeler) and Eric Bogosian (Capt. Ross) are all leaving the show, as well. Who does that leave? Pretty much just new hire Jeff Goldblum, who just finished his first season as Det. Nichols. While it can't feel good to have all of your fellow cast members quit on you, we're glad Goldblum is sticking around, because now he can be the lead detective in a show cast entirely by us! Well, almost -- they've already replaced Nicholson with Saffron Burrows, formerly of My Own Worst Enemy. But here's who we think should fill the rest of the vacant spots.
Senior Detective: Dean Winters
His cop character got killed on Rescue Me a season ago, and he's been on a Law & Order before, playing Det. Cassidy on the first season of Special Victims Unit. An ill-fated relationship with Olivia Benson (and the generally disturbing cases they dealt with) led him to transfer to Narcotics, but if you bring him back on the Major Case squad, just a little bit of that patented "Beeper King" cockiness from 30 Rock will propel him to greatness.
Back-Up Piece: Christian Slater. He was great with guns on My Own Worst Enemy, but we really don't think The Forgotten has much life in it. Just give him a haircut to go with the badge.
Junior Detective: Carla Gugino
Gugino has played a law-enforcement professional before -- specifically, a Federal Marshall on the short-lived Karen Sisco. But after her sexy turns in fighting crime in Sin City and Watchmen, we'd like to see her strap a holster on again and back up the hot-headed Winters with her cool, collected intelligence.
Back-Up Piece: Lizzy Caplan. She was ruthless on True Blood as Jason's V-stealing girlfriend Amy.
Captain: Ving Rhames
Although he's played a lot of gangsters and convicts, Rhames was the man who brought Kojak back to television (albeit for only nine episodes), and he was a cop in the remake of Dawn of the Dead. We say make him the first African-American captain on Criminal Intent, and have him suck on a lollipop every once in a while as a nod to his last TV cop role.
Back-Up Piece: William Baldwin. He's played cops before, and his senator character on the late Dirty Sexy Money prepared him for the political touch that the job requires.
Who would you like to see join Criminal Intent? File a report below.
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