Both Lone Star and J.Lo's careers got lengthened a tiny bit today. Way to hustle, guys.
While Law & Order: SVU and L&O: Original Recipe have been getting on my nerves lately by veering into ridiculous territory, Criminal Intent has always had one foot in the bizarre, thanks to the constant hulking presence of part-genius, part-madman Det. Robert Goren. In last season's finale, Goren's world crumbled around him, so I'm looking forward to seeing him pull himself together in the new season, especially now that he'll be trading nights with Jeff Goldblum. ("Chris Noth... out!") Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, who plays Goren's partner Eames, held a conference call to promote the new eighth season, and we got some quirky details out of them.
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.
The Law & Order franchise is not what it once was. The original series (plain old L&O) has gone through cast shake-up after shake-up, and just had one of its weakest seasons. Special Victims Unit is full of superstar talent -- America's sweethearts Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, plus their cranky back-ups Ice-T and Richard Belzer -- but each episode of that show finds a way to ignore their special victims mandate. Only Criminal Intent, exiled to the USA Network, has continued to do what it does so well with the same two leads it's always had. It's the best show in the franchise, and it's only going to get better with this season's changes. If you didn't watch Sunday night's Season 8 premiere, here are our reasons for you to tune in for Episode 2.