There is a disturbance in the Law & Order Criminal Intent force. The Hollywood Reporter says that Vincent D’Onofrio, the linchpin of Criminal Intent, will be exiting sometime during the ninth season. Kathryn Erbe, his work partner and conscience, and Eric Bogosian, the oftentimes-deadpan captain, will also both be phased out. As reported earlier, Julianne Nicholson will not be returning, leaving Jeff Goldblum at the helm, and THR says that Saffron Burrows will replace her.
The full story is available here:
The Hollywood Reporter: Vincent D'Onofrio exiting 'Criminal Intent'
Personally, they may have just dealt a deathblow to the series. I believe that the Vincent D’Onofrio following is what has kept this show in the ratings, especially when it made the transition from NBC to USA Network. Goldblum did pick up steam as the season progressed, but many loyal “VDO” fans never completely warmed up to him. Since D’Onofrio and Erbe have been in their roles as Robert “Bobby” Goren and Alex Eames for so long, their absence will leave a huge gaping hole. Not to minimize Bogosian departure, but his role was never critical to the series. Still, while I wasn’t thrilled with his performances when he first started on the show, I’ve warmed up to him, as they seemed to give him more meaningful dialog this past season.
While we do not know the details behind this change, usually when a shakeup of this magnitude occurs, the actors themselves are not driving it. However, Vincent and Kathryn have been at the helm for a long time, and I have to entertain the possibility that one or both of them wanted out. Hopefully the real reasons behind this change will be made public, if not to at least help fans to move on.
Sad news for all fans of Law & Order Criminal Intent, who seem to be left with a shell of a show. It's criminal, I tell you.