Chris Noth returns to New York crimefighting. The former ''Law & Order'' detective will adapt a series of Anthony Bruno mystery novels into TV movies for TNT

Chris Noth may have spent several seasons of ”Sex and the City” as New York mogul Mr. Big, toying with the affections of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, but the actor apparently couldn’t stay away from the city’s crime scenes. Variety reports that the former ”Law & Order” detective will star as a Mafia-investigating FBI agent in at least three movies for TNT based on Anthony Bruno’s crime novels. The first, ”Bad Apple,” should air next summer.

Noth, who is also producing the movies, will play FBI Special Agent Mike Tozzi, who goes undercover to infiltrate the Mob in ”Bad Apple.” Other novels in Bruno’s ”Bad” series include ”Bad Guys,” ”Bad Business,” ”Bad Moon,” ”Bad Blood,” and ”Bad Luck.” The actor tells Variety he’s been ”running around with these books for four or five years. They’re funny and dangerous and feature completely unexpected character aspects. They take well-worn ground and just give it a fresh look in the same way ‘The Sopranos’ has [for its genre]. It’s dramatic with major dark comedy overtones, which is why I want to do it.”

His deal with the cable channel calls for three Mike Tozzi movies in the first year, with an option to do more. TNT watchers will also see Noth in a toga, portraying Roman general Pompey in the miniseries ”Caesar,” airing some time next year, with fellow HBO series vet Jeremy Sisto (”Six Feet Under”) in the title role. And of course, ”Law & Order” reruns air on TNT about 16 times a day.