Image Credit: Will Hart/USA NetworkLaw & Order: Criminal Intent has a truly tangled history. When original star Vincent D’Onofrio method-acted himself into exhaustion, CI developed a split personality. One week it was The Amazing D’Onofrio Variety Hour, the next it was Detective Mike Logan: The Reunion Tour. Combine the revolving-door cast, the disinterested demotion from NBC to USA, and CI‘s anti-conceptual approach to crime-solving — unlike the other L&O shows, you usually learned the identity of the murderer right away — and the show could feel a bit colorless. But I always dug it, especially when Jeff Goldblum joined in 2009, playing Detective Jeff Goldblum Zach Nichols. I loved the just-completed ninth season, which pumped the franchise full of much-needed estrogen thanks to new arrivals Saffron Burrows and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Almost a decade into existence, CI finally seemed to have found itself. Alas, all good things must come to an end: According to Variety, Jeff Goldblum will not be returning to the show.
It’s not clear at this point whether Criminal Intent will even be back on the air. Ratings plummeted in this past season, and the show’s gun-metal gray moral quagmire looks, well, a little out of place on the Burn Notice network. But PopWatchers, I think this is a great opportunity to re-re-RE-reboot The Show That Will Not Die with a new lead detective. Obviously, my first instinct is to point to a tic-loving New York-based actor — someone like Ethan Hawke, say. But why not really shake things up, and find an underutilized actress to fill Goldblum’s slot? As one of five people who saw Brooklyn’s Finest, I can affirm that Ellen Barkin stole the show with her two-second role as an adorably rude law enforcement official. How about bringing her in as a hardass partner for Burrows?
What do you think, PopWatchers?Any votes to replace Goldblum? Or should Criminal Intent be put out to pasture?