When Law & Order: Criminal Intent started cutting back the number of episodes in which Detective Robert Goren appears, I not only lost interest in that particular offshoot of the Law & Order franchise, but in the franchise as a whole. Yes, I still watch reruns of Law & Order here and there when I come across them on TV, but I never watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent reruns because I was afraid I’d turn on an episode with Chris Noth or — God help me — Jeff Goldblum and flip out because it wasn’t Vincent D’Onofrio as Detective Goren.
Fortunately, USA Network announced yesterday that Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been renewed for one final season and, even more importantly, that Vincent D’Onofrio will be returning to the cast for this tenth and final eight-episode season. I have to admit that eight episodes seems like a pretty lame attempt at a final season, but as long as D’Onofrio is back as Det. Goren they could air a four-episode final season and I’d be satisfied. Of course, the return of Detective Goren won’t be complete without his partner, Detective Alexandra Eames, so it’s good news that USA Network is in discussions with Kathryn Erbe to return as Eames, and even better news that Jeff Goldblum has moved on to other projects and reportedly will not return to Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
According to Deadline Hollywood, the USA Network deal to renew Criminal Intent for a tenth season includes an agreement with series creator Dick Wolf for a new pilot, as well. The president of original programming at USA Network, Jeff Wachtel, told Deadline Hollywood, “We have been the fortunate caretakers of this legendary series, and we plan to give it the world-class farewell it so richly deserves.” Apparently Wachtel plans to use the new season of Criminal Intent not only as a grand sendoff, but also as a launching pad for a new show.
Series creator Dick Wolf also commented on the bittersweet final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent: “I want to thank Bonnie [Hammer, president of NBC Universal Cable] and Jeff for bringing Criminal Intent back for a tenth season. Only time will tell if this is a fond farewell or a renaissance for Detective Robert Goren but everyone both here and in New York is ecstatic about going back to work on a show that’s a passion for all of us.”
The tenth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent will air in 2011. For more information on the show, visit the show’s official webpage on USA Network online.