Dick Wolf Hopes for Criminal Intent Reprieve, Says D'Onofrio & Erbe Have Never Been Better

Dick Wolf must be feeling a bit of deja vu this spring. Just as a year ago he was lobbying for NBC to pick up the original Law & Order for a 21st season (allowing it to set a record as TV’s longest-running drama series), the L&Overlord is now hoping that Criminal Intent‘s imminent 10th season won’t be — as announced by USA Network — its last.

“Being the unbridled optimist that I am, I still have hope that this is a ‘victory lap’ and not a ‘swan song,'” Wolf said during a Thursday conference call. “Based on the work so far, I think the audience is going to be very happy, relieved, and welcoming… and hopefully enough fans will come out so the powers-that-be reconsider their decision.”

Jay Mohr to Channel Charlie Sheen on Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Weighing in Criminal Intent‘s favor, of course, is the much anticipated return of two original series leads, Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe (as Detectives Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames) — not that Wolf ever wanted them long gone in the first place.

“It was never a decision to have them disappear into the wilderness,” Wolf says of the duo’s single-season extraction, during which Jeff Goldblum rode solo as Detective Zach Nichols. Looking forward, Wolf says, “I don’t think Vincent and Katie have been any better ever in the series. [Criminal Intent] is back to the power of the first two seasons.”

Criminal Intent Lines Up Guest Stars for Final Season

Of course, there is the none-too-small matter of getting Goren back onto the Major Cases Squad, fired as he was for insubordination at the start of Season 9. That segue is orchestrated by a new captain, Joseph Hannah (played by Jay O. Sanders), whom Goren knows from the police academy.

There’s also a bit of head-shrinking involved in Goren’s comeback. As Wolf explains, “In getting him back in the good graces of the police department, part of the agreement was for him to go back into psychological counseling.” As such, there will be one scene per episode where Goren meets with a therapist played by Julia Ormond (CSI: NY).

Those scenes, Wolf says, “will answer some questions that have been hanging since the first season, and over the course of [Season 10’s] eight episodes you’re going to see something about the redemptive power of psychotherapy. This is an attempt to move [Goren] back to the psychologically complete detective that he was in the first season of the show.”

Whether this run of episodes kicking off Sunday, May 1, at 8/7c, is a “swan song” or “victory lap,” Wolf says, “This has been a great experience…. There is a real power in seeing this show come back at full-octane, with stories that are really interesting.”

Will you be tuning in for Criminal Intent‘s return?

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92 Comments
  1. m says:

    Watched the show since it began-quit watching(tried to, just couldn’t)when Eames and DVO were off.They are back-YAY! Don’t particularly care for their boss this season. Rumored to be last season. Some of these network owners ought to pick this show up if USA is phasing this show out. This is really sad! We have TWO such accomplished and capable actors who seem to really sense from each other and be authentic about it. PLEASE SOMEONE DON’T LET IT DIE THIS SEASON!

  2. Kris Martinski says:

    Dónofrio and Erbe should stay on and more than eight episodes!!!!!!!

  3. Sarah says:

    I was so happy to finally have my two favorite detectives return for another season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent only to have the show end soon after. I absolutely love this show and Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe are excellent actors. They make a great pair of detectives and I will miss them very much. I wish that the show could keep going and I ask if another station could please pick it up.

  4. Lou Gilliam says:

    Please bring back Criminal Intent. With Goren and Eames back together again and I really loved the new captain. Looks like it would stay since there will be no more overly paid Mariska Hargatay since she is leaving SVU. Bring back great entertainment instead of whinning over “product of a rape” and her partners uncontrollable children.

  5. Mark Melni says:

    I feel that Criminal Intent is the best show on TV. The new sessions that Gorin has with Ormand is genius. Best writing from Dick Wolf’s team. Call me a hopeless romantic, but what couple has shown the commitment to each other and to their job than Gorin and Eames? They are both extremely damaged people that, together, make it work.

    I hope the powers that be will allow us to discover more about Gorin and Eames, and watch them grow together.

    Dick, thank you for CI. I’ve enjoyed the entire run. Please bring them back.

    Mark Melni.

  6. mark says:

    Criminal Intent has always been my favorite of the Law and Order series. The acting by VDO and Erbe couldnt be better. The plots always keep you guessing, and keep me coming back every week to see what Dick Wolf will pull out of his Magic hat this time. This show should stay on as it continues to intrigue as it has since its inception

  7. Faye says:

    I was just now able to watch the (oh, I hope not) final episode of L/O: CI uninterrupted. A truly great show. Say it ain’t so, man, say it ain’t so.

  8. Anna Amato says:

    I was so pleased to have CI back – and the perfect ending – Bobby is on the road to recovery and sees that Alex has been there all along – yay! This had to have really killed Dick Wolf to have to bring them back. I never watched when he brought in Noth; I did watch Goldblum but the original cast was the best!
    Now for SVU – how can he fail to see that it is over – that it’s jumped the shark – that the ‘sexual tension’ between the leads is just so overdone?

  9. Rosângela says:

    Please bring Goren and Eames back, it is the best show about crime we have on tv now, and they know how to make us stayed up and see every week, and I love both. They are so wise, and I want see them here many many times. Please Dick Wolf bring them for us forever. Thanks.

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