Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Law & Order Criminal Intent Is Reinventing Itself

There are few things that seem certain for Law & Order Criminal Intent for next season. It will still be on the USA Network. It will still have Vincent D’Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe, Julianne Nicholson, Eric Bogosian, and of course, Dick Wolf is still Top Dog in the franchise.

But with the departure of Chris Noth, who played Law & Order franchise favorite Detective Mike Logan, coming up in Sunday’s episode titled “Last Rites”, and the addition of Jeff Goldblum to replace him, we’re assured of getting a new take on at least half the episodes. Goldblum should bring his own version of quirkiness to the show, maybe giving Vincent D’Onofrio’s Robert Goren, the current King of Quirk, a run for his money.

But the biggest change may be coming in the form of the production team, which appears to be almost completely revamped. Many of these people have been involved in the Law & Order franchise is one way or another, so they are no strangers to ways of the Law & Order Universe. The series will still be divided in two, but with separate people at the helms of the D’Onofrio/Erbe and the Goldblum/Nicholson pairings.

The big question is – will this revitalize the series, or will it kill it? Will the look and feel of the episodes based on which detective pairing is at the helm make the series as schizophrenic as Bobby Goren’s mother? And what will it do to the somewhat blank persona of Captain Danny Ross (Bogosian) who may be at the mercy of different writing and producing styles? It’s hard to tell right now, but at least we won’t have to wait too long to find out, as the series is slated to return in November.

Being a big Law & Order franchise fan, I’m keeping an open mind, and hoping that only good things will come of all these changes. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for a departure for Mike Logan that keeps the door open for a return to the franchise.

USA Network has New Showrunners for Hit Show LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT
Series to premiere in November with new cast member Jeff Goldblum

NEW YORK, Aug 04, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX

Walon Green, Robert Nathan, John Coles, Michael S. Chernuchin, Andrew Lipsitz and Timothy J. Lea will be the new production team when LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT returns for its eighth season in November on USA Network. The announcement was made today by Jeff Wachtel, USA's executive vice-president of original programming and co-head, original content, Universal Cable Productions and Dick Wolf, executive producer and creator of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT.

USA recently picked up an eighth season for the hit series produced by Wolf Films and Universal Cable Productions and cast Jeff Goldblum as the latest detective to join the major case squad. Created and executive produced by Emmy Award winning producer Dick Wolf and developed by Rene Balcer, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT veers from the traditional "Law & Order" format by taking viewers into the minds of its criminals while following the psychological approaches the Major Case Squad uses to solve the crimes. The seventh season of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT airs every Sunday at 9/8c on USA Network.

"Walon, Robert, Nooch [Michael Chernuchin] and I have been working together for most of the last two decades," said Wolf. "Between them, they have written hundreds of episodes of the brand's various iterations. By joining CI, they are providing the best of both worlds -- a new perspective and a wealth of experience with the brand. John [Coles] is one of the most respected producer/directors on the east coast. I could not ask for a better team as we embark on our eighth season," said Wolf.

"LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT has been a great success in its move to USA," said Wachtel. "We are excited to have this wonderfully talented and experienced team at the helm and are looking forward to fresh takes on the show's creative as we head into season eight."

The entire production team will work with Wolf and Executive Producer Peter Jankowski, who serves as executive producer of all three "Law & Order" series, as well as president and chief operating officer of Wolf Films, Inc.

Walon Green will serve as executive producer, showrunner and head writer, and Michael S. Chernuchin as co-executive producer for the D'Onofrio/Erbe episodes, with John Coles as New York based executive producer and director, and Michael Chernuchin as co-executive producer for the series. Green has executive produced numerous episodes of the original "Law & Order" and several episodes of "ER." He also has written for "Law & Order," "ER" and "Conviction." Coles served as co-executive producer of the FOX series "New Amsterdam" and the CBS series "3lbs." He has directed numerous hit television shows including "Sex and The City," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Damages," as well as episodes for the "Law & Order" brand. Chernuchin has produced and written for both "Law & Order," and "24."

The producing team for the Goldblum/Nicholson episodes includes Robert Nathan as executive producer, showrunner and head writer. Nathan has been a member of the "Law & Order" family working on both the original and "Special Victims Unit" as co-executive producer. Coles will again serve as New York based executive producer and director, with Andrew Lipsitz ("CSI", "CSI: NY") and Timothy J. Lea ("The Riches", "CSI: NY") as co-executive producers.

In its unique way of dividing the series into two distinct parts, with Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe as partners, and the other with new cast member Jeff Goldblum and returning actress Julianne Nicholson, the production teams will be equally separate. Eric Bogosian will continue on all episodes as Captain Danny Ross.

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Music Wench said...

Well, I disagree with the Danny Ross characterization but I do have the same concerns as you do. I do know that they have "bibles" for the characters that have background and other character information in them so I hope the writers on both teams use this for Ross. I'd hate to see uneven writing for the man.

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt as well because it's the only show in the L&O franchise I still watch and enjoy. The mothership has become a bore and I never got into SVU. But I'm obsessed with Criminal Intent and hope I can get into the Jeff Goldblum character. If not, I'll end up going back to just watching Goren and Eames.

Anonymous said...

I think he will be an excellent addition to the show and I would like to know when I can begin watch the law and order free with him and hopefully, Vincent D'onofrio.