Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio will return to Law & Order: Criminal Intent for the series' 10th and intended final season, USA Network and Universal Cable productions announced Tuesday.

The 51-year-old actor starred on the crime procedural for eight years before leaving the show after last season's first episode just this past spring, when he was succeeded by Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum announced his departure in August because of the "uncertainty" of the show's future, according to Variety.

Jeff Goldblum leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent

It's still unclear whether D'Onofrio will work alongside his longtime on-screen partner, Kathryn Erbe, or Goldblum's crime solving co-star, Saffron Burrows.

Criminal Intent was the second spinoff from the flagship Law & Order brand when it began in 2001. After ratings started to decline, the series moved from NBC to sister cable station USA in 2007.

The series' final eight episodes will air sometime in 2011.

Check out photos from Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Criminal Intent is the second Law & Order series to get the axe, following the cancelation of the original series in May after 20 seasons. However, Universal Cable Productions also announced Tuesday that it has made a pilot commitment to a new project from Wolf.

"We have been the fortunate caretakers of this legendary series, and we plan to give it the world-class farewell it so richly deserves.  Dick and his team promise to create a major event for television with incredible surprises," said Jeff Wachtel, USA's president of original programming.  "The plan is for this to be the series finale, but with a Dick Wolf franchise, one really never knows until it's over."

For his part, creator/executive producer Dick Wolf said: "Only time will tell if this is a fond farewell or a renaissance for Detective Robert Goren ... Signed, Brett Favre"— a reference to the National Football League star quarterback who has famously dithered about retirement in the last three years.

In the meantime, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for Season 12 on Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC. The franchise's fourth spinoff, Law & Order: Los Angeles, premieres Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 10/9 on NBC.