Vincent D'Onofrio

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Out of Order: Who'll Get Crunched By New Budget?

Though both the original Law & Order and Criminal Intent (which is moving to sister network USA) have been awarded new seasons, NBC U has some belt-tightening to do. Sources tell FoxNews.com that franchise father Dick Wolf will reduce L&O vet Sam Waterston's salary by giving Jack McCoy a "promotion" to the smaller role of district attorney, and then hire a younger (read: cheaper) actor to fill the vacated slot. Among the cops, Milena Govich, the series' first female detective, wasn't asked back for the fall, and rumors are swirling that partner Jesse L. Martin may join her on the unemployment line. CI, meanwhile, plans to keep Vincent D'Onofrio and Chris Noth, despite their hefty salaries. No word on whether their female counterparts — Julianne Nicholson and Kathryn Erbe — will return, but they rarely got a word in edgewise, anyway. — Reporting by Raven Snook read more

May 14, 2007: Endgame

Wow. Hands down, this was the best episode of the season, and it certainly ranks among the top Criminal Intent outings to date. The craftsmanship was just far more superior to what most crime dramas offer today — particularly in the way Killer Scheider’s death-row countdown dovetailed with the deathwatch over Goren’s cancer-stricken mother. I loved the whole format of this episode, the way we worked backwards to slowly unearth decades of brutal crimes and long-buried bodies. And it was made all the more disturbing by Roy Scheider’s chilling portrayal of a serial killer delighting in his murderous reminiscences, lovingly flipping through his scrapbooks of victims like they were cherished family albums.Like Goren, I knew it was all leading somewhere (thanks in part to those overly revealing previews last week), but I never would have guessed the trail was leading back to his own mother — and the possibility that the detective’s father was that very same k... read more

Criminal Intent moving to USA

Well, you devoted Criminal Intent viewers and blog readers have probably already heard about this, but in case you haven't, here's the TV Guide news story on the show being renewed for another season — on the USA network.Personally, I'm not so sure about the network change. On the one hand, I'm worried they won't be able to retain D'Onofrio with the planned budget cuts (regardless of what NBC says), and the show might not look quite as good.On the other hand, CI may actually improve in the story department. Aiming the show at longtime fans rather than trying to attract first-timers could mean we'll see less of the sensationalized, ripped-from-the-Anna-Nicole-headlines garbage that's cropped up too frequently this season. And less money probably means fewer guest stars and more focus on the detectives, which would be just fine with me. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.Remember, there’s a new Goren/Eames episode tonight at 10, and it looks like a good one. read more

May 1, 2007: Rocket Man

Well, what to say about this episode? It was... sort of interesting. At times. As you faithful readers know, this ripped-from-the-headlines stuff is a pet peeve of mine, and definitely not why I watch Criminal Intent. I’d prefer the writers get off their butts and actually come up with some original crimes for the detectives to solve. Leave the “news-inspired” stories to the L&O mother ship and all of those lame CSI spin-offs.That said, you couldn’t ask for crazier source material than the Lisa Nowak astronaut-murder plot, so this episode was guaranteed to be at least mildly entertaining. And between all of the bed-hopping, adult-diaper-wearing, deep-sea-diving, steroid-cream-rubbing antics, it certainly wasn’t boring. But seriously, as one of the detectives pointed out, don’t astronauts go through some kind of rigorous psychological testing before they can enter the NASA program? Do the people piloting our taxpayer-sponsored, multi-million-dollar s... read more

Criminal Intent 's NASA Riff Is "the Quiet Before the Storm"

Law & Order: Criminal Intent guest stars Tate Donovan and Charissa Chamorro

Tonight's episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9 pm/ET, on NBC) got its inspiration from the recent bizarre love triangle involving NASA astronauts. For a preview of this stranger-than-fiction tale, we talked to executive producer Warren Leight, who also wrote the episode. TV Guide: I guess doing a ripped-from-the-headlines story on the astronaut scandal was a no-brainer, right? Warren Leight: We were 18 episodes into the season and banging our heads against the walls, so it seemed like a gift. I saw the [New York] Post and the Daily News staring me in the face and  thought it was divine intervention. TV Guide: How much research did you do about Lisa Nowak and the real astronaut scandal before writing this epis read more

Is it true that Vincent ...

Question: Is it true that Vincent D'Onofrio is leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent? Please say it isn't so!


Answer: It isn't so! BTW, I didn't mean to disparage CI by suggesting that no one would miss it if it were gone. Obviously, the 50 or so people who ripped me a new one in my Ausiello Report blog are gonna miss it.

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Vincent D'Onofrio Is Not Leaving Law & Order

Despite what Vincent D'Onofrio allegedly told an Aussie publication, the actor insists he does not have one foot out the door at Law & Order: CI."I am not leaving Law & Order: Criminal Intent and have every intention of fulfilling my contractual obligations on the show," he said in a statement issued by his rep. "I still find playing the role of Robert Goren interesting and enjoy working with the writers, cast and crew of Criminal Intent."Once more with feeling, buddy?This all may be a moot point anyway, since the chances of CI seeing another season are iffy at best. Which brings me to my next question: Would anyone miss it? read more

I was wondering if there is a ...

Question: I was wondering if there is a difference in either the reviews or the ratings for the two different versions of Law & Order: Criminal Intent? I happen to like both versions, for the completely different approaches each set of characters takes to solving the crimes and how they relate interpersonally and to suspects and victims. Yes, Vincent D'Onofrio is sometimes a little over the top, but I still like him. I also really like his partner, and this season there seems to be more insight into their nonworking relationship. I will forever love Chris Noth, dating back to the original Law & Order (he and Jerry Orbach were my favorite combination from any L&O series). I am not sure his partner, Julianne Nicholson, is quite up to snuff yet, but I will give her a chance. Anyway, thanks for the insight. Answer: On this subject, you have more insight than I do. Of the L&O shows, this is the one I've watched the least. I'm more inclined to watch the Mike Logan episodes over the Rober ... read more

February 20, 2007: Brother's Keeper

I was a little worried that Criminal Intent would get too political with this reality-based preacher-murder case, but I should have known better. While some series function as tools designed to shove their creators’ political beliefs down viewers’ throats (a brief kick to Aaron Sorkin while he’s already down), the guys behind the Law & Order family know better than to talk down to the faithful. So while this episode raised complex questions about the adequacy of science, faith, even God, to fix what’s wrong with the world and its inhabitants, it didn’t offer any easy answers.For those who didn’t make the real-life connection (which was surprisingly not trumpeted in the previews), this episode’s case was based on the recent scandal that tarnished the National Association of Evangelicals when a male prostitute claimed he provided organization president Rev. Ted Haggard with some “booty bumps” of his own. (Side note: If you don’t kn... read more

Preview! Law & Order: CI's Goren Faces a Triple Threat

Vincent D'Onofrio and Rita Moreno, Law & Order: Criminal Intent

It started with a drive around Lower Manhattan last June. On the eve of the sixth season of NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET), star Vincent D'Onofrio told the executive producer he wanted the drama to be "more than just a straight procedural." After 100 episodes spent profiling coldhearted killers, "Vince said, 'Give me something personal to chew on. I want Detective Goren to face deep human emotions,'" says Warren Leight, the producer in the passenger seat that day. This season, D'Onofrio got his wish. Oscar winner Rita Moreno was cast as Frances Goren, the detective's strong-willed, mentally ill mother who had been a crucial but unseen presence in Rober read more

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