Law & Order: Criminal Intent Law & Order: Criminal Intent

The season premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been pushed back to early 2009, just days before it was scheduled to begin its eighth-season run on USA.

A spokesperson for the show tells TVGuide.com that Criminal Intent is in good shape, but that "based on the overall TV landscape and in this economy, it made sense to maximize the value" of the show by airing all 16 episodes in an uninterrupted run during the first quarter of 2009.

Season 8 is notable for its casting changes. Chris Noth (Sex and the City), who played Det. Mike Logan, a character he originated on Law & Order, left the show after three seasons. Replacing him will be the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor Jeff Goldblum. Details on Det. Zach Nichols, Goldblum's character, have been minimal, and he was not scheduled to appear in the Nov. 7 premiere episode. (Typically, the CI roster includes two pairs of detectives — played this season by Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson and series vets Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe — and they alternate episodes, so this is not unusual.) Preview scenes sent to TV critics showed that Goldblum's performance departed from the stammering intellectual roles for which he is generally known (The Fly, Independence Day, The Big Chill).

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the third series in the crime-procedural franchise produced by Dick Wolf. It originally aired on NBC for six seasons, but it moved to sister netlet USA in 2007, which was widely seen as a strategy to avoid cancellation.