Alicia Witt and Chris Noth, <EM>Law & Order: Criminal Intent</EM> Alicia Witt and Chris Noth, Law & Order: Criminal Intent

We're just starting to get used to Logan's new partner… and she's just about to go. After tonight's Law & Order: Criminal Intent (10 pm/ET, USA), only two more episodes are left (one on Dec. 13, the other slated for early 2008) for Alicia Witt's brassy Det. Nola Falacci — who has left her stamp on the Major Case Squad. We chatted with Witt about her time on CI and some other interests.

TV Guide: What happens tonight?
Alicia Witt:
I have a feeling this is going to be my favorite, because Falacci really butts heads with [Capt.] Ross in a huge way. She doesn't like to be antagonistic for the hell of it — she's doing it because she's right.

TV Guide: What is it you like about playing Falacci?
Witt:
I'm still discovering her. She's somebody I believe the audience will either love or hate, which I much prefer to playing somebody who is just your run-of-the-mill conservative detective. She's very mature yet still has enthusiasm for everything, even if it's the darkness of solving a grotesque murder.

TV Guide: You've been filling in for Julianne Nicholson while she's on maternity leave, but if Dick Wolf asked you back, what would you say?
Witt:
They've sort of discussed it a little — not in any official terms — to maybe come back for an episode or two at some point [and] I'd love to do that. I'm not keen to do a series as a regular because I find that I get really stir crazy.

TV Guide: Was the sitcom Cybill a good experience?
Witt:
The fondest [memory] was that I still had my day job playing the piano at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel when I got it, and I was so excited because I was able to write my two weeks' notice letter to the hotel. I was so proud [laughs] — now I can say I'm an actor and not just an actor-pianist.

TV Guide: Another memorable TV stint was on The Sopranos as a sex-crazed Hollywood exec....
Witt:
That was just a dream. I loved playing that character — I got to base her on several different really obnoxious, fake female producers I've had the "privilege" to work with. For about a month, every time I went into a meeting, people would say, "I totally know who that's based on," and it was always somebody different. [Laughs] They never guessed the right [ones].

TV Guide: Any career highlights so far?
Witt:
Working with Al Pacino [on 88 Minutes] is definitely No. 1. I'm very eager for that to come out [in February] because I'm really proud of my work in it. My character is unlike anything I've done before.

Find more on Criminal Intent in our Online Video Guide.

Check out the latest issue of TV Guide on newsstands now, featuring Desperate Housewives' "biggest twist ever"! Try four risk-free issues of TV Guide now!

Send your comments on this Q&A to letters@tvguide.com.