Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Wikis


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Law & Order: Criminal Intent
title card
Also known as Law & Order: CI,
Criminal Intent
Format Police Procedural,
Starring Current Cast
Jeff Goldblum
Saffron Burrows
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Vincent D'Onofrio
Kathryn Erbe
Eric Bogosian
Narrated by Steven Zirnkilton
(opening only)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 171 (List of episodes)
Location(s) NBC Studios New York City
in and around New York City
Running time approx. 43 minutes (per episode)
Original channel NBC (2001–2007)
USA Network (2007–present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run September 30, 2001 – present
Related shows Law & Order
Paris enquêtes criminelles
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
External links
Official website

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and airs on NBC, the series premiered on September 30, 2001 as the second spin-off of Wolf's successful crime drama Law & Order. The series aired on NBC for the first six seasons but was moved to the NBC Universal-owned USA Network starting with the seventh season due to low ratings. As of the eighth season, which concluded on August 9, 2009, the series has produced 171 episodes.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent focuses on the investigations of the Major Case Squad in a fictionalized version of the New York City Police Department set in New York City's One Police Plaza. In the style of the original Law & Order, episodes are often "ripped from the headlines" or loosely based on a real crime that received media attention.



"In New York City's war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories."
—Opening narration by Steven Zirnkilton

Criminal Intent follows a distinct division of the New York City Police Department: the "Major Case Squad". The Major Case Squad investigates high-profile cases (in most cases murder, just like the regular Law & Order in this sense), such as those involving VIPs, local government officials and employees, the financial industry, and the art world; though sometimes the cases are similar to the cases from the original Law & Order show as well. Unlike the other shows in the Law & Order franchise, as of Season 5 Criminal Intent episodes typically alternate between two teams of detectives: Team A episodes chronicle the cases of Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames, while team B episodes follow the exploits of Zach Nichols and Megan Wheeler. Originally, team B followed Mike Logan and his partners, Carolyn Barek, Megan Wheeler, and Nola Falacci.

The series also gives significant attention to the actions and motives of the criminals, rather than focusing exclusively on the police and prosecution, and the information they have, as in the other Law & Order series. A feature of each Criminal Intent episode is that the cold open always involves a series of cut-scenes that show events from the suspects' and victims' lives, leading up to the crime. Clues to the crime's eventual solution can often be found in this teaser sequence. Criminal Intent episodes do not usually contain trials. Unlike other Law & Order series, most Criminal Intent episodes end in confessions rather than plea bargains or verdicts.

For the first five seasons, Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver (played by Courtney B. Vance) worked with the detectives on their cases. After Vance's departure, Theresa Randle took over as Patricia Kent, but only appeared in two episodes at the beginning of season six. ADAs have not played a regular role in the show since.


Law & Order: Criminal Intent was created by René Balcer and Dick Wolf in 2001. Balcer served as the show's executive producer, showrunner, and head writer for its first five seasons. The show dominated its original time slot on Sundays at 9:00 pm for its first three seasons (routinely beating its competition Alias and The Sopranos in households and in the 18–49 demos), and was often the highest rated show of the night, with an average audience of 15.5 million viewers.

Beginning in its fourth season, it faced stiff new competition from ABC's night-time soap opera Desperate Housewives, a show that soon became the number one drama on television. Ratings for Criminal Intent further eroded in the fifth season when Chris Noth joined the cast in alternating episodes as Det. Logan. Noth's episodes routinely scored much lower ratings than D'Onofrio's. Despite stiff competition and Detective Goren's reduced presence, the series maintained respectable ratings through the fifth season, enough to get it renewed for a sixth season on NBC.

Balcer left the show at the end of the fifth season, and the show was handed off to Warren Leight, a longtime Criminal Intent staffer. Under Leight's leadership, the show acquired a new, more melodramatic tone. The mystery aspect of the show was simplified in favor of more personal stories involving the detectives. For example, notably Goren endured his mother's long agony from cancer, culminating with her death in the last episode (for Goren and Eames) of the sixth season, "Endgame" ("Renewal" is the season finale). The show's look and editing style also changed in an effort to attract more viewers than the newer CSI franchise.

Since NBC had acquired the rights to Sunday Night Football for the 2006–2007 season, Law & Order: Criminal Intent was moved to new time slot on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm, to serve as a lead-in to SVU. For its first six airings, it faced CBS's The Unit and baseball on Fox. The show held its own against such competition. In late October, Fox's smash hit House moved opposite Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It was hoped that the show could maintain second position, beating the then-marginal The Unit but that didn't occur. The show's ratings suffered a steep drop and regularly finished fourth in its time slot. By the end of the sixth season, Law & Order: Criminal Intent saw its lowest ratings ever.

In May 2007, NBC faced a choice of renewing either Criminal Intent or the original Law & Order, which had seen a ratings increase in the last few outings of its seventeenth season. Ultimately, because of weak ratings, NBC passed on Criminal Intent and picked up Law & Order. Because new episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent were still a profit center for the NBC Universal-owned studio that produces the series, Criminal Intent was moved to the NBC Universal owned USA Network after six seasons on NBC, because on USA Network it attracted a much larger audience.[1] The remaining episodes from the seventh season began screening on June 8.[2] The show was stopped in December 2007 due to the writers' strike. In Canada Law & Order: Criminal Intent airs new original episodes on CTV at 10 PM Sundays.

For its move to the USA Network, the "heavier" sounding version of the Law & Order: CI theme used for the show's opening credits was replaced by the version used on the short-lived Law & Order: Trial By Jury.

It was announced on May 22, 2008 that USA Network had renewed Criminal Intent for an eighth season. The seventh season was the top-rated television series on basic cable, having more than quadrupled the audience for the 10 PM Thursday slot on USA Network when compared to the ratings from the previous year. Nielsen Ratings for the week of July 13, 2008 showed that Criminal Intent was ranked sixth overall on top 20 cable ratings, with a viewer base of 4.899 million viewers.[3] The network ordered 16 episodes which were originally going to begin screening in November 2008, but the network moved the premiere -- first to February 5, 2009, then with an expected date of spring–summer 2009, and finally announcing the start date as April 19. The only change in cast members from the seventh season was [1] Chris Noth exiting, and replaced by Jeff Goldblum.[4] At the end of the seventh season, Leight, who left to focus on In Treatment, was replaced by new executive producers Walon Green and Robert Nathan. In December 2008, Nathan left the show after completing two Goldblum episodes. Law & Order co-executive producer and writer Ed Zuckerman then picked up Nathan's assignment while continuing his duties for the original L&O's 19th season. Michael Chernuchin co-executive produces Green's episodes, and Tim Lea co-executive produces Zuckerman's episodes. Other executive producers on the series are Norberto Barba, Peter Jankowski, Diana Son, Julie Martin, and Arthur W. Forney. Charlie Rubin is the supervising producer, and Balcer, Eric Overmyer, and Siobhan Byrne O'Connor are consulting producers. In April 2009, NBC began airing Law & Order: Criminal Intent season 8 encores a few days after they premiered on USA.

Hollywood Reporter reported that the USA Network is currently finalizing a deal for the ninth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.[5] Later, it was reported that D'Onofrio, Erbe and Bogosian would be leaving the series.[6] Some sources have speculated that USA Network prefers Goldblum's lighter Monk-style contribution as it fits better with their slate of other series.[7]

In response to news of the impending cast changes, on September 27, 2009, dedicated fans of the series united and launched a grassroots campaign to save departing cast members D'Onofrio, Erbe and Bogosian. Among the more traditional methods of letters, postcards, email and phone calls, the fans included sending jars of marshmallow fluff by the case to express their displeasure at the proposed change of tone for the series.[8][9][10]


Broadcast history

The show originally aired on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC for the first five seasons, from September 30, 2001 through May 14, 2006. It was then shifted to Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on September 19, 2006, and remained in that time slot through the end of Season 6 on May 21, 2007. CI was then moved to the USA Network for it's 7th season and aired Thursday nights & 9:00pm starting October 4, 2007 until the fall finale in December 2007. It was then moved to Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m ET on June 8, 2008 (when it paired up with In Plain Sight) until the 8th season finale on August 9, 2009. It has been mentioned that CI will be moved from it's Sunday night time placement.[11]

NBC also airs the USA Network original episodes on a few days after they air, usually on a Monday night at 8 p.m. ET.

Bravo airs season 1-8 episodes on a Sunday night, in a block from 6 p.m. ET to 2 a.m. ET the next morning. WGN America airs season 5-7 episodes on Saturday afternoons, generally in a block from 12 p.m ET to 4 p.m. ET.

Cast and characters

The cast of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2009); from left, Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Nicholson, Eric Bogosian, Kathryn Erbe, and Vincent D'Onofrio.

The show premiered September 30, 2001 on NBC and it originally starred Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Robert Goren, a junior detective in the Major Case Squad with a knack for solving difficult crimes, and Kathryn Erbe as his partner, Detective Alexandra Eames, a veteran detective who initially resists her partner but grows to understand him as the series progresses. With Jamey Sheridan as Captain James Deakins; although Deakins' first priority is the success of criminal investigations, he is often forced to rein in his more unpredictable detectives, especially Goren and later Logan, to manage the bad publicity they occasionally attract. While this has created some friction between Deakins and his detectives, for the most part they respect his professional judgment and authority. And Courtney B. Vance as Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, he is frequently in conflict with all the detectives because they tend to rely on hunches and instinct, when he wants more hard evidence. Despite this conflict, however, he has a strong working relationship with both teams.

In the third season from episodes 5-11, Eames was temporarily replaced by Detective G. Lynn Bishop portrayed by Samantha Buck. Eames was volunteering to serve as a surrogate mother for her sister's baby though in reality Erbe was pregnant with her second child.

In the fifth season, Chris Noth joined the cast, reprising his role as Detective Mike Logan from the original Law & Order. Noth alternated the starring role every other episode with D'Onofrio, and was originally partnered with Annabella Sciorra as Detective Carolyn Barek. When Sciorra left after one season, she was replaced by Julianne Nicholson as Detective Megan Wheeler, who remained with the show through the end of the eighth season.

Deakins retired from the Major Case Squad at the end of Season 5 rather than battle a conspiracy to frame him instigated by former police officer Frank Adair, whom Major Case detectives had arrested for killing his girlfriend and her husband. Deakins was replaced by Eric Bogosian who plays Captain Danny Ross. Carver left as well, though there was no information on why he left; he was replaced by ADA Patricia Kent portrayed by Theresa Randle who only stayed for two episodes due to contract issues.

By season 7 the show moved to the USA Network, Wheeler temporarily left MCS to go over to Europe to teach a course on American police procedure, when actually Julianne Nicholson was pregnant with her first child. She was replaced temporarily by Detective Nola Falacci played by Alicia Witt until the episode "Contract".

Noth left the series at the end of season seven, he was replaced by Jeff Goldblum as Detective Zach Nichols.[12] The series was renewed for a ninth season to be aired in March 2010, and Goldblum's addition proved so popular with USA Network that the decision was made for D'Onofrio and Erbe to leave the cast after the two-hour season premiere and for Goldblum to star in the series exclusively with new partner Detective Julia Porter, played by Saffron Burrows.[13] [14] And Bogosian (Ross) is set to leave with D'Onofrio and Erbe after the season premiere and will be replaced by movie actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio portraying Captain Sarah Brooks. [15]


Criminal Intent's seasons 1–5 aired on NBC on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM EST. Season 6 aired on NBC on Tuesday nights at 9:00 PM EST. In October 2007, new episodes of season 7 aired on the USA Network on Thursday nights at 9:00 PM EST. In June 2008 the remaining episodes of the season aired on Sunday nights at 9:00 PM EST on USA. Starting on January 9, 2008, reruns of season 7 began airing on NBC. Criminal Intent's season eight premiere aired on April 19, 2009 along with the second season premiere of In Plain Sight and both shows' season finales aired August 9, 2009.

Hollywood Reporter confirms that the network is currently finalizing a ninth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.[16] It was reported that Criminal Intent will premiere the ninth season in March 2010. [17]

Network Season Timeslot (EST) Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
NBC 1 Sunday 9:00 p.m. September 30, 2001 May 10, 2002 2001–2002 - 11.9
2 Sunday 9:00 p.m. September 20, 2002 May 18, 2003 2002–2003 - 14.3
3 Sunday 9:00 p.m. September 28, 2003 May 23, 2004 2003–2004 - 12.8
4 Sunday 9:00 p.m. September 26, 2004 May 25, 2005 2004–2005 - 12.1
5 Sunday 9:00 p.m. September 25, 2005 May 14, 2006 2005–2006 - 11.0
6 Tuesday 9:00 p.m. September 19, 2006 May 21, 2007 2006–2007 - 8.38
USA 7 Thursday/Sunday 9:00 p.m. October 4, 2007 August 24, 2008 2007–2008 - 4.89
8 Sunday 9:00 p.m. April 19, 2009 August 9, 2009 2009 TBA 5.50
9 Tuesday 9:00p.m. March 2010 August 2010 2010


Law & Order: Criminal Intent finshed it's eighth season on Sunday August 9, 2009. Seasons 1 thru 7 consisted of 21 to 23 episodes and Season 8 consisted of 16; each episode lasts approximately sixty minutes including commercials (approx. 43 without commercials). There have been 171 entries between 2001 and 2009.


Year Group Award Result Recipient(s)
2002 PPFA Maggie Awards Maggie Award for Media Excellence ("The Third Horseman") Won
People's Choice Award Best New Series Nominated
Image Award Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated Courtney B. Vance
2003 Edgar Award Best Television Episode Nominated René Balcer
for "Tuxedo Hill"
2004 Satellite Award Best Actor in a Series, Drama Nominated Vincent D'Onofrio
Edgar Award Best Episode in a Television Series Teleplay Nominated René Balcer and Gerry Conway,
for "Probability"
2005 Edgar Award Best Episode in a Television Series Teleplay Won René Balcer and Elizabeth Benjamin,
for "Want"
Edgar Award Best Episode in a Television Series Teleplay Nominated René Balcer and Gerry Conway,
for "Conscience"; René Balcer and Warren Leight,
for "Consumed"; René Balcer and Warren Leight,
for "Pas de Deux"
2006 Reims International Television Festival Best Drama Episode ("In the Wee Small Hours") Nominated
Banff Television Award Best Drama ("In The Wee Small Hours") Nominated
ALMA Award Outstanding Director of a Television Drama or Comedy Nominated Norberto Barba
2008 Edgar Award Best Television Episode Teleplay Nominated Warren Leight, Siobhan Byrne, & Julie Martin
for "Senseless"
Image Award Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Nominated Darnell Martin
for "Bombshell"
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Series, Drama Nominated Kathryn Erbe
ALMA Award Outstanding Director of a Television Drama or Comedy Nominated Norberto Barba

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released Law & Order: Criminal Intent on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4. Seasons 1–3 have been released in Region 1, while in Regions 2 and 4 they have released seasons 1 and 2. Season 4 will be released in Region 1 on November 24, 2009. [18]

DVD name
Release dates
Region 1
Region 2
Region 4
The Complete 1st Season 22 October 21, 2003 February 28, 2005 January 20, 2005
The Complete 2nd Season 23 December 12, 2006 July 17, 2006 March 7, 2006
The Complete 3rd Season 21 September 14, 2004 April 13, 2009 [19] June 3, 2009
The Complete 4th Season 23 November 24, 2009[20] December 28, 2009 [21] December 2, 2009
The Complete 5th Season 22 N/A N/A N/A
The Complete 6th Season 22 N/A N/A N/A
The Complete 7th Season 22 N/A N/A N/A
The Complete 8th Season 16 N/A N/A N/A
The Complete 9th Season 16 N/A N/A N/A

Technical information

Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been produced in 16:9 format since at least 2004, when it was first broadcast in HDTV. Standard definition NBC stations aired the episodes cropped to 4:3 until 2006, when all Law & Order series began airing episodes in 16:9 for SD. Reruns of those episodes which were cropped to 4:3 have subsequently been aired in 16:9 as well. Some broadcasters outside the USA however still use versions cropped to 4:3.

Related series


On June 15, 2008, Mary McCormack made a guest appearance in the 2008 episode "Contract", as Mary Shannon, her character from In Plain Sight. At the time of the original airing, In Plain Sight followed Criminal Intent on the USA Network.

French adaptation

In July 2005, NBC Universal sold the format of Law & Order: Criminal Intent to French channel TF1 Alma Productions to launch a localized French version of the drama. The version came with its own native language title (Paris enquêtes criminelles) and actors. The first season, consisting of eight episodes, went into production and premiered in 2007. The show mirrors the content of the original US stories, although it is set in Paris and is adjusted for language and culture. Vincent Perez plays Vincent Revel (French equivalent of Vincent D'Onofrio's role, Robert Goren). Sandrine Rigaux played Claire Savigny (French equivalent of Kathryn Erbe's character, Alex Eames) during the first season. A crossover between Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Paris, enquêtes criminelles was produced in preparation for April 2007.

Vincent Perez on the subject of differences between his character Ravel and Goren (translated from French), "I've watched very little of the original series so as not to be influenced, but I had the impression that Goren was very cerebral. Ravel is more instinctive and perhaps, more vulnerable".

The show premiered in France in May 2007 and has become a major success for TF1. A second season has been ordered. Sandrine Rigaux will be replaced by Audrey Looten, who will play Mélanie Rousseau.

Russian adaptation

A Russian version of L&O: CI (shot in Moscow with Russian actors) premiered in March 2007, where it was shown back to back with the Russian version of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, to become one of Russia's top-rated series. As a result, the initial order of eight episodes has been expanded to some 40 episodes.

Other international versions of the show are presently in negotiations.

In addition, dubbed versions of the original series are available in over 150 countries.

See also


  1. ^ a b "USA renews Law & Order: Criminal Intent". Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  2. ^ "The Associated Press: 'Law & Order:CI' is returning for an eighth season". Retrieved 2008-05-26.  
  3. ^ "Nielsen Ratings Cable TV Top 20: USA Tops with WWE RAW, Burn Notice". tvbythenumbers. Retrieved 2008-07-29.  
  4. ^ "Jeff Goldblum Has 'Criminal Intent,' Chris Noth leaving 'Law & Order' series". Zap2it.,0,2869315.story. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  5. ^ Network also finalizing deal to bring back 'Criminal Intent'
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Jeff Goldblum - Yahoo! TV
  13. ^ Vincent D'Onofrio Leaving 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
  14. ^ Twitter / Criminal Intent: The new season is tentativ ...
  15. ^
  16. ^ Network also finalizing deal to bring back 'Criminal Intent'
  17. ^ Twitter / Criminal Intent: The new season is tentativ ...
  18. ^ 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' Season 4 DVD Release Date Nov. 24, 2009
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^

External links


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