'Law & Order: CI's' Julianne Nicholson pregnant, replaced on show

Juliannenicholson_law_orderci_nbc_240 Julianne Nicholson is expecting on screen as well as in real life this time around. The "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star's pregnancy has been written into the show, allowing her to bow out of the eighth season finale.

"Julianne Nicholson was supposed to finish the season," says the show's executive producer Peter Jankowski at the NBC press day Friday (April 24). "She's pregnant and she couldn't finish the the last episode and a half. So Katie [Kathryn] Erbe is going to come in and play his partner for an episode and a half, which is kind of exciting."

Jeff Goldblum, who joins the cast as Nicholson's new partner Zach Nichols this Sunday (April 26) on USA, tells Zap2it that his co-star didn't ask for or receive any special treatment for her delicate condition.

"She's nothing if not a trouper and a pro and classy and uncomplaining and stoical -- and in fact, alive with radiant energy," Goldblum tells Zap2it. "She showed up and spent as much time on set as anybody else."

Last time when Nicholson was expecting her son Ignatius in 2007, her pregnancy was not written into the show. Instead, her character Det. Megan Wheeler goes overseas to teach American police procedure to European officers, leaving Det. Nola Falacci (Alicia Witt) to replace her. Sometime after returning, Wheeler reveals that she's engaged -- something that does not end very well.

Jeffgoldblum_juliannenicholson_lawandordercriminalintent_240 "Last year, remember she had that fiancee who betrayed her and went criminal himself and got hauled away in front of her horrified eyes to jail?" Goldblum helpfully fills in the blanks. "She's left pregnant from that guy. So she's having all kinds of difficult, challenging issues."

Goldblum even details the action in the episode in which Wheeler departs and Det. Alexandra Eames (Erbe) steps in.

"I don't want to give anything away, but her water breaks right in the squad room," spills the actor. "Katie [Erbe's character] is there and helps get her off."

Later, in between being in labor and screaming, on the phone Wheeler talks about the case she and Nichols have been working on to Eames, who picks up the case from there.

"[Eames] has gotten filled in, and we just kind of continue with her, like that," says Goldblum.

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