Vincent D'Onofrio departing 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'

vincentdonofrio_lawandorderci_290.jpgUPDATE: USA has confirmed Vincent D'Onofrio's departure from "Law & Order: CI."

Series creator Dick Wolf says D'Onofrio will appear in a two-part story to kick off the show's ninth season in which D'Onofrio's Detective Robert Goren will hand the reins of the Major Case Squad to Detective Zack Nichols (Jeff Goldblum).

"After eight seasons, and with the addition of Jeff Goldblum, now is the perfect time for me to explore other acting opportunities, and I leave the show knowing it is in great hands with Jeff," D'Onofrio says in a statement. He also leaves the door open for Goren to make a return appearance.

"For all my loyal 'CI' fans, I wouldn't be surprised if Goren pops up from time to time," he says.

Original post below.

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" is set to undergo a major cast shakeup in advance of its ninth season.

Vincent D'Onofrio, who has starred as Detective Robert Goren in the series since its 2001 debut, is on his way out. So are Kathryn Erbe, who has played Goren's partner Alex Eames from day one, and Eric Bogosian, who's played Capt. Danny Ross for the past three seasons, The Hollywood Reporter says.

As previously reported, Julianne Nicholson has also decided to leave the show.

Jeff Goldblum, who joined the USA series in the recently finished eighth season of the show, will be back, and Saffron Burrows ("My Own Worst Enemy") has officially signed on to play his new partner. But there's no word yet on whether they will be the sole pair of detectives on the show or whether "Criminal Intent" will rotate two sets of stars as it's done for the past four years.

The door is open for D'Onofrio to make some guest appearances in the future, but nothing is nailed down yet.

"Law & Order: CI" is scheduled to return to USA in the spring.

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