Showrunner Sounds Off on 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' Cast Shake-up
Glenn Diaz
Glenn Diaz
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Law and Order: Criminal Intent fans are perhaps still reeling from the dramatic exit of three major characters on the show's two-part season premiere, but showrunner Walon Green insists that they have tried their best to give them a good send-off.

"We certainly made an effort with the first show to [allow] people who were huge fans of Vincent and [Kathryn] see them go out with a couple of good episodes and in a dignified fashion," he tells CNN. "And also to bring in Jeff and Saffron in a way that seems legitimate that the baton would be passed to them."

Major Case detectives Goren and Eames, played by Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, quit following an altercation related to the other major departure: Captain Ross (Eric Bogosian) killed off in the line of duty while working undercover with the FBI on a RICO case.

Jeff Goldblum, who joined the show last season to replace Chris Noth, is thankfully staying put, onboard to welcome new additions: Saffron Burrows as his new partner Det. Serena Stevens and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Capt. Zoe Callas, Ross' replacement.

On last night's episode, in fact, Law and Order: Criminal Intent began with absolutely no reference to the departed Goren, Eames or Ross. Nichols alongside newbie Serena Stevens and Zoe Callas quickly gets to work on a case.

The Sun Sentinel, finally, says the door has been left open for the two detectives to return.

Green adds that another reason Law and Order: Criminal Intent is so special among the slew of procedurals is that it doesn't focus on whodunit.

"It's why they did it," he says. "It gives you a lot more leeway to explore the psychology of these people who do these things which so effect our consciousness and sensibilities."

(Image courtesy of USA)