“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” nabs two new leading ladies


Talk about your shift change. Law & Order: Criminal Intent is getting an overhaul and then some as its adds bisexual actress Saffron Burrows and Oscar-nominated actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio to its upcoming ninth season.

The new cast members come in the wake of the departure of four series regulars: original stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe along with Eric Bogosian and Julianne Nicholson. Jeff Goldblum will be the only remaining principal cast member.

Nicholson’s Det. Megan Wheeler is being replaced by Burrows, who will be Goldblum’s new partner. Mastrantonio, meanwhile, will become the first female captain for the Major Case Squad, taking over for Bogosian.

Mastrantonio had a recurring role on Without a Trace, but this will be her first regular TV gig. I’m glad to see she is back; I had a little thing for her back in her Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves days. Also, get a load of Snape’s hair.

While Burrows’ addition had been rumored, Mastrantonio is a bit of a surprise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mastrantonio’s captain “comes from a working-class background.” No word on Burrows’ character yet, other than once can only assume she’ll be able to use her razor-sharp cheekbones as weapons when taking down suspects.

Now, I was a regular watcher of this show in its earlier seasons when D’Onofrio off-kilter Det. Goren was refreshing to watch. But with all the changes and additions in recent years, I’d lost interest. I’m not sure if Mastrantonio and Burrows will lure me back, but if they’re written as strong female leads and not just second-fiddles to Goldblum, I’d be willing to give it another shot.

How about you? Like the facelift, or perhaps just the new faces?

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