Law & Order Star Wants The Most Underrated Spinoff to Come Back


Since Dick Wolf’s crime procedural Law & Order first premiered on NBC in 1990, television hasn’t spent a single moment without it or one of its many spinoffs.

Currently the Law & Order franchise has three programs running: the reboot of the flagship series (that just finished its second season and 22nd overall), Law & Order: SVU (which has been renewed for a 25th season), and Law & Order: Organized Crime (which has been renewed for a fourth season). Still with all that Law & Order in production (and that’s not even to mention the many re-runs on NBCUniversal’s cadre of cable channels), one former star of a Law & Order spinoff thinks there’s room for more.

Before Vincent D’onofrio entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk on Daredevil (soon to be seen again on Disney+’s Daredevil: Born Again) he starred as Detective Bobby Goren through 141 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Criminal Intent was canceled following its 10th season in 2011, but now D’Onofrio has made his pitch for the show to return.

Per, D’Onofrio was asked about future seasons of his Law & Order spinoff during an appearance at Nashville’s ICCCon and responded to the notion favorably.

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“That’s a question for Dick Wolf,” D’Onofrio said. “But c’mon, what am I, an idiot? It’s a great part. He’s a great–look, Dick, seven, eight, nine episodes would be great.”

Later, on Twitter, D’Onofrio tagged his Criminal Intent co-star Kathryn Erbe to pitch her on the prospect of a revival.

Practically speaking, the chances of a full-blown Law & Order: Criminal Intent continuation remain low. There’s a reason it was canceled in the first place. While TV viewer’s appetite for Law & Order is prolific, it isn’t infinite. Even the original Law & Order ran out of steam, taking nearly a decade off before getting its revival. Meanwhile, the crackling chemistry between Eliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the prurient nature of the crimes they investigated on Law & Order: SVU always captured audience’s interests far more than on the relatively cerebral Criminal Intent. Nowadays, Organized Crime fulfills mostly the same niche as Criminal Intent with its investigators looking to delve into the psyche of major criminal offenders.

Still, if a proper Law & Order: Criminal Intent reboot isn’t in the cards might we make the case for at least the return of D’Onofrio’s Detective Goren on one of the three other shows? Crossovers aren’t a rarity by any stretch in the Law & Order franchise. In fact, Erbe reprised her CI role of Detective Eames in Law & Order: SVU season 14. With that precent set there’s no reason why Detective Goren shouldn’t pop up for an extended arc some where. And honestly: he really should.

D’Onofrio’s character was one of the strangest and most interesting creations in all of the Law & Order canon. As Marvel fans would eventually discover with his portrayal of Kingpin, D’Onofrio only has one setting when it comes to acting and it’s “11/10.” His Goren was soft-spoken, thoughtful, and idiosyncratic until suddenly … he was very loud. The performance is worth seeing on television again even if only for Goren’s exaggerated leans alone.

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