NBC-TV has a hot franchise and is working it for all it's worth. 

Crime & Disorder

NBC-TV has a hot franchise and is working it for all it's worth. Like McDonald's and KFC, "Law & Order" is everywhere. But this is not a bad thing. "Law & Order" is good TV. The original "Law &Order" is entering its 12th season this year. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is beginning its third year on the air. Both have built loyal audiences and have scored well in ratings.

So there's nothing surprising about the fact that producer Dick Wolf now offers up a third version of the theme, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." What sets "Criminal Intent" apart is the fact that it offers a look at crime-solving from another perspective, one rarely explored in TV drama.

The new series will look at major crimes from the criminal's viewpoint. Wolf says the new series will have the same look and feel as the first two "Law & Order" series, but "it will have its own identity, including a unique psychological aspect to the storytelling, as well as insight into the criminal's point of view." Beyond that, he's playing his cards close to his chest.

"Criminal Intent" will star Vincent D'Onofrio ("Men in Black") as a homicide investigator with instincts keen enough to match his adversaries. His stylish and independent-minded partner will be played by Kathryn Erbe ("Oz"). Jamey Sheridan ("Shannon's Deal") will play their commanding officer, an ambitious political animal who knows how to survive and thrive, and they'll all butt heads with the no-nonsense district attorney, played by Courtney B. Vance ("Boston Public").

Heading up the storytelling team will be Rene Balcer, a 10-year veteran of the original drama. — Don Dale


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