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Lawman returns to ‘Order’

Noth joins 'Criminal Intent'

Chris Noth is back on the “Law & Order” beat.

Ten years after he left the classic edition of Dick Wolf’s crime franchise, Noth has signed on to star as a series regular for next fall’s fifth season of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Current lead Vincent D’Onofrio isn’t going anywhere, however. Instead, Noth and D’Onofrio are expected to split the episodic case load, with each appearing in about 11 episodes each season.

D’Onofrio missed several days of work earlier this season due to exhaustion, and it’s believed bringing in Noth is designed to lessen the burder on D’Onofrio.

Noth had already agreed to guest star in one episode of the show, which has already been shot and will air this weekend. He’ll begin regular appearances next fall. Last fall, Noth also signed a deal with Wolf and NBC Universal to develop several “L&O” telepics.

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