Law & Order: Criminal Intent is an American crime drama television series created by Dick Wolf and René Balcer as the third spinoff of Law & Order which follows a division of the NYPD called the "Major Case Squad" which investigates high-profile cases - usually homicides - such as those involving VIPs, local government officials and employees, the financial industry and the art world.
Vincent D'Onofrio stars as Det. Robert Goren, an exceptionally bright homicide investigator with well-honed instincts that match up favourably with his criminal quarry.
Likewise, his partner, Det. Alexandra Eames, brings an independence and stylish edge to her work that meshes well in tandem with Goren.
In the fifth season, they were joined by Mike Logan, who has finally worked his way back from a ten-year exile to Staten Island, and Carolyn Barek, a devoted Catholic detective whose religion plays a part in everything she does.
Their commanding officer, Capt. James Deakins, is a competent but ambitious political character who knows how to survive and thrive behind the scenes.
All of them often butt heads with the no-nonsense Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, a stickler for the crucial legal details.
Unlike the other shows in the Law & Order franchise, as of Season 5 Criminal Intent episodes typically alternate between two teams of detectives: Team A episodes follow Robert Goren and Alexandra Eames, while Team B episodes follow of Mike Logan and Nola Falacci.
The series also gives significant attention to the actions and motives of the criminals, rather than focusing exclusively on the police and prosecution, and the information they have, as in the other Law & Order series.
A feature of each Criminal Intent episode is that the cold open always involves a series of cut-scenes that show events from the suspects' and victims' lives, leading up to the crime. Clues to the crime's eventual solution can often be found in this teaser sequence.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is produced by Wolf Films and Universal Cable Productions. The series was created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, who also executive produces, and was developed by Rene Balcer.