Kathryn Erbe was axed from Criminal Intent due to budget cuts.
Was she axed, or did she choose to leave when D'onfrio left? I haven't found anything saying either way.
D'Onofrio had been looking to leave the show for quite some time (which is why the "split detectives" concept was introduced, in order to induce him to stick around a while longer). Erbe had always been non-committal regarding her future. In interviews, at least, she had never conveyed any sentiment similar to the "we're a package deal" statements frequently espoused by Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni over on SVU
. No official
statements have been given regarding her departure (it's rather telling that of the departed cast, only D'Onofrio has said "Yeah, I wanted to leave," while the others have remained silent), but if you read between the lines, given the dropping of the "split" detectives and the focus on Nichols, the hiring of a cheap (and terrible) actress in Saffron Burrows (
) and an equally cheap B-lister in Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, coupled by the reports that Criminal Intent
suffered yet another budget cut after last season, it's not too difficult to get the picture that the ax fell and costs were minimized.
I could be wrong, of course. The happiest answer is that Erbe decided her time was up and she wanted to bail. But when a show with such a poor financial history as Criminal Intent
overhauls its entire cast, like seaQuest
many moons ago (for example) ... well, you know what they say about smoke and fire.