"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" will do some serious headline-ripping during May sweeps, offering up episodes that take on the death of Anna Nicole Smith and murder among astronauts.
Kristy Swanson ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Skating with Celebrities") will play Lorelei Mailer, a character not unlike Smith -- a former stripper and model who was married to a much older, very wealthy man -- in an episode scheduled for Tuesday, May 8. The Major Case Squad is called in when she's found dead, just a few days after the mysterious demise of her 90-year-old husband.
"I've been a huge fan of the 'Law & Order' shows for many years, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful cast on 'Criminal Intent,'" Swanson says.
David Cross ("Arrested Development") will play Lorelei's manager and possibly the father of her newborn child. Actor-director Peter Bogdanovich ("The Sopranos") will also guest-star in the episode, reprising a role from a couple seasons back as the publisher of a Playboy-like magazine.
On May 1, "Criminal Intent" will feature Tate Donovan ("The O.C.," "Shooter") as an astronaut whose affair with a colleague ends with the woman murdered in their hotel. Amy Ryan ("The Wire," "Capote") will play Donovan's wife.
The episode is a twist on the case of Lisa Nowak, a NASA astronaut who in February was arrested after accosting a woman she reportedly believed was a romantic rival for a fellow astronaut. She was initially charged with attempted murder, though prosecutors dropped that count earlier this month. Nowak will face charges of attempted kidnapping and assault.