LAW + ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT star Vincent D'Onofrio is being forced to share his acting workload on the hit legal drama with returning co-star CHRIS NOTH, to prevent him collapsing from exhaustion.

Show creator and producer RICHARD WOLF has been forced to write the actors into 11 episodes each in the filth series - after 46-year-old D'Onofrio was hospitalised with exhaustion having fainted on set in November (04).

The Full Metal Jacket actor - who stars as DR ROBERT GREEN alongside Kathryn Erbe in the NBC show - is overjoyed with Wolf's decision, believing he now has "the cushiest job on television."

D'Onofrio confirms, "I wouldn't be doing a fifth season if it wasn't for DICK WOLF stepping in and coming up with a better idea. It was just too much. Kate and I, we work our butts off.

"It's not digging ditches but with Noth signing on, now I have the cushiest job on television. Eleven episodes a season. I mean, you can't beat that."

Noth is returning as DETECTIVE MIKE LOGAN - who left the series 10 years ago.

29/07/2005 03:17