|LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Dennis Farina is leaving "Law & Order" after two years, and will be replaced by Milena Govich, who played one of the assistant district attorneys on series creator Dick Wolf's short-lived drama "Conviction."|
The moves are part of a major talent overhaul on NBC's 16-year-old crime drama. Also exiting, after a similarly short stint, is Annie Parisse, who played Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia.
The show, which lost 1.8 million viewers last season, is being moved from its longtime Wednesday berth to Fridays in the fall, to Wolf's chagrin.
Farina played the snappy dresser Detective Joe Fontana, who investigated crimes and apprehended suspects with partner Edward Green (Jesse L. Martin).
"Dennis is the consummate professional, and I respect his decision to pursue other opportunities, and he will be sorely missed," Wolf said. "I genuinely hope we work together again."
Farina had succeeded longtime "L&O" star Jerry Orbach, whose character on the show, Detective Lennie Briscoe, transitioned to Wolf's short-lived "Law & Order: Trial by Jury" until Orbach's death in late 2004.
Govich, a 29-year-old Oklahoma native who guest-starred on "L&O" in 2005, also had a recurring role on FX's "Rescue Me."