Itcould have taken longer, but that wasn’t likely. Since man…

Itcould have taken longer, but that wasn’t likely.

Since many crime shows stay on the lookout for ripped-from-the-headlines ideas, the saga of the late Anna Nicole Smith was a virtual lock to be dramatized before this television season ended. NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” got to the gate first and producer Dick Wolf’s franchise airs the resulting episode on Tuesday.

Subtitled “Bombshell,” the tale casts guest star Kristy Swanson as Lorelei Mailer, an ex-stripper and much-older billionaire’s widow who dies shortly after her son does — and soon after she gives birth to a daughter. Her last companion (David Cross, “Arrested Development”) fights others over her money, but it’s up to a DNA test to determine who gets the inheritance.

Police detectives Wheeler and Logan (Julianne Nicholson, Chris Noth) are on the case in the story, in which filmmaker-actor Peter Bogdanovich (“The Last Picture Show”) reprises his earlier “Criminal Intent” guest role as a magazine publisher.

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