AP Photo/Nick Ut
AP Photo/Nick Ut
UPDATE: Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders is officially a go at NBC, with an eight-episode order, E! News has confirmed. Former Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent showrunner Rene Balcer has been tapped to serve as writer, executive producer, and showrunner.
The People v. O.J. Simpson ripple effect continues.
NBC has just announced a new extension of their Law & Order franchise that will model itself after the true-crime anthology that FX's American Crime Story just made so wildly popular, E! News has confirmed. The first installment to go into development of Law & Order: True Crime will be subtitled The Menendez Brothers Murders, focusing on—you guessed it—the infamous 1989 double homicide of wealthy Beverly Hills parents by their own sons. Dick Wolf, of course, will be executive produce.
The eight-episode installment will focus on brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, 21 and 18-year-old at the time of the crime, who were—spoiler alert—convicted of murdering their parents and given life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1996. Tried separately, it took a total of three trials to find the brothers guilty, as the first two resulted in hung juries.
With a defense that painted the victims, Jose and Kittie Menendez, as violent and unstable, and a prosecution that argued the brothers killed to gain their parents' immense wealth, the case caught the eye of the American public years before O.J. Simpson ever did.
"We've been talking with Dick about how to create an event series coming out of the Law & Order ripped-from-the-headlines brand. This case captured the public's attention like nothing before it as it examined taboo issues such as patricide and matricide in gruesome detail, all against a backdrop of privilege and wealth," said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. "We will recreate the cultural and societal surroundings of both the murders and trials when people were not only obsessed with the case but examining how and why these brothers committed these heinous crimes."
"Bob, Jen and I have been focused the natural evolution of the Law & Order brand for the last several years and are excited to extend the franchise with a scripted limited anthology series that focuses on a high-profile trial," Dick added. "There is no shortage of compelling real-life criminal cases, and the Menendez trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction."
Are you looking forward to NBC's stab at true-crime anthology? Sound off in the comments below!