Perhaps the hottest trend in TV these days – beyond even the whole movie-to-television adaptation process – is the true crime genre. Whether the stories are told through “unbiased” documentaries or dramatized fiction, network execs are recognizing just how hungry U.S. audiences are for shows like Netflix’s Making a Murderer and FX’s The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mega-producer Dick Wolf is the latest to take this angle, and he’ll be using his Law & Order franchise to do it.
Law & Order: True Crime will be an anthology drama, taking on a different case/crime in each season, assuming it gets more seasons beyond this one. (And of course it will.) The first season will be fully focused on brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who gained notoriety in 1990 after murdering their parents Jose and Kitty in cold blood months before. The horrifyingly grisly shootings landed the siblings in the legal system, and though their defense attorney tried to play up the parents as abusive and addicted to drugs and booze, the brothers were eventually found guilty in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Their trials were obviously not quick or easy, and the details behind their arrests and convictions should make for some compelling TV drama.
NBC has given the series an eight-episode order, and it’s currently in development. Unfortunately, no news was given on what other creative minds will be behind Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Brothers Murders besides Dick Wolf, who is also currently in the process of spinning off another Chicago drama. No telling if he’s also still trying to get that Law & Order reality series off the ground, but I’m betting this newest idea is the more golden one of the two.
Considering how long the various Law & Order series have been creating headline-of-the-week episodes, it’s kind of shocking that Wolf is only getting this off the ground in 2016. But with shows like Killing Fields, Dark Net and others taking over our televisions, it was only a matter of time before one of TV’s most successful franchises jumped on the deadly bandwagon. And we’re totally down with it.
There’s no telling just when we’ll get to see Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Brothers Murders making its way to viewers, and considering it’ll only be eight episodes, that means it could be either a fall or a midseason premiere. In any case, we’ll let you guys know what happens with it when that news becomes available.
In the meantime, you can still check in with the Law & Order-verse when SVU airs Wednesday nights on NBC. And to see when everything else is premiering over the next few months, check out our summer TV schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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