True crime TV fans that may be jonesing for more after the finale of FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, may not have too long to wait for another ripped-from-the-headlines TV show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC is developing its own true crime series. The Dick Wolf-produced Law & Order: True Crime show will launch with the Menendez brothers as its first season’s real-life crime focus. The air date has not yet been released.
Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Brothers will feature eight episodes and hones in on brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted of murdering their wealthy parents. The brothers, who were tried separately, were both sentenced to life without parole in 1996. Lyle made Rolling Stone‘s “10 Most Infamous Murderers Who Married in Prison” list (he actually got married twice while in jail).
The brothers went through three trials – the first two resulted in hung juries – before their eventual conviction. They claimed that they had suffered abuse, including sexual abuse at the hands of their father, throughout their life. The jurors, however, ruled with the prosecution, who asserted that the pair killed their parents to inherit their money. Like American Crime Story‘s approach, Law & Order: True Crime will recreate the events and the trials during the series.
Executive producer Wolf has worked on a number of series for the network, including Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med. “[NBC chief Bob Greenblatt], Jen [Salke, NBC Entertainment president] and I have been focused on 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,” Wolf said in a statement to THR. “There is no shortage of compelling real-life criminal cases, and the Menendez trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction.”
The original long-running series Law & Order was canceled in 2010, though the offshoot, Law & Order: SVU has continued to air since 1999.
True crime documentaries and shows have continued to gain popularity, with shows like Making a Murderer and The Jinx giving viewers the chance to binge-watch and, along with shows such as The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, they also give viewers the opportunity to further examine details of the case.