"The People v. O.J. Simpson" ripple effect continues.
NBC has just announced a new extension of its "Law & Order" franchise that will have a true-crime anthology format along the lines of FX's "American Crime Story."
The first installment to go into development of "Law & Order: True Crime" will be subtitled "The Menendez Brothers Murders," focusing on the infamous 1989 double homicide of wealthy Beverly Hills parents by their own sons. Dick Wolf will executive produce.
The eight-episode installment will revolve around brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, 21, who were convicted of murdering their parents when they were 18 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 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 of 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 [Greenblatt], 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," Wolf added. "There is no shortage of compelling real-life criminal cases, and the Menendez trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction."
"Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Brothers Murders" does not yet have a release date.