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NBC takes on true crime with new Law & Order anthology series on Menendez case

NBC wants in on the true crime trend. The network is working with Law & Order creator Dick Wolf to create a new anthology drama series, reports Deadline. The show will kick off with Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Brothers Murders, which will focus on a high-profile 1989 crime and the legal hullabaloo that followed.

Like FX’s recent hit American Crime Story, the NBC series will be a scripted drama that re-enacts the stories surrounding real-life criminal cases. The first installment will consist of eight episodes centering on brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted in 1996 of their parents’ brutal murder at their Beverly Hills home. They were 21 and 18 years old, respectively, in 1989, when their parents were killed.

The legal drama featured in The Menendez Brothers Murders should be particularly intriguing given that it will combine elements of the series’ Law & Order predecessors with an unusual case. The brothers weren’t convicted until their third trial because the first two resulted in hung juries. Ultimately, however, the men received life sentences without the possibility of parole after the jury concluded that they had killed their parents for their money.

“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, according to Deadline. “We will re-create 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.”

Wolf, who is set to executive produce, also focused on the attention-grabbing story. “There is no shortage of compelling real-life criminal cases, and the Menendez trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction,” he said.

It seems there is no shortage of true crime series, either. Between the Serial podcast and series like American Crime Story and Netflix’s Making a Murderer, there are plenty of options for those interested in actual cases and criminal justice. NBC apparently wants to tap into that audience and may have picked just the case to do it.