Just call Dick Wolf the king of NBC. A little over three months ago, it was announced that Dick Wolf was developing a true-crime anthology series at NBC under the Law and Order name and now, the show is coming to light. According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC has officially greenlit the first season of the show, which will focus on the Menendez brothers.
Law and Order: True Crime will be the sixth show on NBC this upcoming season coming from Wolf’s production company, Wolf Films, as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is entering its 18th season, Chicago Fire is entering its fifth season, Chicago P.D. is entering its fourth season, Chicago Med is entering its second season and Chicago Justice will have a midseason series premiere.
Wolf also has a production deal in place with NBC that is good until 2020 and he has plans for an unscripted Law and Order type of show that is planned to be called You The Jury, where the audience members decide if someone is innocent or guilty in a civil case.
Similarly to The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Law and Order: True Crime will focus on a fairly well-known case and recreate the events of the trial. The first season, which will be eight episodes, will focus on the cases of Lyle and Erik Menendez. The two siblings were accused of murdering their parents and were both tried separately and were both found guilty of the crimes. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 1996. Their cases were broadcasted on Court TV in the early days of the network, also in a similar fashion that O.J. Simpson’s trial was broadcasted to the public.
A familiar name in the Law and Order world has been tapped as the showrunner for the upcoming anthology series. Rene Balcer, who worked on the original Law and Order show, is returning to work with Wolf and NBC. Balcer was a writer on the flagship Law and Order show, one of the developers and executive producers on Law and Order: Criminal Intent and was an executive producer on Law and Order: LA. He currently writes for The Council, which will air on Canada’s CBC network in 2017.
After the announcement of Balcer’s hiring as showrunner, Wolf said “Rene and I have been working together over the past three decades and he is one of a handful of truly great showrunners with whom I’ve worked. Law & Order won the Emmy for outstanding drama series under his watch.”
NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke echoed Wolf’s sentiments, saying “Rene is one of the creative foundations of the Law & Order brand and we couldn’t be in better hands for True Crime with Rene and Dick at the helm.”