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NBC, Dick Wolf join true crime craze

Scripted-logo-460_2US broadcaster NBC and its most prolific procedurals creator, Dick Wolf, are getting in on the true crime trend.

Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Murders will be an extension of writer-producer Wolf’s Law & Order franchise, but instead of closed episodes will run to eight parts that follow one case.

Rene Balcer, who developed and executive-produced Law & Order: Criminal Intent and showran the original Law & Order, is signed up to write, executive produce and showrun the series.

The True Crime franchise is planned as an anthology series similar to FX’s American Crime Story. Other series such as Netflix’s Making a Murderer, HBO’s The Jinx and FX’s The People Vs O.J. Simpson have led a boom in interest in the true crime genre.

The first season will follow the case of Lyle and Eric Menendez, who were convicted in 1996 of killing their wealthy parents and sentenced to life without chance of parole. They subsequently began a legal battle as they claimed to be victims of years of abuse from their father, an media executive who once ran Artisan Entertainment predecessor LIVE Entertainment.

True Crime’s order brings the number of programmes Wolf has on Comcast-owned NBC to six. Along with the long-running Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, he is behind Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med, with new effort Chicago Justice launching mid-season.

His Wolf Entertainment imprint signed a new contract with the network’s direct parent, NBCUniversal, in February.