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NBC's newest Law & Order spinoff is a true crime anthology series

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Law & Order: True Crime will start with the 1989 Menendez Brothers murders

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NBC and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf are getting in on the true crime gold rush with Law & Order: True Crime, an anthology series that's currently being developed. The show's first installment will focus on Lyle and Eric Menendez, the brothers who were tried and convicted for the 1989 murder of their parents. (Both brothers are currently serving life sentences in prison.) The show doesn't have an air date or any public cast members yet, but the first season will be called Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Brothers Murders.

While all of the various Law & Order series have always looked to real criminal cases for inspiration, this is the first time Wolf's sought to dramatize a real-life case while retaining all of the particulars with an entire series. It's the same strategy employed by FX's smash hit American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which just wrapped up its 10-episode run to widespread critical acclaim and impressive ratings. Law & Order: True Crime also fits neatly into the larger crime anthology landscape, which is populated by adaptations and docu-dramas alike. The Jinx, Making a Murderer, and Serial have all rose to prominence in recent years, and shows like American Crime have emulated their format and subject matter while using fictitious cases. The terrain has never been more fertile.

"The trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction"

"[NBC] 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," said Wolf in a statement. "There is no shortage of compelling real-life criminal cases, and the Menendez trial was more scintillating than most crime fiction."