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Law & Order to stop ripping stories from the headlines and just copy them outright

Erik and Lyle Menendez, on trial in 1995. (Photo: Getty Images)

No longer content with merely ripping stories from the headlines, Dick Wolf and Law & Order are getting ready to start copying them wholesale. Variety is reporting that Wolf has taken a break from his busy schedule chronicling the lives of every type of public servant operating in the City of Chicago—be sure to check out Chicago Comptroller, coming to NBC next year!—to pitch the network on a new event series, Law & Order: True Crime.

Taking a page from both the inescapable force of ’90s nostalgia and the recent wave of O.J. mania kicked off by FX’s recently concluded American Crime Story, the first season of the show will focus on one of the other Crimes Of The Century that dominated the national news cycle in the middle of the decade: the murder of Jose and Kitty Menendez by their sons, Erik and Lyle. The series—officially titled Law & Order: True Crime—The Menendez Brothers Murders, because apparently brevity is as endangered as affluent Los Angeles residents in the mid-’90s—will run for eight episodes if NBC ends up picking it up.


True crime has had a serious resurgence in the last few years. HBO’s The Jinx helped kick off the trend (with an assist from Serial and Making A Murderer), before Ryan Murphy really ran with it with a little help from Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Travolta. Now, Wolf—who’s made a lot of money over the years loosely adapting the crime of the minute for his long-running cop-and-court franchise—is taking his shot. We can only hope that this switch to actual reality won’t get in the way of Law & Order’s most valued principles, though: murder-based wisecracks and coming up with goofy fake names for the businesses and web sites its stalwart detectives investigate.

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