NBC has officially decided now that they are in the business of following such shows as “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.” In continuing their “Law & Order” brand at the same time, the network has officially ordered “Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders,” an eight-part limited series with Rene Balcer of the original series in as showrunner.
This project is going to recreate the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez many years ago, which was an event that took much of the media and the public back storm when it first happened. It didn’t have the impact of the OJ Simpson trial, but there was still a clear sentiment that it was one that further shaped the relationship between the courtroom and the media. It also furthered the fascination that the public have with murder trials, which exists to this day.
Can you argue that there is a danger in these shows, at least in terms of drumming up bad memories for those involved in the original trial? We wonder so, especially since we can only imagine that Ronald Goldman’s family and even members of the L.A.P.D. had a hard time watch “The People v. OJ Simpson” when it was on the air. It recreates a painful time in the lives of many, but these shows have potential to draw huge ratings. Everyone has become so accustomed to mystery-of-the-week crime cases that they have become numb to them; this is a way to shake up the format ever so slightly.
In a statement discussing this news, original franchise creator Dick Wolf passed along the following message:
“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.”
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