BEVERLY HILLS, Calif – Executive Producer Dick Wolf is making a splash with his new NBC miniseries, “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.”
“We’ve made some great shows ripped from the headlines. This is on a different level,” Wolf said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles on Thursday.
He said the eight-episode series aims to make viewers take a close look at the jail sentences Lyle and Erik Menendez got for the murder of their parents in 1989.
He told reporters, “It’s also the only time we’ve had sort of a collective agenda, which is [that] this is one of the crimes of the century. It’s absolutely horrible, but when you see the information, I think people are going to realize, ‘Well, yeah they did it, but it wasn’t first degree murder with no possibility of parole.’ They probably should have been out eight or 10 years ago…”
Edie Falco plays the Menendez brothers’ defense attorney Leslie Abramson. The brothers, who were 18 and 21 at the time of the murders, were tried separately – three times.
“She took her job seriously and she didn’t always have to believe her clients were innocent,” Falco told Fox News. “It was irrelevant to her. Her job was to prove them innocent until proven guilty. She took that very seriously and I respect that. It was not about how other people perceived her or how other people perceived her clients. She was going to, at least according to the law, give them a fair shake.”
Rene Balcer, showrunner and executive producer, said the show will examine unknown details of the case.
“The other part of the story that is probably not well known is the degree of implicit political collusion between the judge and the District Attorney’s office in the second trial to ensure a conviction.”
Falco said she learned a lot as she read the script for the series.
“There was so much about this and these boys that I did not know — that made me realize we are a product of what we are fed from the second we are born,” she said. “I like the idea people can shake up their beliefs about something and can change… and this might be an opportunity for other people to recognize in that themselves as well.”
“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” premieres September 26th on NBC.
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.