Balcer served as one of the original writers on “Law & Order,” rising through the ranks to eventually become executive producer and showrunner. He also developed spinoff “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” serving as exec producer and showrunner for 10 seasons.
“Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf will executive produce the new anthology through his Wolf Entertainment banner in association with Universal Television. Peter Jankowski and Arthur W. Forney will also executive produce.
“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,” Wolf said in a statement. “‘Law & Order’ won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series under his watch.”
Added Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment: “Rene is one of the creative foundations of the ‘Law & Order’ brand and we couldn’t be in better hands for ‘True Crime’ with Rene and Dick at the helm.”
The eight hourlong episodes will focus on the case of Lyle and Erik Menendez, brothers who were convicted of murdering their parents and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 1996. The brothers, who were 21 and 18 years old, respectively, at the time of the murders, were tried separately but eventually convicted in a third trial after no verdicts were rendered in the first two trials because of hung juries.
Balcer is currently writing drama series “The Council,” which will air on Canada’s CBC-TV in fall 2017. The series draws inspiration from the true-to-life fight over the vast and valuable resources of the Arctic. It traces the journey of two cops who uncover a small-town murder that is at the heart of a global conspiracy. “The Council” is produced by Lark Productions, Keston International Productions and NBC Universal International Studios.
Balcer is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and the legal firm Rohner & Walerstein.