12:44pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Edie Falco Snags Key Role in NBC's 'Law & Order' Menendez Brothers Drama
Four-time Emmy winner Edie Falco is returning to the small screen.
The Nurse Jackie and Sopranos grad has booked a leading role in Dick Wolf's Law & Order: True Crime anthology, NBC announced Friday.
The first season of the anthology will focus on the Menendez brothers and will be called The Menendez Murders. Falco will take on the role of tenacious defense attorney Leslie Abramson. Abramson represented the brothers through the two trials and claimed they suffered a lifetime of abuse from their parents. Their father, Jose Menendez, was accused of sexual abuse, as well as being unusually cruel, while mother Kitty Menendez was accused of being mentally unstable and a violent drug and alcohol abuser. (Lifetime recently cast Courtney Love to star as Kitty in a TV movie about the brothers.)
“Edie’s past iconic roles cement her place among the highest caliber of actresses working today, and we couldn’t be happier that someone of her stature will be joining our upcoming Menendez series,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “We know she will do a remarkable job portraying the complexities of defense attorney Leslie Abramson and the issues that made her such a compelling figure.”
Similar to FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson, the show's eight-episode first season will be a re-creation of the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez. The brothers were convicted of murdering their parents and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 1996. The siblings, who were 21 and 18 years old, respectively, at the time of the murders, were tried separately but eventually found guilty in a third trial after no verdicts were rendered in the first two because of hung juries. Like the Simpson trial, the Menendez brothers' trial became an early hit for then-burgeoning cable channel Court TV.
“I’ve known Edie for more than two decades,” said Wolf. “Our working relationship started when she was among an elite group of actors who made multiple appearances as defense attorneys on Law & Order in the early ’90s. Edie was at the top of that list. She did a fabulous job on Law & Order and, as Leslie Abramson, will knock the role out of the park.”
Falco's credits include Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete, as well as Oz, Will & Grace and 30 Rock. She next stars in features The Comedian, Landline and Megan Leavey. With the casting, Falco will reunite with NBC Entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, who developed Nurse Jackie during his run at Showtime. Falco is repped by ICM Partners and Management 360.
Longtime Law & Order executive producer Rene Balcer will pen the script and exec produce the series alongside Wolf, Peter Jankowski and Arthur W. Forney. The series hails from Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, where the banner is under an overall deal.