There was hesitation at first. For nearly a year it looked as if the Los Angeles Police Department was wary of joining in. For them, that long-running epic, OJ (the model for such productions), had been an unmitigated disaster. And this new storyline offered several warning points of resemblance. Many had concluded that the piquant set-up had faded.
In fact, the LAPD were simply doing their proper research, gathering evidence, ruling out objections. And so, last week, they gave a press conference: The Robert Blake Story was a "go" project.
On CNN, one wide-eyed commentator - trying to assume the new gravity of post-9/11 - asked are we going to go through the celebrity nightmare again? But a very young woman reporter from the Entertainment channel had the answer to that: "nobody" under 30 had any idea who Robert Blake was or is, apart from being this guy who may have shot his wife. Whether or not it was murder one, actor Robert Blake had put himself back on the celebrity roll of honour.
In case you've forgotten, on 4 May, 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley was shot dead in a car parked near Vitello's, a restaurant in Studio City. Ms Bakley, aged 44, had just eaten there with her husband, Robert Blake, 68. It was his story that, only as they reached the car did he realise he had left his handgun in the restaurant. A gun he was entitled to carry. It was as he went inside to retrieve it, he said, that person or persons unknown had come up to the car and shot Bonny Lee.
Why would they do that, the police asked? Well, Blake was bound to answer, more or less, that his late wife had been a scumbag with many enemies.
After all, it had been her practice to do all she could to seduce wealthy and lonely men - especially former celebrities - and then take financial advantage of them. Mr Blake didn't need too much pushing to admit that he'd been one of the suckers. Their marriage had resulted from her being made pregnant. Beyond that, and the infant daughter, it had hardly been a marriage. And now the police allege that Blake had nursed contempt for Bonny Lee.
If this sounds like that old, drab world that existed before …