That's just what happened to Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
An article on Slate finds the homage a little too close to the real thing, writing, "Even after 20 seasons of watching Law & Order and a year of chronicling the headlines that inspire the show's story lines, I can't recall an episode where ripped was quite so appropriate."
I know a guy who has written for a number of shows with a topical feel, including L&O, and he told me their approach was to take kind of the first paragraph of the real story and then add their own riffs from their. Sounds like someone forgot the riffing part.
Read more here.