How to Get Away with Murder
Created byPeter Nowalk
Theme music composerPhotek
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes9 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
ProducerAnn Kindberg
  • Michael Price
  • Jeff Jur
EditorsPhilip Carr Neel
Matthew Ramsey
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time43 minutes (approx.)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) –
present (present)

How to Get Away with Murder is an American serial legal drama series that premiered on ABC on September 25, 2014.[1] The series was created by Peter Nowalk, produced by Shonda Rhimes and distributed by ABC Studios. Viola Davis stars as a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, with her students, becomes entwined in a murder plot.[2] The series airs in the slot after Scandal on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m.[3]


How to Get Away with Murder follows the personal and professional life of Annalise Keating, a criminal law professor at the fictional Middleton University in Philadelphia, one of the most prestigious Law Schools in America. A criminal defense lawyer, Annalise selects a group of her best students from her university class to work at her firm. They are Connor Walsh, Michaela Pratt, Asher Millstone, Laurel Castillo and Wes Gibbins. In her personal life, Annalise lives with her husband, Sam Keating; but she also has a secret relationship with Nate Lahey, a local Philadelphia detective.

Cast and characters

The show features an ensemble cast along with guest stars and recurring characters.

Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest stars



Viola Davis plays the lead female role

On August 19, 2013, ABC bought the original concept from Shondaland Productions, produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers. The script for the pilot episode was written by Grey’s Anatomy supervising producer Peter Nowalk.[27] ABC ordered the pilot on December 19, 2013.[28] The pilot episode was filmed in Los Angeles, California, at the University of Southern California, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, at Bryn Mawr College; and in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, at Ursinus College. It was directed by Michael Offer.[29] On May 8, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to series for the 2014–15 television season.[30][31] At the Television Critics Association Press Tour in July 2014, it was announced that How to Get Away with Murder will be a limited series with only 15 or 16 episodes per season.[32] On October 9, 2014 ABC picked up the series for a full season of 15 episodes.[33] The smaller size of episode count stems from the deal for the series star Davis.[34][35]


Cast members, from left to right: Charlie Webber, Liza Weil, Billy Brown, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Viola Davis, Katie Findlay, Alfred Enoch, Karla Souza, and Jack Falahee

As of January 21, 2014, Matt McGorry was the first to be announced as a regular cast member, playing a law student.[11]

Throughout February and March 2014, other roles were announced as cast: Aja Naomi King,[10] Jack Falahee,[8] Alfred Enoch[8] and Karla Souza[8] as law students; Katie Findlay as a drug-dealing student;[9] Charlie Weber as a law associate to Professor Keating;[12] Billy Brown as Professor Keating's extra-marital love interest;[7] veteran actor Tom Verica as Professor Keating's husband;[22] Liza Weil as one of the professor’s two associates.[13]

On February 25, 2014, it was announced that Shonda Rhimes had cast Viola Davis in the show's leading role of Professor Annalise Keating.[4][5][6]

On November 4, 2014, it was announced that Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden was cast in the second half of the first season for a secret recurring role.[24][25][26]


How to Get Away with Murder airs on Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. ABC pushed Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., creating an all-night block of Shonda Rhimes-produced dramas airing on Thursdays, a rarity in American television.[3][36] It was announced July 14, 2014 that the series would debut September 25, 2014.[1]

In Canada, the series airs with sim-subbing of advertising in same timeslot on CTV, though it airs three hours earlier before the original ABC timeslot in the Atlantic Time Zone on CTV Atlantic in the Maritime Provinces.[37][38] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it premiered on October 22 on Universal Channel[39], and will be carried on Seven Network in Australia beginning sometime in 2015.[40] In Mexico, Brazil and South America the show airs on Canal Sony, along with the various Sony Channel networks in Southeast Asia and The Philippines, in most cases with subtitling.[41]


Main article: List of How to Get Away with Murder episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankViewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
115September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25)February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)3011.40[42]
215September 24, 2015 (2015-09-24)March 17, 2016 (2016-03-17)3210.26[43]
315September 22, 2016 (2016-09-22)February 23, 2017 (2017-02-23)447.91[44]
415September 28, 2017 (2017-09-28)March 15, 2018 (2018-03-15)646.42[45]
515September 27, 2018 (2018-09-27)February 28, 2019 (2019-02-28)855.15[46]
615September 26, 2019 (2019-09-26)May 14, 2020 (2020-05-14)844.27[47]


Critical reception

The series started with generally positive reviews from critics with most reviewers praising Viola Davis' performance. On Rotten Tomatoes, How to Get Away with Murder has a rating of 86% based on 57 reviews.[48] Metacritic gave the show a rating of 68 out of 100 based on 30 reviews.[49]

Television ratings

The series pilot on September 25 set a record for DVR playback viewers with 6 million, surpassing the January 27, 2014 record of 5.6 million set by the pilot of The Blacklist.[50]

The pilot was favorably received by critics, specifically praising Viola Davis' performance. The series premiere had more than 14 million viewers on live broadcast, and over 20 million with DVR.[51]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2015 41st People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Drama How To Get Away with Murder Pending [52]
Favorite Actress In A New TV Series Viola Davis Pending [52]


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  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (8 May 2014). "ABC Orders 'How to Get Away With Murder,' 'Black-ish,' 'American Crime,' 'Selfie,' 'Galavant,' More to Series". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Adalian, Josef (May 15, 2014). "ABC Is Creating an All–Shonda Rhimes Thursday". Vulture. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Viola Davis to Star in ABC Drama 'How to Get Away With Murder'". Hollywood Reporter. February 25, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
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  7. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2014). "Aimee Garcia Cast In CBS Pilot 'Red Zone'; Billy Brown In ABC's 'How To Get Away'". Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2014). "UPDATE: Jeffrey Nordling & Christina Chang In ABC's 'Sea Of Fire', Trio Cast In 'Murder'". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 1, 2014). "Katie Findlay Joins 'How To Get Away', Utkarsh Ambudkar In 'Love Is Relative'". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie. "Aja Naomi King Cast In ABC Pilot 'Murder'; Arden Myrin in NBC's 'Bad Judge'". date=February 6, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014. ((cite web)): Missing pipe in: |publisher= (help)
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  12. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 24, 2014). "Charlie Weber Cast In 'How To Get Away'; 'The Flash' Gets Mother". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 27, 2014). "Liza Weil Cast In ABC Pilot 'How To Get Away', Stephen Hagan In CW's 'Identity'". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "Scoop: HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER on ABC - Thursday, September 25, 2014". Broadway World. September 16, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  15. ^ Clark, Brooks (April 10, 2014). "Broadway and Beyyond". Torch Bearer. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
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  17. ^ Vick, Megan (August 11, 2014). "'How to Get Away with Murder' casts 'Orange is the New Black' alum Alysia Reiner". Zap2It. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
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  20. ^ Mulcahy Jr., Kevin (September 25, 2014). "Guest Stars Update: Lenny Platt plays Griffin O'Reilly in How to Get Away with Murder". Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  21. ^ Fisher, Alyssa (September 30, 2014). "Alumnus appears on ABC show How to Get Away With Murder". The Independent Florida Alligator. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  22. ^ a b The Deadline Team (March 10, 2014). "Tom Verica Cast In ABC Pilot 'How To Get Away'; Morgan Spector In NBC's 'Coercion'". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  23. ^ Slezak, Michael (October 2, 2014). "How to Get Away With Murder Recap: It's a Stab, Stab, Stab, Stab World". TV Line. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  24. ^ a b Friedlander, Whitney (November 4, 2014). "Marcia Gay Harden Joins 'How to Get Away with Murder'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  25. ^ a b Abrahams, Natalie (November 4, 2014). "Marcia Gay Harden lands recurring role on 'How to Get Away with Murder'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  26. ^ a b Ng, Phillana (November 4, 2014). "'How to Get Away With Murder' Lands Marcia Gay Harden". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
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  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 19, 2013). "'Sea Of Fire' & Shondaland's 'How To Get Away With Murder' Get ABC Pilot Orders". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 31, 2014). "ABC Drama Pilots 'Warriors' & 'How To Get Away With Murder' Find Directors". Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  30. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2014). "ABC New Series Pickups: 'Selfie', 'Forever', Galavant', 'Whispers', 'How To Get Away With Murder', 'American Crime', 'Black-ish', Jeff Lowell Comedy". Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  31. ^ Cynthia Littleton (May 8, 2014). "ABC Orders 'Marvel's Agent Carter,' 4 Other Dramas and 4 Comedies". Variety. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
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  40. ^ Idato, Michael (1 October 2014). "How To Get Away With Murder breakout hit among new US TV shows". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  41. ^ "Meet Your New TV Obsession!". October 13, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
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  49. ^ "How to Get Away With Murder : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
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