The project, produced via Rhimes’ Shondaland production company, with her partner Betsy Beers, is described as a sexy, suspense legal thriller that follows a brilliant criminal defense attorney (played by Davis) and her ambitious law school students who become entangled in a murder mystery that could have major ramifications on their entire university as well as change the course of their lives.
Davis will play the lead character named Annalise DeWitt, the brilliant law professor and accomplished criminal defense attorney, who is further described as an excellent manipulator of people, particularly the law students who work at her law firm. And even juicier, she’s married to a psychology professor, while also having an affair, and calls her law class “How to Get Away With Murder.”
Rounding out the cast are Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Alfred Enoch, Karla Souza, Jack Falahee and Charlie Weber.
Peter Nowalk (Grey’s Anatomy) is scripting and executive producing the ABC drama, alongside Shondaland’s Rhimes and Beers.
Michael Offer directed the pilot, which was shot in Philadelphia.
The pilot has been picked up to series, marking Viola Davis’ first full-time TV series role.
How To Get Away With Murder is one of a handful of projects that Rhimes currently has set up at ABC, thanks to previous hit series she created, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, most recently.
I must say that this is the kind of work that I’ve wanted to see Viola Davis in, and I hope it delivers. I also hope it’s NOTHING like Scandal, which is child’s play to me.
By the way, How To Get Away With Murder will air on Thursday nights from 10-11pm. Thursday nights will essentially be Shonda nights (we may as well call it Shonda-Day), because all 3 of her ABC series will air in primetime on that day: Grey’s Anatomy (8-9 pm); Scandal (9-10 pm) and How to Get Away With Murder (10-11pm).
Watch the trailer below: