How to Get Away with Murder

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How to Get Away with Murder
How To Get Away With Murder.png
Genre
Created by Peter Nowalk
Starring
Theme music composer Photek
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 15 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Scott Collins
  • Tracy Bellomo
  • Ann Kindberg
  • Michael Foley
  • Rob Fresco
  • Noah Evslin
  • Scott Printz
  • Doug Stockstill
  • Holden Chang
  • Erika Green Swafford
Editor(s)
Cinematography
  • Michael Price
  • Jeff Jur
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s)
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Release
Original channel ABC
Picture format
Audio format
Original release September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) – present (present)
External links
Official website

How to Get Away with Murder (often abbreviated to HTGAWM) is an American television 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 four of her students, becomes entwined in a murder plot.[2] The series airs on ABC as part of a night of programming all under Rhimes's Shondaland production company.[3]

The show features an ensemble cast with Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry and Karla Souza as her students, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil as her assistants, Katie Findlay as her client, and Billy Brown as a police detective.

Plot[edit]

Annalise Keating, law professor and criminal defense attorney at Middleton University, selects five students to intern at her firm: Wes Gibbons, Connor Walsh, Michaela Pratt, Asher Millstone, and Laurel Castillo — along with Annalise's employees Frank Delfino and Bonnie Winterbottom, an associate lawyer. Season one explores two murders through flashbacks: Lila Stangard, mistress of Annalise's husband Sam Keating and a student at Middleton; and then Sam Keating at the hands of Annalise's interns.

The first nine episodes alternate through flashbacks and the present day to show the progression of events leading to Sam's death who Annalise believes murdered Lila, and disposal of his body at the hands of Wes, Connor, Michaela, and Laurel. The final six episodes explore Annalise's attempt to help her interns cover-up Sam's murder and legally show Sam's responsibility for Lila's death; and the events leading to Lila's death. Season one ends with Frank revealed as Lila's killer, being blackmailed by Sam for an unknown reason, and Rebecca Sutter's death.

Cast and characters[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
1 2
Viola Davis Professor Annalise Keating Main
Billy Brown Detective Nate Lahey Main
Alfred Enoch Wes Gibbins Main
Jack Falahee Connor Walsh Main
Katie Findlay Rebecca Sutter Main
Aja Naomi King Michaela Pratt Main
Matt McGorry Asher Millstone Main
Karla Souza Laurel Castillo Main
Charlie Weber Frank Delfino Main
Liza Weil Bonnie Winterbottom Main

Main cast[edit]

  • Viola Davis as Professor Annalise Keating, Esquire: A high-profile defense attorney, teaching a class at Middleton University.[4]
  • Billy Brown as Detective Nate Lahey: Annalise's lover who tries to prove Sam's involvement in the Lila Stangard murder and the main suspect in Sam's murder.[5]
  • Alfred Enoch as Wes Gibbins: A student recently accepted off the wait list who later has a relationship with Rebecca.[6]
  • Jack Falahee as Connor Walsh: A law student seen as ruthless and somewhat narcissistic by his peers.[6]
  • Katie Findlay as Rebecca Sutter: Wes' mysterious neighbor who becomes a suspect in the murder of Lila Stangard.[7]
  • Aja Naomi King as Michaela Pratt: An ambitious student who wants to be successful like Annalise.[8]
  • Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone: One of Annalise's students who comes from a privileged background.[9]
  • Karla Souza as Laurel Castillo: An idealistic student who later has a relationship with Frank.[6]
  • Charlie Weber as Frank Delfino: An employee of Annalise's firm who is not a lawyer but handles special duties requiring discretion.[10]
  • Liza Weil as Bonnie Winterbottom, Esq.: An associate attorney in Annalise's firm.[11]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Tom Verica as Professor Sam Keating: Annalise's husband who was murdered and had an affair with Lila Stangard.[12]
  • Megan West as Lila Stangard: A sorority girl who was having an affair with Sam Keating at the time of her murder.[13]
  • Conrad Ricamora as Oliver Hampton: An I.T. specialist with whom Connor is in a romantic relationship.[14]
  • Alysia Reiner as D.A. Wendy Parks: A prosecutor who goes up against Annalise.[15]
  • Lenny Platt as Griffin O'Reilly: A star quarterback and boyfriend of the murdered Lila Stangard.[16]
  • Elliot Knight as Aiden Walker: Michaela's fiancé.
  • Lynn Whitfield as Mary Walker: Future mother-in-law to Michaela.
  • April Parker-Jones as Detective Claire Bryce: a police officer investigating the disappearance of Sam Keating.
  • Marcia Gay Harden as Dr. Hannah Keating: Sam Keating's sister and sister-in-law to Annalise; she is also a psychologist.[17]
  • Arjun Gupta as Kan: A Legal aid lawyer and Laurel's boyfriend.

Guest cast[edit]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 15 September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)
2[18] 15[19] N/A N/A

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2014–15)[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 "Pilot" Michael Offer Peter Nowalk September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) 14.12[20]

A defense attorney and Criminal Law professor, Annalise Keating, selects a group of her best students to work at her firm. Annalise's client is a woman convicted of the attempted murder of her lover with aspirin, to which her lover is highly allergic. Wes finds out that Annalise is cheating on her husband, Sam, while Connor finds interesting ways to help with the case. The body of a student who has been missing for months, Lila Stangard, is found in the water tank of her sorority by a repairman. As Annalise and Sam view the ensuing news report together, Annalise remarks, "I bet you the boyfriend did it."


Present event: Annalise's law students, Wes, Connor, Laurel and Michaela all argue about how to get rid of a body that is in Annalise's house, almost getting caught by police. They later go into the woods and, after flipping a coin, decide that the best thing to do is to burn the body. Later it is revealed that the body is Annalise's husband, Sam.
2 "It's All Her Fault" Bill D'Elia Peter Nowalk October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) 11.94[21]

Annalise takes on the case of a millionaire (Steven Weber) who is accused of murdering his wife. Connor tries to make things right with his tech boyfriend after he skips dinner to work on the case. Annalise's trial is thrown for a loop when the daughter of the accused reveals to the prosecution that her father had murdered her mother in the same way he has been accused of killing his second wife. Annalise begins to grow suspicious of Sam and his involvement with Lila Stangard. Laurel goes to Bonnie looking for advice about Frank.


Present event: While buying the supplies to clean up after the murder, Wes calls and tells someone that everything is okay. He later goes to a hotel room and meets up with Rebecca
3 "Smile, or Go to Jail" Randy Zisk Rob Fresco October 9, 2014 (2014-10-09) 10.81[22]

Annalise takes on the case of soccer mom, Paula Murphy (Ana Ortiz), who originally is caught having sexual relations with a man in a park but is soon put on trial for murder. Wes tries to help Rebecca, who is now taking the fall for Lila's murder. Michaela finds out that her fiancé had a relationship with Connor years ago in boarding school. Nate looks into Sam's alibi the night of Lila's murder and finds that he does not have one but confirms to Annalise that Sam's alibi is airtight. Annalise's case is put on hold after the soccer mom goes on the run with her former lover, a convicted felon.


Present event: Connor, Wes, Michaela and Laurel plan on getting rid of the body but find that they need alibis for the night, resulting in them taking photos at the bonfire. When leaving the woods, Michaela realizes she has lost her engagement ring.
4 "Let's Get to Scooping" Laura Innes Erika Green Swafford October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16) 9.79[23]

Annalise takes on the case of an old friend, Marren Trudeau (Elizabeth Perkins), who is being accused of fraud and who is insisting that she is innocent and being framed. Wes gets himself kicked off Rebecca's case after they find it was his fault that she confessed to murdering Lila. Connor hooks up with a guy to help the case and realizes he has genuine feelings for Oliver, who kicks him out when he learns about the other guy. Frank faces jealousy issues with Laurel. Bonnie has to find ways to get Rebecca's confession thrown out. Wes finally convinces Rebecca that they need to know what is on Lila's phone. With this, Rebecca finally begins to trust him. They then discover there's a photo of Sam Keating's penis on the phone.


Present event: After Sam is murdered, Michaela begins freaking out and Asher shows up the crime scene angry over losing the trophy. Connor goes to Oliver's house after they get rid of the body, freaking out in the hallway with the realization of what they all had just done.
5 "We're Not Friends" Mike Listo Tracey A. Bellomo October 23, 2014 (2014-10-23) 9.97[24]

Annalise takes on the case of a teenager who is being charged with the murder of his abusive father, while Wes questions her on when she's going to give the phone to the police. Annalise finds out about how Bonnie got Rebecca's confession and Laurel jeopardizes her career and risks going to jail when she tries to help with the case. Annalise confronts Sam about his relationship with Lila. They soon bring Rebecca in for a 'routine psych evaluation' to find out if she knew who Lila was having an affair with, but Rebecca runs out after finding that the wallpaper in Sam and Annalise's room is the same wallpaper in the picture. Laurel and Frank go head to head with each other as they fight their feelings, while Bonnie doesn't know what to do after witnessing the fight between Annalise and Sam.


Present event: The four law students try to figure out how to get the murder weapon back into Annalise's house. Laurel answers a phone call from Frank to strengthen their alibi of being at the bonfire. After Michaela freaks out and cannot do anything else to help them, Laurel decides to go to Frank for help.
6 "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole" Bill D'Elia Michael Foley October 30, 2014 (2014-10-30) 8.68[25]

Annalise finds out that she is finally able to retry someone who was put on death row more than twenty years ago and she is now able to convince the Supreme Court of his innocence. Wes stops coming to class, so Frank tries to find Rebecca in order to get Wes back into the fold. Annalise and the team prepare for their Supreme Court hearing and try to figure out how their client was set up. During the trial Annalise is reprimanded for how her case is built on circumstances, only for them to argue that the original case was the same, resulting in their client being set free. Frank plants Lila's phone in her boyfriend Griffin's car, only for Nate to find out, resulting in Griffin getting arrested. Annalise tells Sam about what she's done and tells him the only reason she did it was because she needs him.


Present event: Asher realizes that the trophy is missing from the apartment and goes to confront his classmates about stealing it only for him to get a call from Bonnie resulting in them hooking up together. Bonnie gets a call from Annalise questioning where Sam is and saying that something has happened to him.
7 "He Deserved to Die" Eric Stoltz Warren Hsu Leonard November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06) 9.18[26]

Annalise continues to tackle Rebecca's case for the murder of Lila when they find out that Griffin's lawyers have been leaking things to the tabloids to make Rebecca look bad, resulting in a gag order. Michaela finds that she has an interview at a law firm, only to discover that it's her future in-laws who have called the meeting for a prenuptial agreement. Griffin's defense team wants to exhume Lila's body in order to show that Rebecca was the one who killed Lila, resulting in the prosecution coming to Annalise for help because they don't want the same thing. However, the prosecutor double-crosses Annalise and Asher sleeps with someone on the prosecution's team to obtain information and find out why the prosecution did the double-cross. Later on, the judge orders Lila's body to be exhumed. After the examination, their case for Rebecca is bolstered by the fact that the marks on Lila's neck are from ant bites, but more problems for the case and Sam come to light when it is discovered that Lila had been six weeks pregnant when she died.


Present event: Wes goes to a motel to clean up Rebecca after Sam's murder, resulting in her wanting to take the fall for Sam's murder saying that she's already on trial for Lila's murder so she's already going to jail.
8 "He Has a Wife" Debbie Allen Doug Stockstill November 13, 2014 (2014-11-13) 9.25[27]

Annalise takes on the case of a professional woman and mother who apparently murdered her children's nanny whilst sleepwalking under the influence of her sleeping pills. Micheala meets with her future mother-in-law to discuss the pre-nup agreement she is refusing to sign. Laurel, getting closer with Frank, discovers he has a girlfriend. Bonnie confesses to Annalise that Sam knew Lila was pregnant after he comes onto her and tries to convince her to keep it a secret. Wes reveals that the man Rebecca is helping is Annalise's boyfriend, which leads to a huge fight. Rebecca sneaks off to get incriminating evidence about Sam herself, leading into the events of the present scenes.


Flashback: Rebecca and Lila meet on the sorority house roof secretly, where Lila reveals she is not only sleeping with Sam (who she refers to as Mr Darcy), but also shows her the pictures on her phone. Lila goes to Annalise's house to try and reveal the truth about the affair, when Sam says he will break it off, on the night she was murdered.
9 "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" Stephen Williams Michael Foley & Erika Green Swafford November 20, 2014 (2014-11-20) 9.82[28]
Events of the present storyline involving Sam's death are revealed and new information is revealed to the audience. Rebecca sneaks into the Keating home to steal the information on Sam's laptop that would supposedly exonerate her. Wes realises where Rebecca has gone, and follows her to the house with Connor and Laurel. At the same time, Michaela arrives to return the trophy she stole from Asher and is greeted by Sam, drunk after viciously fighting with Annalise, who had finally reached breaking point in light of her husband's involvement in the Lila Stangard murder. Sam discovers Rebecca sneaking around, realises her intentions and chases her upstairs, upon which there is a struggle. The scuffle spills into the hallway, and in trying to free Rebecca, Michaela pushes Sam over the bannister and onto the floor below. Sam is presumed dead, and Rebecca, Wes, Michaela, Connor and Laurel ponder their next move, only to have Sam leap up and attack Rebecca. Wes clobbers Sam on the head with the trophy, killing him. As they escape to the woods, the gang deliberates returning to move Sam's body and destroying all trace of it. Wes returns to the Keating house to retrieve the trophy in an attempt to hide the murder weapon. Annalise goes to Nate in a panic, saying that she confronted Sam about Lila's pregnancy and the upcoming DNA test, fearing that he fled as a fugitive. The two sleep together, after which Annalise leaves Nate's house and places a phone call to Sam. She leaves a heartfelt message saying that she is sorry for their fight, that she still loves him, and pleading with him to come home so that they can work things out. The students move Sam's body in the woods, burn it in a bonfire, then chop up the remains and deposit them in garbage bags. They drop the bags in a dumpster and leave. A final flashback is shown of the scene earlier when Wes went back to retrieve the trophy and apologise to Sam's lifeless body, only to reveal Annalise sitting behind the desk all along, showing her complicity in her husband's murder.
10 "Hello Raskolnikov" Michael Offer Marcus Dalzine January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29) 9.18[29]
Annalise files a Missing Person report on Sam, making it seem like Sam fled as a fugitive for killing Lila. The Keating Four are unsure of what Annalise knows about their involvement in Sam's murder and her intentions to help them avoid getting caught. Annalise is able to persuade the court that Rebecca had nothing to do with Lila's death, but rather shift the blame on Sam. Rebecca is acquitted of all charges. Connor and Michaela contemplate turning themselves in and blame Sam's murder on Wes. They bargain with Laurel to either go along with the plan, or they'll sell her out too. Laurel instead tells Wes and Annalise. In turn, Annalise explains that turning themselves in won't do anything but only make things worse. She vows to always protect them and tells them that they need to trust her. Annalise tells Frank what really happened to Sam. Connor calls Annalise letting her know that Sam's sister, Hannah, a psychologist is in town and refuses to believe that Sam killed Lila.
11 "Best Christmas Ever" Michael Katleman Tracy A. Bellomo & Warren Hsu Leonard February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05) 8.34[30]

Annalise's sister-in-law, Hannah Keating, arrives in Middleton, desperate for answers about Sam's supposed disappearance. Aggravated by Hannah's disdain for her, Annalise avoids her and instead focuses on the case of Jackie Wilson, a woman whose husband has sexually abused her and the two young women in their basement. While Wes, Connor, Laurel, Michaela and Asher are morally outraged in defending her, Annalise and Bonnie stand by Jackie to get her a plea deal. Laurel confides in Frank that she's starting to get nervous about their coverup, especially due to the abundance of forensic evidence left in Connor's SUV, and so whilst Connor spends time with Oliver, Frank steals the car and destroys it. It soon comes to light that Jackie is no innocent victim, and that she stole the apparently stillborn child of one of the detainees, and is secretly raising the child. Annalise then drops the case and betrays Jackie, leaving her to serve a lengthy jail term for her crimes. Meanwhile Hannah, who has been stalking Annalise, confronts her and demands Annalise tell her the truth of Sam's disappearance. Annalise admits to lying to the police about Sam's affair with Lila, but claims to know nothing of Sam's whereabouts, and this seems to satisfy Hannah's doggedness for answers. Wes returns home to live news coverage that Sam's remains have been identified in the bin where Connor dumped the body.


Flashback: Over the Christmas break, many of the characters suffered emotionally after the murder night. Annalise locked herself in a hotel room, drinking copious amounts of vodka each day; Wes cannot sleep without being awoken by vivid and terrifying nightmares; Connor comes to realize that he wants to be with Oliver; Michaela's fiance postpones the wedding; and Laurel is sleeping with both Kan and Frank and was kicked out of her parents' home over the break.
12 "She's a Murderer" Bill D'Elia Erika Harrison February 12, 2015 (2015-02-12) 8.44[31]
When Sam's remains are discovered, the police suspect that Annalise is somehow involved in his death, with Sam's sister, Hannah, immediately accusing Annalise of the murder. Frank warns Laurel that she, Wes, Conner and Michaela can no longer contact Annalise since her phone is being tapped by the police. Hannah tells the judge that Annalise once threatened to kill Sam and this is enough for a warrant to be issued to search her home, but no evidence is found. Bonnie confronts Annalise saying that she knows the Keating Four were the ones who killed Sam and warns Annalise that protecting them could ruin her career. At the end of the episode the cops interrogate Annalise after finding Sam's ring, which Wes removed from the dead man's finger before burning his body, in the woods. It is revealed that Annalise had Frank break into Nate's house and frame him for the murder by removing his fingerprint from a glass and planting it on the ring. The cops then arrest Nate for Sam's murder. The Keating Four are shocked when Nate is charged with the murder they committed, but Michela points out, "She's doing what she said she would do. She's taking care of us." Annalise, lying in her bed and riddled with guilt, calls her mother for help.
13 "Mama's Here Now" Mike Listo Erika Green Swafford & Doug Stockstill February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19) 8.86[32]
Annalise's mother is in town and questions Annalise about her involvement in Sam's death and her lifestyle and her childhood. It's revealed that as a child Annalise's uncle raped her and unknowingly to Annalise, her mother reveals that she murdered her brother by lighting the house on fire, with him in it. Meanwhile The Keating Five and Bonnie take on a case of a female nurse who is being accused of raping her male patient while he was sedated. Bonnie wins the case and turns out she did not rape her patient. The patient was gay and was in a relationship with the manager of the facility. Meanwhile The Keating Four are curious about Nate's upcoming trial for Sam's murder. Michaela tells Annalise, "You know he's innocent and black," referring to the court will make this case a race thing with Sam being white. Connor and Oliver are in a relationship again. Bonnie and Asher have sex after she wins her first case. Bonnie is mad at Frank for lying to her that he knew what happened to Sam. Annalise passes a note to Nate which is a phone number. Wes learns more about Rudy, and learns that Rebecca had him arrested which leads him to wonder if everything he thought he knew about Rebecca was a lie. Wes and Laurel go to the institution and see Rudy. Rebecca calls Wes and he declines it and shows Rudy Rebecca's picture and Rudy begins saying, "wet." They realize he's referring to Lila's murder, her body being dumped in a water tank. Episode ends with Rebecca tracking Wes's location through his phone GPS and learns where he is.
14 "The Night Lila Died" Laura Innes Michael Foley February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 9.00[33]
Wes and Laurel begin to suspect Rebecca is the one who murdered Lila. They later tell Michaela and Connor. Connor and Oliver both go to the clinic to get tested for STD's. Annalise takes on a new client, a priest who murdered another priest after the latter was sexually molesting a young boy. The priest flip-flops on his pleas at first. But when the woman he loves is put on the stand, he finally decides to plead guilty to first degree murder, rather than manslaughter. Annalise has Frank make some calls to get Nate beaten up and assaulted in his cell, hoping to get Nate out of jail, but her plan backfires when they only have Nate put in solitary confinement. Wes and Laurel begin revisiting Rebecca's psychological evaluation and police statements. It's revealed that Lila and Rebecca were arguing on August 29th, the very day Lila was murdered. Lila blames her problems on Rebecca, and no longer wants to be her friend. Lila wants to be back with Griffin and Rebecca warns Lila that he's not good for her. Rudy is in his room listening to the fight, goes out to see if Rebecca is alright, but she yells at him to mind his business. Later Rebecca and Griffin talk about Lila at a party and later they kiss. They go to Griffin's room and Rebecca grabs Griffin's phone and texts Lila to come to the party, in order to get back at Lila, who catches Griffin and Rebecca having sex. Lila is about to attack Rebecca till Griffin has to separate the two. Lila screams she never wants to see Rebecca or Griffin again and Rebecca smiles at this. The episode ends with Rebecca coming home to find Wes, Connor, Michaela and Laurel, who question her whether she killed Lila. Rebecca refuses to answer and threatens to call the cops on them for killing Sam. They call Annalise and it's revealed that the Keating Four has tied up and gagged Rebecca to the bathroom.
15 "It's All My Fault" Bill D'Elia Peter Nowalk February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 9.00[33]

Annalise forces the Keating Four to put Rebecca through a show trial, presenting their evidence to try and convince her that Rebecca killed Lila. Rebecca is uncooperative, but ultimately manages to convince Wes that she was not responsible, though she did come across Lila's body and hid with it in the water tank for fear she would be accused. At the conclusion of the arguments, Annalise does not find their statements believable, and goes to release Rebecca from the basement only to report back that she has already been set free by someone. Michaela gets drunk at a bar, where Laurel reveals that she had Michaela's ring all along. Connor returns home to find Oliver crying, as his HIV test came back positive. Wes stays behind, and Annalise reassures him that they have to believe Sam killed Lila, as it's the only theory that makes sense. Once he leaves, Annalise meets Frank in the basement and they talk about what to do with Rebecca, who is revealed to be dead under the basement stairs. Both deny the murder, saying they each suspected the other, implying one of the Keating Four was responsible for Rebecca's death.


Flashback: The night Lila died she went to Annalise's house to confess the affair, but was turned away by Bonnie. She is then met by Sam on the rooftop of the sorority, who affirms his love for her. Sam says he's going to tell Annalise he wants a divorce, and that Lila should wait for him. Once he leaves, Sam phones Frank and leverages an unknown piece of blackmail to get Frank to come and murder Lila, who then hides the body in the water tank. Rebecca later discovers the body, and hides in the water tank with it when some other sorority sisters pass by.

Season 2 (2015–16)[edit]

ABC does not traditionally announce their official renewals until the Friday before upfronts in May, but the show was effectively confirmed as earning a second-season renewal for the 2015-16 season via a promo succeeding the first-season finale and an earlier statement by Viola Davis also confirming the renewal at the close of shooting for the first season.[34][35] The renewal was officially rendered by the network on the evening of May 7, 2015.[18] The show will again have the same 15-episode order as the first season, with The Catch succeeding it for the remainder of the 2015-16 season after its finale.[19]

Ratings[edit]

Live + SD ratings[edit]

No. Episode Air date Time slot (EST) Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Viewership rank Drama rank
1 "Pilot" September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) Thursdays
10:00 p.m.
3.8/12[36] 14.12[37] 8[38] 7[38] 1[38]
2 "It's All Her Fault" October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) 3.2/10[21] 11.94[21] 9[39] 13[39] 2[39]
3 "Smile, or Go to Jail" October 9, 2014 (2014-10-09) 3.1/10[22] 10.81[22] 9[40] 14[40] 1[40]
4 "Let's Get to Scooping" October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16) 2.8/9[23] 9.79[23] 13[41] 20[41] 2[41]
5 "We're Not Friends" October 23, 2014 (2014-10-23) 3.0/9[24] 9.97[24] 13[42] 21[42] 2[42]
6 "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole" October 30, 2014 (2014-10-30) 2.7/8[25] 8.68[25] 11[43] N/A[43] 2[43]
7 "He Deserved to Die" November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06) 2.8/9[26] 9.18[26] 9[44] 22[44] 2[44]
8 "He Has a Wife" November 13, 2014 (2014-11-13) 2.9/9[27] 9.25[27] 12[45] 25[45] 2[45]
9 "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" November 20, 2014 (2014-11-20) 3.1/10[28] 9.82[28] 9[46] 22[46] 2[46]
10 "Hello Raskolnikov" January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29) 3.1/10[29] 9.18[29] 7[47] 18[47] 4[47]
11 "Best Christmas Ever" February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05) 2.7/9[30] 8.34[30] 8[48] 24[48] 3[48]
12 "She's a Murderer" February 12, 2015 (2015-02-12) 2.7/9[31] 8.44[31] 9[49] 25[49] 4[49]
13 "Mama's Here Now" February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19) 2.9/9[32] 8.86[32] 10[50] 20[50] 3[50]
14 "The Night Lila Died" February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 2.8/9[51] 9.00[33] 7[52] 20[52] 2[52]
15 "It's All My Fault" February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 2.8/9[51] 9.00[33] 7[52] 20[52] 2[52]

Live + 7 Day (DVR) ratings[edit]

No. Episode Air date Time slot (EST) 18–49 rating increase Viewers
(millions) increase
Total 18-49 Total viewers
(millions)
Ref
1 "Pilot" September 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) Thursdays
10:00 p.m.
2.3 6.95 6.1 21.08 [37]
2 "It's All Her Fault" October 2, 2014 (2014-10-02) 2.3 5.76 5.5 17.70 [21]
3 "Smile, or Go to Jail" October 9, 2014 (2014-10-09) 2.3 5.50 5.4 16.31 [53]
4 "Let's Get to Scooping" October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16) 2.2 5.41 5.0 15.20 [54]
5 "We're Not Friends" October 23, 2014 (2014-10-23) 1.8 4.28 4.8 14.25 [55]
6 "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole" October 30, 2014 (2014-10-30) 2.0 5.18 4.7 13.86 [56]
7 "He Deserved to Die" November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06) 2.2 5.39 5.0 14.57 [57]
8 "He Has a Wife" November 13, 2014 (2014-11-13) 2.2 5.32 5.1 14.57 [58]
9 "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" November 20, 2014 (2014-11-20) 2.0 4.93 5.1 14.76 [59]
10 "Hello Raskolnikov" January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29) 1.8 4.56 4.9 13.74 [60]
11 "Best Christmas Ever" February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05) 1.9 4.36 4.6 12.73 [61]
12 "She's a Murderer" February 12, 2015 (2015-02-12) 1.8 4.33 4.5 12.78 [62]
13 "Mama's Here Now" February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19) 1.8 4.87 4.7 13.73 [63]
14 "The Night Lila Died" February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 1.7 4.31 4.5 13.32 [33]
15 "It's All My Fault" February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) 1.7 4.31 4.5 13.32 [33]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Viola Davis plays the lead 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.[64] ABC ordered the pilot on December 19, 2013.[65] 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.[66] It was directed by Michael Offer.[67] On May 8, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to series[68] for the 2014–15 television season.[69] 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.[70] The smaller size of episode count stems from the deal for the series star Davis.[71] On October 9, 2014, ABC picked up the series for a full season of 15 episodes.[72] On May 7, 2015, the show was renewed for a second season which will begin airing in the fall 2015 as part of the 2015-2016 television season.[18]

Casting[edit]

On January 21, 2014, Matt McGorry was the first to be announced as a regular cast member, playing a law student.[9]

Throughout February and March 2014, other roles were announced as cast: Aja Naomi King,[8] Jack Falahee,[6] Alfred Enoch[6] and Karla Souza[6] as law students; Katie Findlay as a drug-dealing student;[7] Charlie Weber as a law associate to Professor Keating;[10] Billy Brown as Professor Keating's extra-marital love interest;[5] veteran actor and producer Tom Verica as Professor Keating's husband;[12] and Liza Weil as one of the professor’s two associates.[11]

On February 25, 2014, it was announced that Shonda Rhimes had cast Viola Davis in the show's leading role of Professor Annalise Keating.[73]

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.[17] On December 15, 2014, it was announced that Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Cicely Tyson will appear in an episode in the second half of the season.[74]

Broadcast[edit]

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.[75] 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.[76][77] In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it premiered on October 22 on Universal Channel.[78] The series began airing on TV2 in New Zealand on February 10,[79] and in Australia, it premiered the same day as New Zealand on the Seven Network.[80]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The series started with generally positive reviews from critics, with most praising Viola Davis' performance. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one has a rating of 86%, based on 57 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "How to Get Away with Murder isn't conceptually original, but it delivers thrills with melodramatic twists and a captivating lead."[81] Metacritic gave season one of the show a score of 68 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[82]

Television ratings[edit]

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.[83]

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.[84]

Accolades[edit]

How to Get Away with Murder has been honored with acknowledgements from the People's Choice Awards, Image Awards, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Awards and GLAAD Awards as well as the American Film Institute.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2014 AFI Award Television Program of the Year How to Get Away with Murder Won [85]
2015 People's Choice Award Favorite New TV Drama How to Get Away with Murder Nominated [86]
Favorite Actress In A New TV Series Viola Davis Won [86]
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series How to Get Away with Murder Won [87]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Won [87]
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Aja Naomi King Nominated [87]
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Alfred Enoch Nominated [87]
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Erika Green Swafford
("Let’s Get to Scooping")
Won [87]
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Viola Davis Won [88]
Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Drama Viola Davis Nominated [89]
GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Drama Series How to Get Away with Murder Won [90]
Critics' Choice Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Pending [91]
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Cicely Tyson Pending [91]
BET Award Best Actress Viola Davis Pending [92]

Critics' top ten lists[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]