How to Get Away with Murder (season 1)

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How to Get Away with Murder (season 1)
HTGAWM season 1 dvd cover.jpg
Promotional poster and home media cover art
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes15
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 25, 2014 (2014-09-25) –
February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of How to Get Away with Murder episodes

The first season of the ABC American television drama series How to Get Away with Murder premiered on September 25, 2014 and concluded on February 26, 2015, with a total of 15 episodes. At the Television Critics Association Press Tour in July 2014, it was announced that How to Get Away with Murder would be a limited series with only 15 or 16 episodes per season.[1] The smaller size of episode count stems from the deal for the series star Davis.[2] On May 7, 2015, the show was renewed by ABC for a second season.[3]

For its first season, the series received numerous accolades. The show was honored as a Television Program of the Year by the American Film Institute. It was also named Outstanding Drama Series at the Image Awards and the GLAAD Awards. For her performance, Viola Davis won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance in a Drama Series, and the Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. Davis received nominations from the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series, the Critics' Choice Awards for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and the Television Critics Association for Individual Achievement in Drama.

Plot[edit]

Annalise Keating, law professor and criminal defense attorney at Middleton University, selects five students to intern at her firm: Wes Gibbins, 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 murder who Annalise believes murdered Lila, and disposal of his body at the hands of the Keating Five: Wes, Connor, Asher, 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.

Cast and characters[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Michael OfferPeter NowalkSeptember 25, 2014 (2014-09-25)14.12[4]

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 accused of the attempted murder of her lover, her boss, with aspirin, to which he is highly allergic. Wes then 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 had 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."


Flashforward: 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. The body turns out to be Annalise's husband, Sam.
22"It's All Her Fault"Bill D'EliaPeter NowalkOctober 2, 2014 (2014-10-02)11.94[5]

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.


Flashforward: 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.
33"Smile, or Go to Jail"Randy ZiskRob FrescoOctober 9, 2014 (2014-10-09)10.81[6]

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.


Flashforward: 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.
44"Let's Get to Scooping"Laura InnesErika Green SwaffordOctober 16, 2014 (2014-10-16)9.79[7]

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.


Flashforward: 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.
55"We're Not Friends"Mike ListoTracey A. BellomoOctober 23, 2014 (2014-10-23)9.97[8]

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.


Flashforward: 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.
66"Freakin' Whack-a-Mole"Bill D'EliaMichael FoleyOctober 30, 2014 (2014-10-30)8.68[9]

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.


Flashforward: 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 "bad" has happened.
77"He Deserved to Die"Eric StoltzWarren Hsu LeonardNovember 6, 2014 (2014-11-06)9.18[10]

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. Wes and Rebecca have sexual intercourse after a brief argument.Laurel and Frank have sex in the front of the office. 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.


Flashforward: 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.
88"He Has a Wife"Debbie AllenDoug StockstillNovember 13, 2014 (2014-11-13)9.25[11]

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. Michaela 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. On the night of her murder, Lila goes to Annalise's house to try and reveal the truth about the affair, but is confronted and turned away by Bonnie.
99"Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me"Stephen WilliamsMichael Foley & Erika Green SwaffordNovember 20, 2014 (2014-11-20)9.82[12]
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 apologize to Sam's lifeless body, only to reveal Annalise sitting behind the desk all along, showing her complicity in her husband's murder.
1010"Hello Raskolnikov"Michael OfferMarcus DalzineJanuary 29, 2015 (2015-01-29)9.18[13]
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.
1111"Best Christmas Ever"Michael KatlemanTracy A. Bellomo & Warren Hsu LeonardFebruary 5, 2015 (2015-02-05)8.34[14]
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 was kicked out of her parents' home over the break.
1212"She's a Murderer"Bill D'EliaErika HarrisonFebruary 12, 2015 (2015-02-12)8.44[15]
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, Connor 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 Michaela 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.
1313"Mama's Here Now"Mike ListoErika Green Swafford & Doug StockstillFebruary 19, 2015 (2015-02-19)8.86[16]
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 Four 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 as it turns out the defendant did not rape her patient. The patient was gay and was in a relationship with the lawyer 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. The episode ends with Rebecca tracking Wes's location through his phone GPS and learns where he is.
1414"The Night Lila Died"Laura InnesMichael FoleyFebruary 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)8.99[17]
Wes and Laurel begin to suspect Rebecca is the one who murdered Lila. They later tell Connor and Michaela. Connor and Oliver both go to a clinic to get tested for STDs. 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 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 until 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 ask 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 in the bathroom.
1515"It's All My Fault"Bill D'EliaPeter NowalkFebruary 26, 2015 (2015-02-26)8.99[17]

In the flashback, it is shown that Sam met with Lila on the roof of the sorority house after she threatened to go public with the pregnancy. Sam consoles Lila and proclaims his love for her, telling her that he hadn't loved Annalise for years and that he was going to go tell her. But after leaving, Sam makes a call and tells someone to do what they agreed on.

It is then shown it was Frank who strangled Lila to death.

As Wes leaves, Annalise goes back down to the basement where Frank is. She asks him if it was him who did it, and he in turn does the same but both deny it. It is then revealed that Rebecca never left the house and was in fact killed and hidden underneath the staircase.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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.[18] ABC ordered the pilot on December 19, 2013.[19] It was directed by Michael Offer.[20] On May 8, 2014, ABC picked up the pilot to series[21] for the 2014–15 television season.[22] 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.[23] The smaller size of episode count stems from the deal for the series star Davis.[24] On October 9, 2014, ABC picked up the series for a full season of 15 episodes.[25]

Filming[edit]

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.[26]

Casting[edit]

Viola Davis portrays the protagonist of the series, Annalise Keating.
Cicely Tyson plays Annalise's mother, Ophelia Harkness

The first season had ten roles receiving star billing. Viola Davis plays the protagonist of the series, Professor Annalise Keating, a high-profile defense attorney, teaching a class at Middleton University. Billy Brown as Detective Nate Lahey plays Annalise's lover, who tries to prove Sam's involvement in the Lila Stangard murder and becomes the main suspect in Sam's murder. There are five students who work at Annalise's law firm: Wes Gibbins, portrayed by Alfred Enoch, a student recently accepted off the wait list who later has a relationship with Rebecca; Connor Walsh, portrayed by Jack Falahee, one of Annalise's students who is ruthless and viewed as somewhat narcissistic by his peers; Michaela Pratt, portrayed by Aja Naomi King, the ambitious student who wants to become as successful as Annalise; Asher Millstone, portrayed by Matt McGorry, who comes from a privileged background and becomes affectionate towards Bonnie in the latter half of the season; and Laurel Castillo, portrayed by Karla Souza, an idealistic student who later has a relationship with Frank. Katie Findlay portrays Rebecca Sutter, who is Wes' mysterious neighbor and later girlfriend who becomes a suspect in the murder of Lila Stangard. Charlie Weber plays Frank Delfino, an employee of Annalise's firm who is not a lawyer but handles special duties requiring discretion. Liza Weil plays Bonnie Winterbottom, who is an associate attorney in Annalise's firm.

Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden plays Dr. Hannah Keating

Other recurring roles in the first season was Tom Verica who plays Professor Sam Keating, Annalise's husband who had an affair with Lila Stangard and was later murdered by Wes. Megan West portrays a sorority girl named Lila Stangard who was murdered by Frank on Sam's orders after he found out she was pregnant. Conrad Ricamora plays Oliver Hampton, the I.T. specialist with whom Connor forms a romantic relationship. Alysia Reiner plays Wendy Parks, a prosecutor who goes up against Annalise. Lenny Platt portrayed Griffin O'Reilly, a star quarterback and boyfriend of the murdered Lila Stangard. Elliot Knight played Michaela's fiancé, Aiden Walker, and Lynn Whitfield who played his mother and Michaela's future mother-in-law, Mary Walker. Marcia Gay Harden played Dr. Hannah Keating, a psychologist and Sam's sister, who becomes suspicious of Annalise after Sam goes missing. Cicely Tyson portrayed Ophelia Harkness, Annalise's mother.

On January 21, 2014, Matt McGorry was the first to be announced as a regular cast member, playing a law student.[27] On February 25, 2014, it was announced that Shonda Rhimes had cast Viola Davis in the show's leading role of Professor Annalise Keating.[28] Throughout February and March, 2014, other roles were announced as cast: Aja Naomi King,[29] Jack Falahee,[30] Alfred Enoch[30] and Karla Souza[30] as law students; Katie Findlay as a drug-dealing student;[31] Charlie Weber as a law associate to Professor Keating;[32] Billy Brown as Professor Keating's extra-marital love interest;[33] veteran actor and producer Tom Verica as Professor Keating's husband;[34] and Liza Weil as one of the professor’s two associates.[35]

On August 11, 2014, it was announced that Orange is the New Black alum Alysia Reiner was cast as a prosecutor who would be going up against Annalise.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The first season of How to Get Away with Murder received positive reviews, with most praising Viola Davis' performance. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a rating of 85%, 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." Metacritic gave season one of the show a score of 68 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[39]

Mary McNamara from Los Angeles Times wrote about Viola Davis' performance: "...all eyes are on Davis, Tony winner and Oscar nominee. Magnetic and intimidating, Davis creates an implacable surface beneath which shimmers all manner of fleet and startled emotions. Desire and fear, certainty, self-doubt and resolve are conjured in an instant with the angle of a glance, the lowering of an eyelid and then released as if they were never there." [40] Entertainment Weekly's Melissa Maerz described Davis' performance as "powerfully layered." [41] David Hinckle, from New York Daily News, said that the series does not serve up enough fun unlike Rhimes' other shows, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.[42] Frazier Moore, Associated Press, wrote that the show "promises to be twisty, wicked, dark and fun. And it stars Viola Davis, who brings life to a character of endless calculations and mystery." [43]

Ratings[edit]

The series premiere had more than 14 million viewers on live broadcast, and over 20 million with DVR.[44] The first episode 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.[45]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" September 25, 2014 3.8/12[46] 14.12[4] 2.3 6.95 6.1 21.08[4]
2 "It's All Her Fault" October 2, 2014 3.2/10 11.94[5] 2.3 5.76 5.5 17.70[5]
3 "Smile, or Go to Jail" October 9, 2014 3.1/10 10.81[6] 2.3 5.50 5.4 16.31[47]
4 "Let's Get to Scooping" October 16, 2014 2.8/9 9.79[7] 2.2 5.41 5.0 15.20[48]
5 "We're Not Friends" October 23, 2014 3.0/9 9.97[8] 1.8 4.28 4.8 14.25[49]
6 "Freakin' Whack-a-Mole" October 30, 2014 2.7/8 8.68[9] 2.0 5.18 4.7 13.86[50]
7 "He Deserved to Die" November 6, 2014 2.8/9 9.18[10] 2.2 5.39 5.0 14.57[51]
8 "He Has a Wife" November 13, 2014 2.9/9 9.25[11] 2.2 5.32 5.1 14.57[52]
9 "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" November 20, 2014 3.1/10 9.82[12] 2.0 4.93 5.1 14.76[53]
10 "Hello Raskolnikov" January 29, 2015 3.1/10 9.18[13] 1.8 4.56 4.9 13.74[54]
11 "Best Christmas Ever" February 5, 2015 2.7/9 8.34[14] 1.9 4.36 4.6 12.73[55]
12 "She's a Murderer" February 12, 2015 2.7/9 8.44[15] 1.8 4.33 4.5 12.78[56]
13 "Mama's Here Now" February 19, 2015 2.9/9 8.86[16] 1.8 4.87 4.7 13.73[57]
14 "The Night Lila Died" February 26, 2015 2.8/9 8.99[17] 1.7 4.31 4.5 13.32[58]
15 "It's All My Fault" February 26, 2015 2.8/9 8.99[17] 1.7 4.31 4.5 13.32[58]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Nominee Result
American Film Institute Award Television Program of the Year How to Get Away with Murder Won
TV Guide Award Favorite New Show How to Get Away with Murder Nominated
People's Choice Award Favorite New TV Drama How to Get Away with Murder Nominated
Favorite Actress In A New TV Series Viola Davis Won
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Drama Series How to Get Away with Murder Won
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Aja Naomi King Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Alfred Enoch Nominated
Outstanding Writer for a Drama Series Erika Green Swafford
("Let’s Get to Scooping")
Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Viola Davis Won
Golden Globe Award Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama Viola Davis Nominated
GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Drama Series How to Get Away with Murder Won
GALECA Award TV Drama of the Year How to Get Away with Murder Nominated
TV Performance of the Year - Actress Viola Davis Nominated
Critics' Choice Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Nominated
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Cicely Tyson Nominated
BET Award Best Actress Viola Davis Nominated
TCA Award Individual Achievement in Drama Viola Davis Nominated
Creative Arts Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Cicely Tyson Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Won
OFTA Television Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis Nominated
Artios Award Casting, Television Pilot: Drama Linda Lowy, Diane Heery, Jason Loftus, Jamie Castro Won
Critics' top ten lists

DVD release[edit]

The DVD released was first released in Region 1 on August 4, 2015.[59]

The Complete First Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 15 Episodes
  • English, French and Spanish subtitles
  • First Year Law: Behind the Scenes
  • 'Bye Felicia' Music Video
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bloopers
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
August 4, 2015 November 16, 2015 November 11, 2015

References[edit]

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External links[edit]