Viola Davis will be starring in a new legal crime drama titled How to Get Away With Murder. According to Providence Journal, the show was picked up by ABC for a full season airing in the fall. Davis plays law professor who finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery, which she has to solve with the help of four of her students.
The Hollywood Reporter described Viola’s new show as a “sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor [Davis] who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.” Viola Davis’ character, Annalise DeWitt, is a cunning and passionate but “ruthless” attorney and professor of law, whose criminal law class shares a name with the show itself: How to Get Away With Murder.
Davis’ new show will be produced by the co-executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes. ABC News claims that the network is in dire need of a new hit show produced by a “powerhouse” like Rhimes. Advertisers typically favor younger audiences, which has driven viewers to other networks. ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee recently called Rhimes “one of the greatest voices in television” before announcing the new network lineup.
Viola Davis is another heavy-hitter of Hollywood, having made a name for herself in the 2011 hit The Help. Davis, who grew up in Central Falls, Rhode Island, has been nominated for an Oscar twice. Viola also won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for her role as Tonya in the play King Hedley II.
Davis recently voiced her excitement for her role in How to Get Away With Murder during a visit to Bryant University: “It’s a great role for me. I’m sexy, ambitious, hard-core, mysterious — all the things that people don’t usually allow me to play. It’s pretty spectacular.”
The show will add even more ethnic diversity to ABC’s lineup, which has earned a reputation for producing shows featuring non-white characters created by individuals of a racial minority, according to ABC News. The network recently cut a chunk out of their lineup, including Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, which wasn’t quire as diverse as some of ABC’s other shows.
You can see Viola Davis as Annalise DeWitt on Thursday nights at 10pm eastern time on ABC. Grey’s Anatomy will be moving to 8pm and Scandal will be moving to 9.