How to Get a Season Renewal
ShondaLand has done it again! How to Get Away With Murder delivered a third season premiere full of suspense, mystery, and romance, intertwined and intriguingly presented in small doses of clues and sub-crimes that will lead up to the major mystery.
With universally themed mystery suspense dramas, the audience should always be left guessing at the end of every episode, giving a nice lead-in to the next one, urging them to tune in the following week for the next installment. Peter Nowalk, the showrunner, gives viewers exactly what they want, that dramatic carrot dangled in their faces to draw them to the prize, revealing nothing until the very last episode.
The format of this series is where all the fun is at. If the viewer takes their eyes off the screen for a second, or walks out of the room in the middle of what seemed to be filler-dialog, a clue will inevitably be missed. With the non-linear timeline forcing people to pay attention and keep track of what-is-happening-when, viewers must stay focused if they want to try and solve the crimes before the characters on the show do.
The third season of How to Get Away With Murder started in the same manner as the second; re-introducing the characters after their summer break, filling in the audience with details of what they’ve all been up to, dropping a new complication on the Keating Five, and ending with the beginning-of-the-ending of the major mystery of the season.
This season brings in a few fresh faces to the mix. At some point during the season, Mary J. Blige will appear (her role is being kept super secret), Lauren Luna Vélez (Dexter) is on the university board, and a new male student in Annalise’s class who is getting more lines and screen time than the rest of the class. How these new additions will aide the storyline, how the tiny hints in each episode will add up to the big finish, and how the saucy romantic relationships will develop (and destruct, no doubt) are the big questions that keep viewers coming back to learn How to Get Away With Murder.
How to Get Great Reviews
So far, season 3 is getting a great response. Rotten Tomatoes has the audience rating at 91%, and Metacritic’s user score is high as well, at 8.6 out of 10. IMDb voters rate the show a very high 8.3 out of 10 with over 60,000 votes cast.
Critics and viewer comments are overwhelmingly positive for the series overall, praising the fast-paced format, the jumping timeline, and, of course, the stellar performances of the uber talented cast. Viola Davis continues to lead the way, and is being recognized for her talent and her drive in the industry, with several award nominations and a few recent wins as well.
The few negative responses concern the overly-dramatic sexual relationships, saying they are completely unnecessary for the storyline. That particular point, however, is also one that fans adore about the series; the romance enriches the characters believability and connects their motives in some of the crimes.
How to Get More Viewers
Season 3 premiered with 5.11 million viewers watching and earned a 1.4 demo rating, not too bad, but not that great either. The second episode dropped to 4.33 million viewers and 0.1 slide in ratings. As the season progresses, those numbers are likely to increase a bit, as the storyline picks up speed and reveals more clues to solve the big mystery of the season.
The show lost it’s lovely lead-in from Scandal at least until mid-season, as Kerry Washington went on a maternity leave. The network replaced that time-slot with the debut of Notorious, a freshman show that is not doing well at all. Speculation that this switch-up may have affected the viewership for How to Get Away With Murder is looking more and more likely. Audiences are missing their usual Thursday night ShondaLand triple-header.
Time will tell if viewers will come back to this series after Scandal returns to its normal time-slot to help bring the ratings up. There haven’t been any announcements from ABC or ShondaLand about a fourth season of HTGAWM yet, but with the overall success of the series, and the multiple award wins it is enjoying, things are looking good for its future.
How to Get Away With Murder airs Thursday nights at 10pm ET on ABC, and is streaming on Amazon and Hulu.
Have you binge-watched the first two seasons to catch up with
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