According to Deadline.com, Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt) has been cast as the lead of ABC‘s drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder, from ABC Studios and Shonda Rhimes‘ (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) Shondaland. This marks the first series regular role in over a decade for the Oscar-nominated actress (her last was on CBS’ Century City). In making her foray into television pilot season, Davis joins The Help co-star Octavia Spencer, who recently signed to star in the Fox drama pilot The Red Band Society.
Written by Peter Nowalk, How To Get Away With Murder is described 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. Nowalk is executive producing alongside Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
This is the second consecutive drama pilot in which Rhimes has booked an A-list black actress for the lead, following Scandal and Kerry Washington. Though primarily a feature film actress now, in the past few years, Davis had recurring roles on Law & Order and The United States Of Tara. She recently wrapped production on the independent film Lila & Eve opposite Jennifer Lopez, which was produced by Davis’ JuVee Prods. company.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson; story contributed by Becky Schonbrun