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FALL TV: You won’t be able to resist ‘How to Get Away With Murder’

Viola Davis (center) plays Annalise Keating, a defense attorney and criminal law professor as fearless in the courtroom as she is in the classroom.
Viola Davis (center) plays Annalise Keating, a defense attorney and criminal law professor as fearless in the courtroom as she is in the classroom. Nicole Rivelli/ABC

New show: “How to Get Away With Murder”

When: 10 p.m. Thursdays on ABC

Cast: Viola Davis, Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee

Premise: Tough-as-nails defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating ( Viola Davis) teaches a class about, well, getting away with murder. And it certainly looks like her students – and maybe even Annalise herself – are going to need it.

Shonda Rhimes already owns ABC’s Thursday nights with the still-popular-but-tired “Grey’s Anatomy” and the so-bonkers-it’s-addictive “Scandal.” Now, Rhimes gets a third Thursday hour. “Murder” has all her trademarks: The telegenic, diverse cast. The quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-something pace. The steamy sex scenes. The multiple surprises in every episode.

Like her “The Help” costar Octavia Spencer over on “Red Band Society,” Oscar nominee Davis is very good in a role that is never boring. The young, mostly unknown, actors in the cast also do a nice job. I particularly liked Alfred Enoch as a naive student who stumbles into some knowledge that could be dangerous, Aja Naomi King as a classmate who isn’t as innocent as she appears and Jack Falahee as a calculating student who isn’t innocent at all.

The “Murder” pilot jumps around in time a good bit, and there’s both a murder trial of the week and what look like a couple of season-long plot threads. You have to pay attention. But it’s worth it. Just like on “Scandal,” by the time the first hour ends, you’ll be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Staff writer Thad Ogburn

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