How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish Earn the First Full-Season(ish) Pickups of the Fall


And we're off! ABC is the first network to show some faith in its new fall shows by handing out full-season orders, and has delivered good news to the Shonda Rhimes-produced How to Get Away With Murder and the Anthony Anderson-fronted Black-ish. The pickups came just one day after Black-ish aired its third episode, and just hours before How to Get Away With Murder did the same.

How to Get Away With Murder's order isn't just a non-surprise, it's a, "What took you so long, ABC?" The twisty and murdery legal drama is the clear breakout hit of the season, having debuted to over 14 million viewers before drawing more than 12 million in its second week. The show is even more impressive once DVR numbers are factored in; the pilot set a record for DVR gain, with more than 6 million lazy people finally getting around to watching it within a week of the series premiere.

However, ABC's announcement played a bit fast and loose with the phrase "full-season order," hence the use of "full-season(ish)" in my amazing headline. In other words, don't expect How to Get Away With Murder to keep twisting and turning for a full 22 episodes. As the network first announced at the Upfronts in MayHow to Get Away With Murder will wrap up its first season in March, and its "full season" will only run for 15 episodes. That's only two more than the standard new-show order of 13 episodes. The reason? It's in series star Viola Davis's contract that How to Get Away With Murder can only produce 15 episodes each season, just like it's in Kevin Bacon's contract over at Fox that The Following can only produce 15 episodes each season. 


In addition to being a really promising series, Black-ish has used Modern Family as a springboard to a hot start. The comedy about an upper-class African-American family debuted to more than 11 million viewers, and held on to 8.29 million viewers and 8.28 million viewers in its second and third outings, respectively. ABC didn't specify an episode count, but it's likely that Black-ish will run a full 22 episodes in its first season. 

I'm all for this decision, as How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish are two of the more exciting new shows of the season. How to Get Away With Murder is so packed with story that one time I blinked while watching it and I was lost for the rest of the episode. And I can still see Anderson's Andre react in slow motion to catching his son Andre Jr. playing with Andre Jr. Jr. in Episode 2, "The Talk."


Have you been watching How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish? What do you think?


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Oct 10, 2014
Awesome!
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Oct 10, 2014
It might be worth noting that Nielsen just announced huge errors in the ratings tabulations - that are believed to have benefited ABC (ratings were being counted for one network when people were really watching another, and it's been happening since March). This isn't to say that the renewals wouldn't have happened anyway - they likely would have (especially HTGAWM) and it's possible this has nothing to do with anything. BUT, we've seen past shows get "full season" orders only to be canceled before the end of the season with ordered episodes going unaired.
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Oct 11, 2014
By their account, 98% of shows won't see more than a 0.05 adjustment. The error seems widespread minor, but it might be interesting to see those remaining 2%.

(Can't undo an accidental "thumbs up". Nothing wrong with the comment, just a clumsy mistake on my part. Grumble, tv.com.)
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Oct 10, 2014
I've been watching both, and I'm not surprised. I enjoy them both. I mainly only checked out HtGAwM for Davis.

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Oct 10, 2014
Good news for How To Get Away With Murder, but not really all that surprising. I'm interested to see if the series will use it's shorter episode count to its advantage (assumedly as intended), but I'm even more concerned whether they'll be able to continue it into another season. The narrative structure being used on the series currently doesn't seem to really apply longevity.
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Oct 10, 2014
Both have exceeded my expectations. The law school show isn't heavy on lecture and the comedy is honest and funny (even the kids are funny).

Blackish was pretty popular in the Dead Pool. Not as popular as Selfie, but maybe around 1/3 of people who posted their selections had chosen it.
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Oct 10, 2014
I must admit I thought Black-ish would fail hard but it's actually pretty funny!
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Oct 10, 2014
No surprises here (unlike over at CBS with the Extant renewal...) as both shows have been generally well received and have capitalised on their respective lead ins strong ratings (Black-ish retained really well from Modern Family and H...Murder from Scandal) so, unless things deteriorate dramatically, two clear hit shows for ABC so not a bad start esp. when you count the Thursday overall Shonda-supremacy and the revival of OUAT on Sundays.
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Oct 10, 2014
my dead pool is useless. I had Black-ish & mysteries of Laura on
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Oct 10, 2014
Arse, I have Black-ish in my deadpool. I don't watch either of these so that's the only impact this new has on me...
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Oct 10, 2014
I love Black-ish. Reminds me of Everybody Hates Chris in ways, and that can only be a good thing.
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Oct 10, 2014
great news. these are two shows I m already really enjoying
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Oct 10, 2014
Black-ish entirely lost me with that trainwreck of a second episode, but I'm not surprised it got the pickup either with the ratings it pulled. Hopefully the writing got better with this week's episode but I didn't stick around, they bought a lot of my loyalty with the pilot and spent twice as much with the second episode.
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Oct 10, 2014
I'm pretty sure had the abc execs put trophy wife after modern family, it wouldve performed some what the same as black-ish. God i wish that show was around. really loved it.
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Oct 10, 2014
happy for both shows. Black-ish is really funny. I hear praise for most actors in the show but I really like the mom too. There's just the right amount of stupid(?) in her that just makes her the funniest character to me in the show. atleast for now.
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Oct 10, 2014
love them both. glad to see we'll be seeing much more...
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Oct 10, 2014
Wow. i will admit i was wrong about Black-ish, it was on my deadpool but it got funnier as it went along, the kids are the best !
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Oct 10, 2014
HTGAWM tonight was excellent! Also happy for black-ish which has done ten times better since it's pilot!!!
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Oct 10, 2014
Not surprised about HTGAWM but Blackish was ob alot of peoples deadpool. Oh well. I think all my deadpool lists have been renewed. Ha! I lose.
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Oct 10, 2014
I really like HTGAWM and I'm happy it's only 15 eps. Allows for better storytelling.
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Oct 10, 2014
wtf?? HTGWM should've 22 ep, love it
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Oct 10, 2014
I'm really enjoying Black-ish. The pilot was a bit shaky, but the subsequent episodes have been laugh-out-loud funny. The child actors are excellent, which is so rare for TV, and the wife character is fabulous.
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Oct 10, 2014
Love black-ish. Funny family stuff. All tho as a white guy i probably would be considered racist by the politically correct police liberals out there for laughing at the jokes on the show.
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Oct 10, 2014
Depends on why you're laughing.
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Oct 10, 2014
I think "Blackish" was created just for some its politically incorrectness. Its supposed to be laughed at and took as jokes.
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Oct 10, 2014
How to Get Away With Murder's shortened season length was stipulated by Viola Davis correct?
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Oct 12, 2014
I honestly think it works in their favor. A lot shows struggle to fill those 22 episodes with good storyline. This way no stupid filler episodes.
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Oct 10, 2014
Correct!
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