Ratings Report: Is ABC’s ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ a lock for season 4 renewal?

If you’re thinking about shows that are on network TV with guts, “How to Get Away with Murder” has to be one of the first ones that comes to mind. They take on tough topics that other shows avoid, and they aren’t afraid to jump at huge risks. (Warning: Spoilers for the first half of the season ahead.)

We’ll be honest: We never thought in a million years that the show would kill off Wes, and that is precisely why it was a thrill to see them do it. Obviously, Alfred Enoch is going to be missed tremendously, given his talent and his devotion to the work; however, you want a show to keep you on your toes, and the move to have him under the sheet invigorates everything beginning with Thursday’s winter premiere. In a way, this added buzz may help to boost the show’s season 4 renewal odds further.

Now that we’ve said that, let’s make it clear that there was never any real concern in our mind that the show would be canceled in the first place. While the live+same day ratings may be down versus season 2, this is still the #1 show airing on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern in the 18-49 demographic, and to go along with the live+same day success, it is also a DVR warrior in its own right. This is a show that does benefit in some ways from being binge-watched, so its streaming presence is a significant one. It can monetize many different venues, and that is what you want in this or any TV series.

One other thing that the show brings to the table, which we imagine boosts the show’s renewal odds immensely, is the presence of one Viola Davis. Even when she is not getting nominations for playing Annalise Keating on this show, she is getting them elsewhere. She remains one of the most accomplished actresses of her time, and the show is very lucky to have her. In continuing to renew the show, you effectively ensure that you keep her on board for 15 episodes a season, which allows her in turn to have some time to do other things.

Finally, another reason to be confident for the show’s long-term viability is the simple fact that it remains a part of the massive, enormously-popular #TGIT brand. It’s one of the best lineups for marketing purposes that ABC’s ever had, so why take away from that? It pairs as well with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” as some of that popcorn and wine does that you tend to see in the commercials. This is a high-quality series with great twists and smart surprises, and we figure it has a chance to go on for however long that the showrunners and the cast deem that it should.

Not that we’ve said that … you should continue to watch it and watch it live. You don’t want to see the show fall eventually to the level where it is on the bubble.

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