How To Get Away With Murder has lost its UK broadcaster. Universal Channel has opted not to renew their licensing deal for the Viola Davis fronted serialised drama with international distributor Disney Media Distribution, TVWise has confirmed.
After initially announcing the news on Twitter, a representative of Universal Channel issued the following statement to TVWise: “Universal Channel UK will not be airing Season 3 of How To Get Away with Murder. While we are focusing on other acquisitions in 2016/17, it was a tough decision and we wish the show much continued success.”
From Shonda Rhimes and Peter Nowalk, How To Get Away With Murder is described as a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller about a group of ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that will rock the entire university and change the course of their lives. The drama series is produced by ABC Studios and stars Viola Davis, Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee, Alfred Enoch Billy Brown, Katie Findlay, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil.
It is understood that this was not a case of poor ratings driving the decision to drop the show, but is being hailed as a “strategic one” allowing a “better allocation of resources”, especially considering the relatively high price Universal was paying for the show. This is the second time in the past year that one of NBCU’s UK channels has walked away from renewing a deal with an outside studio, after Syfy UK did the same thing with The Originals earlier this year.
While, at present, that leaves How To Get Away With Murder without a UK broadcaster as it heads into its third season, Disney is confident of securing a new UK buyer for the show. Sources are telling TVWise that Disney Media Distribution are shopping the series to UK buyers, with one stating that they are “in active talks”, hoping to secure a new deal shortly. It is not immediately clear which other UK buyers are circling, but back in 2014 Universal faced competition from both Sky Living and Channel 4 before they landed the show.