On the Bubble: Should How to Get Away with Murder Be Renewed or Canceled?

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How to Get Away with Murder is on the bubble. 

The once-hot ABC drama continued to erode in the ratings during How to Get Away with Murder Season 5, and for the first time in the show's history, it is not a slam dunk for renewal. 

ABC generally has a bias for renewing Shondaland dramas. With Shonda Rhimes defecting to Netflix, there will be no new Shondaland dramas on the network. 

A Hug - How To Get Away with Murder Season 5 Episode 15

How to Get Away with Murder joins, Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, and For the People as the remaining Shondaland dramas remaining on ABC. 

A Million Little Things stepped in to interrupt TGIT earlier this year. This gave the freshman drama a boost out of the network's number one drama, Grey's Anatomy. 

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This could prove that ABC is open to the prospect of saying goodbye to the TGIT brand. A Million Little Things hit and matched series highs when it moved to the night. 

Last season, For the People was renewed after averaging just 2.5 million total viewers and a 0.6 rating for its first season. 

Gabriel Confronts - How To Get Away With Murder Season 5 Episode 9

How to Get Away with Murder Season 5 is averaging just 2.8 million viewers and a 0.7 rating this season. 

The show still commands gains of up to 160 percent post-premiere with DVR ratings factored in. That does not take into account viewing on the network's app or Hulu. 

There is still an audience for How to Get Away with Murder, but the show has been steadily declining since it debuted in 2014. 

It's easy to say ABC has bigger fish to fry, but the only drama rating lower than HTGAWM is fellow Shondaland drama, For The People. 

Related: How to Get Away with Murder: Why Wes Had to Die

The positive for How to Get Away with Murder is that it has an award-winning actress in Viola Davis. The show runs 15 episodes a season, and there's no reason why a potential final season could not run fewer episodes. 

Asher Ponders - How To Get Away With Murder Season 5 Episode 10

It would not be out of the realm of possibility for the show to return for either a full season or a truncated one. It all depends on ABC's plans for the 2019-20 TV season. 

Thinking about the quality of the series, it's a shell of its former self. The show generally crafts an intriguing mystery for its season premiere that the rest of the first half of the season builds towards. 

Many people on social media took issue with WHO was murdered, likely because it wasn't even a main character. 

The back half of the season slowed down the pace considerably, but the season finale boasted some shocking twists and turns that could help craft a final path for the series. 

Turning the Tables - Tall - How to Get Away with Murder Season 5 Episode 11

The issue with the series is that it is no longer taking the risks it was taking back when it was at the top of its game. 

Scripted shows lose steam and quality in their later years, but How to Get Away with Murder has been bleeding for much of its run.

Related: How to Get Away with Murder Season 5 Episode 15 Review: Please Say Nobody Else is Dead

Out of 19 scripted series, the network has only renewed Modern Family, The Good Doctor, and A Million Little Things have been renewed. 

The network is likely waiting to see how Whiskey Cavalier and The Fix stack up before making some big decisions. 

Laurel Castillo - How To Get Away With Murder Season 5 Episode 12

Not helping matters is that ABC has a new Entertainment President. It's entirely possible that Karey Burke will want to give the network some stability and get rid of some of the legacy shows that are not resonating as well as they once were. 

As things stand, TGIT is a dying brand, and there's a good chance Grey's Anatomy could remove it for next season. ABC will not be vacating that 8/7c on Thursdays slot, but there will likely be a lot of changes coming to the rest of the schedule. 

Okay, How to Get Away with Murder Fanatics!

What are YOUR thoughts on the series returning?

You know we're waiting to hear everything you have to say, so why not take a moment and leave a comment below?

After all, you're already here! It gets lonely talking to yourself here!

Remember you can watch How to Get Away with Murder online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Missed our bubble reports? 

We've already assessed the future of some other series. 

Click here for the Manifest Bubble Report. 

Click here for The Passage's Bubble Report. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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How to Get Away with Murder Quotes

Annalise: There is no grey area here, Laurel. It's him, or it's me.
Laurel: He's dead to me.
Annalise: Good.

Annalise: What about me loving myself, Mamma? Doesn't that count for anything?
Ophelia: You'll never love yourself if you hurt people, Anna Mae. We both know that.