'How to Get Away With Murder' Creator Renews Overall Deal With ABC Studios

Following Shonda Rhimes' departure to Netflix, Pete Nowalk will stay put with a new three-year deal.
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Pete Nowalk

Pete Nowalk is staying put at ABC Studios.

As expected, the How to Get Away With Murder creator has renewed his overall deal with the studio behind the ABC Shondaland drama. Under the rich three-year deal, Nowalk will continue to serve as showrunner on the Viola Davis starrer, while also developing for broadcast, cable and streaming. This is Nowalk's second overall deal with ABC Studios and helps cement the future of Murder at ABC.

"Pete is exactly the kind of creative, brilliant writer we are so proud to be in business with at ABC Studios. Our long relationship with him has not only resulted in incredible success, but he’s built a body of work with us that is nothing short of extraordinary,” ABC Studios president Patrick Moran said Wednesday in a statement.

Shonda Rhimes disciple Nowalk created Murder, now in its fourth season. Davis won an Emmy in 2015 and scored nominations in the two years that followed, while receiving multiple other awards and nominations.

For Nowalk — who was a co-executive producer on Scandal and spent six seasons on Grey's Anatomy while also writing for its first spinoff, Private Practice — the decision to stay at ABC Studios comes as Rhimes has been actively making the case for many writers in her Shondaland stable to join her at Netflix. Nowalk's choice to remain at ABC offers him an opportunity to have success outside of Shondaland.

While Rhimes has been courting her Shondaland colleagues, ABC Studios has actively been pitching key players to stay within the traditional broadcast studio system. Nowalk marks a key signing for ABC Studios, which last year also recruited prolific producer Carlton Cuse to return to the studio for an overall deal said to be worth $20 million-plus.

Murder, while not officially renewed for a fifth season, is expected to return next fall.

The war for talent continues to escalate as Netflix lures prolific producers like Rhimes and Ryan Murphy with mega-deals.

Nowalk is repped by UTA and Sloane Offer.