Shonda Rhimes on ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Title: ‘We Don't Consider a Hashtag When We're Writing a Show’

Shonda Rhimes on 'How to Get Away With Murder' Title: 'We Don't Consider a Hashtag When We're Writing a Show'

TCA 2014: The executive producer added: “It's a very new notion now that networks are trying to push networks on the community of Twitter. Twitter makes stuff up and that's far more interesting.”

“How to Get Away With Murder” is both a highly anticipated ABC drama, and a mouthful of a TV show title. That length provides a social media marketing challenge: Do users go with the official hashtag #HowToGetAwayWithMurder, wasting characters on Twitter, or should they elect to use the abbreviated but uninformative #HTGAWM?

The larger topic was raised at the “Murder” Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday: Do the show creators consider a hashtag now when titling a show? After all, it sure seems that way with the hip trend toward short one- or two-word show titles.

But executive producer Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal”) shot that down quickly: “We don't consider a hashtag when we're writing a show,” Rhimes quickly said from the stage.

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Creator Pete Nowalk elaborated on the choice, which was his. ”It was always our first instinct for the show,” Nowalk said. “I love that that's what she calls her class because she likes to push buttons and she knows she has to grab these kids’ attention — it's a little controversial on purpose.”

The title doubles for the name main character Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) uses for her first-year law school class.

Nowalk continued, “In terms of the Twitter stuff, I feel like the audience will decide what they want to call the show.”

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Rhimes agreed. “The idea that we decide what Twitter is gonna call something is a very weird notion to me,” she said. “Twitter makes its own decisions about that kind of thing.”

“Twitter has a lovely community of people who decide stuff and then they hashtag stuff,” she concluded. “It's a very new notion now that networks are trying to push networks on the community of Twitter. Twitter makes stuff up and that's far more interesting.”