(CNN) — ABC is closing the case of “How to Get Away with Murder,” announcing Thursday that the upcoming sixth season of the Viola Davis-starring legal drama will be its last.
“Deciding to end this series was a brutal decision, but ultimately the story tells you what to do — as it did here,” series creator Pete Nowalk said in a statement provided to CNN.
He added that there was always a “clear ending” in mind for Davis’ Annalise Keating, a law professor who teaches a class that’s reflective of the name of the show and an anti-heroine with her own complicated backstory that often implicates her students. “Knowing I have 15 episodes left to finish her story, and the chance to give all the characters their own killer endings, is a gift rarely given to a series creator and I’m grateful to ABC and ABC Studios, [which produces the show] for the opportunity and creative freedom,” Nowalk said.
He also thanked the show’s writers, cast, crew and especially the viewers, whose strong social-media presence helped guarantee the program’s ratings success and cultural stickiness. To them, he said that the “only reason this show exists is because of your loyalty and enthusiasm.”
Davis plugged the upcoming season on Twitter, and called the show one of “greatest rides” of her life.
“Murder,” which is executive produced by Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Stephen Cragg, became a hit for ABC when it premiered in fall 2014. It helped cement what the network dubbed its “TGIT” lineup, which also included Shondaland produced “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Davis has won a lead actress in a drama Emmy and has received two other nominations for her performance on the show (she also was nominated in the guest actress in a drama category for playing the character on “Scandal” during a cross-over promotion).
According to a release provided to CNN, the final season of “Murder” will focus on the class’s last semester of law school and premieres September 26.