Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Photo: Viola Davis at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on January 12, 2012

A two-time Oscar nominee is becoming a Shondaland resident! TVLine reports that Viola Davis has joined the cast of the ABC pilot How to Get Away With Murder — executive-produced by Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and her Grey's cohorts Betsy Beers and Peter Nowalk.

As the site describes, the prospective series is a "sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor [Viola's character] who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives."

Sounds right up our alley!

So far, the cast also includes Matt McGorry (Orange Is the New Black), Aja Naomi King (Emily Owens M.D.), Charlie Weber (90210), Alfie Enoch (the Harry Potter films), Karla Souza (Instructions Not Included), and Jack Falahee (Twisted).

But Viola is perhaps the biggest casting coup. The 48-year-old earned Oscar nods for her performances in The Help and Doubt and recently starred in movies like in Won't Back Down, Ender's Game, and Prisoners.

The script was written by Peter Nowalk, who rapidly rose in the ranks on the Grey's staff from Season 5 to 9 — serving as story editor, executive story editor, co-producer, producer, and finally supervising producer — and wrote 11 episodes of the show. (He also penned a script for Scandal this season.)

Here's hoping ABC is simply slayed by the Murder-ous pilot and orders this project to series!

Source: TVLine

Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!