* HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. 10 tonight, 6ABC.

* PARENTHOOD. 10 tonight, NBC10.

* TRANSPARENT. Begins streaming tomorrow on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

THERE IS so much going on in the premiere tonight of ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder" that people in other parts of the country may fail to notice that it all takes place in and around Philadelphia.

At least until next week, when the show, whose pilot was filmed here, begins taking place on sets in Los Angeles dressed to look like Philly.

I don't think it's going to matter. Because for now, "How to Get Away with Murder" lives wherever Viola Davis does.

Davis ("The Help") stars as Annalise Keating, a law professor who favors leather over tweed and whose students refer to her as "The Shooter" for her sniper-like approach to the Socratic method.

She's also a criminal-defense attorney and apparently a successful one, though her methods, which include using first-year law students to turn up new evidence during an ongoing trial, probably don't bear close examination.

Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee, Karla Souza and Matt McGorry play a group of students for whom Keating's class may become a bit too hands-on, and Bucks County's Liza Weil ("Gilmore Girls") works as one of Keating's associates. And that's Havertown's Tom Verica playing Keating's psychology-professor husband.

Created by Pete Nowalk, who's written for Shonda Rhimes' "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" (Rhimes is also an executive producer on this show), "How to Get Away with Murder" is a legal show only in the sense that "Grey's" is a medical show or "Scandal" a political one.

These are just arenas. It's the lions - and, yes, the gladiators - that matter.

If you're a stickler for how-it's-actually-done, you're probably not devoting your Thursdays to ABC, which has staked out three hours, starting tonight, for high-stakes escapism, ShondaLand-style.

"Murder" (yes, I'm tired of typing that title) may turn out, as "Scandal" did, to be something quite different than it looked at first.

For now, it appears to be a whodunit told in flashbacks and an ensemble drama whose ensemble has yet to fully emerge from Davis' formidable shadow.

That's more than enough to get me to Week 2.

The dramas of family

Ah, the circle of life: NBC's "Parenthood" begins its final season tonight, one day before the launch of "Transparent," a new Amazon series focusing on a very different family.

First, the Bravermans.

Longtime "Parenthood" fans may have heard that something big's coming this season, but we don't need to talk about that yet.

Because there's always something big happening with the Bravermans, and yet it's the small things - the things that make up a life and help make these characters people I've come to believe in - that guarantee I'll be with them until what may well be a bittersweet end.

And now, the Pfeffermans.

Amazon's latest original, "Transparent," stars Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development") as the divorced father of three grown children (Jay Duplass, Gaby Hoffmann and Amy Landecker) to whom he's decided to reintroduce himself.

No longer Mort but Maura, she's leaving behind an L.A. house of glass to step into a new life just as her self-absorbed children are undergoing changes of their own. Ali (Hoffmann) is bright but annoyingly aimless, her sister, Sarah (Landecker), leads a picture-perfect wife-and-mother life that conceals a huge void, and their brother, Josh (Duplass), is a record producer who'd like nothing better than to flip his father's house.

Tambor is splendid as Maura, who wonders how her children got the way they are but whose own self-absorption is evident. Also terrific: Judith Light, who brings a sardonic edge to the role of Mort's ex, who's now caring for a subsequent husband.

The family en masse may be an acquired taste - if the Bravermans were golden retrievers, the Pfeffermans would be small, yippy dogs on special diets - but if they lived next door, you wouldn't be able to stop watching them.

You shouldn't have to go quite that far.

Written by Jill Soloway ("Six Feet Under"), "Transparent" is the first of Amazon's series to be released the way Netflix series are, with all 10 episodes scheduled to go live tomorrow. (The first episode has been online for some time.)

Available only to Amazon Prime customers (I still can't quite get my head around a business model that packages programming with two-day shipping), "Transparent" is either the best new series most people are unlikely to see or the best excuse Amazon can give you for signing up for a month's free trial.

You can tell them Maura sent you.

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