Suits (TV series)
||This television-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (November 2014)|
|Created by||Aaron Korsh|
|Written by||Aaron Korsh|
Patrick J. Adams
|Opening theme||“Greenback Boogie” by Ima Robot|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||60 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Doug Liman
|Location(s)||New York City, New York
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Universal Cable|
|Original channel||USA Network|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||June 23, 2011 – present|
Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. The show airs on the USA Network from its debut on June 23, 2011, which originally aired a 90-minute pilot. The show tells the story of Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who works as a law associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) despite never actually attending law school. The show focuses on Harvey and Mike managing to close cases whilst maintaining Mike's secret.
- 1 Production
- 2 Episodes
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Ratings
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Suits first appeared on USA network's development slate under the title A Legal Mind in April 2010. On April 5, 2010, USA announced that it was developing seven new pilots for its 2010-2011 television season, including A Legal Mind, which would later become Suits. The premiere was written by Aaron Korsh, and David Bartis and Gene Klein served as executive producers. It was later announced on May 17, 2010 that USA ordered a ninety-minute cast-contingent pilot for the series. The network later picked up A Legal Mind on January 19, 2011 and ordered eleven one-hour episodes in addition to the 90-minute pilot.
Creator Aaron Korsh, whose Notes from the Underbelly sitcom was canceled during the 2007-2008 Writers' Strike, wrote a spec script intended to be a "half-hour Entourage-type based on my experiences working on Wall Street." He later realized that the project should have hour-long episodes. Korsh and his agent took the script to several production companies and wanted to give the script to Universal Media Studios. However, Korsh found it odd that the studio did not want to sell the script to NBC, the network the studio typically worked with. Korsh's agent convinced USA Network executive Alex Sepiol that although the series was neither a procedural nor what the network typically did, he would like the characters. Sepiol approved of the script, and by then, Hypnotic Films & Television signed on to the project. The team pitched the script to USA, which bought the script after the pitch. Korsh did not pitch it to anyone else. When rewriting the script, Korsh made only small changes to the first half-hour, up to when Mike is hired. Originally, Mike did not take LSATs for others and only pretends to have attended Harvard, as opposed to pretending he attended Harvard and has a law degree. Korsh noted that there is no degree or test needed to work on Wall Street and be a mathematical genius, unlike the bar examination in law. He decided to "embrace" this difference and change the premise.
The pilot episode was filmed in New York City, where the series is set. The rest of the series is filmed in Toronto, where the sets are built to be identical to the New York law offices seen in the pilot. To promote the series debut, USA had an advance screening of the pilot on June 2, 2011 at the Hudson River Park and distributed free Häagen-Dazs Sundaes cones at the viewing. The network also had a branded ice cream carts, bikes, and scooters give away at the Sundaes and USA/Entertainment Weekly 2011 promotion summer guides on June 22 and June 23. They also held the promotion in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston to endorse the pilot.
Casting and marketing
The season was created by Aaron Korsh and was aired on the USA Network in the United States. The season was produced by Hypnotic Films & Television and Universal Cable Productions. The executive producers were Korsh, Doug Liman, and David Bartis. The staff writers were: Korsh with three writing credits; Sean Jablonski, Jon Cowan, Ethan Drogin, and Rick Muirragui with two each; and Erica Lipez with one. The directors throughout the season were Kevin Bray, John Scott, Dennie Gordon, Kate Woods, Terry McDonough, Tim Matheson, Norberto Barba, Felix Alcala, Jennifer Getzinger, and Mike Smith. The first role in which a casting spot was filled was for Patrick J. Adams, who was cast in the lead role of Mike Ross in July 2010. In late July, Gabriel Macht joined the main cast as Harvey Specter. Rick Hoffman came on board in mid-August to portray Harvey's competition, Louis, at the law firm. Meghan Markle and Gina Torres soon joined the cast in late August, who were set to play Rachel Zane and Jessica Pearson respectively. Sarah Rafferty completed the main cast as Donna, and the pilot was filmed in New York City in the fall of 2010.
The series was soon commissioned with a 12-episode order on January 19, 2011. The series began filming in Toronto on April 25, 2011, and completed on August 12, 2011 in New York City. Post production for the series was done at Cherry Beach Sound. "Greenback Boogie" by Ima Robot serves as the theme song of the show and was released as a single on September 18, 2010, and is included on the band's third album, Another Man's Treasure.
A deleted scene leaked onto YouTube shows Victor Garber as Phillip Hardman, originally part of the pilot, but was ultimately cut during script rewrites. It shows that Hardman had retired from the firm on his own accord. Despite being cut for US audiences, the scene was left in for British viewers when it was first aired, and the scene continues to be included in re-runs.
Season 1 (2011)
The first season premiered on June 23, 2011 and concluded on September 8, 2011. It ran for 12 episodes, including a 90-minute pilot. The complete first season was available on Region 1 DVD on May 1, 2012 and Region A Blu-ray on March 11, 2013. The complete first season was also available on Netflix concluding the sales of both the DVD and Blu-ray releases.
Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is a genius college dropout, who, with his natural intelligence and eidetic memory, makes a living taking the LSAT for others. To keep his terminally ill grandmother in a private nursing home, he agrees to deliver a large case of marijuana for his best friend/drug dealer Trevor (Tom Lipinski). The deal happens to be a sting operation which Mike astutely discovers and narrowly avoids, only to stumble onto a Harvard Law interview with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), a lawyer at Pearson-Hardman and arguably the "best closer in New York City." Recently made senior partner, Harvey must hire a Harvard Law-educated lawyer as an associate, as per firm policy. Following an interview, Mike proves to Harvey he is undoubtedly the best candidate and Mike is consequently hired, despite neither receiving a college degree nor attending Harvard. The series focuses on Mike and Harvey as they try cases for the firm while maintaining Mike's secret.
Season 2 (2012–13)
Suits was renewed for a second season consisting of 16 episodes on August 11, 2011, which premiered on June 14, 2012, with the mid-season finale on August 23, 2012. The remaining six episodes of Season 2 aired on January 17, 2013. The complete second season was available on Region 1 DVD on December 2, 2013 and Region A Blu-ray on January 11, 2014. The complete second season was also available on Netflix.
Following Trevor's revelation of Mike's secret to Jessica (Gina Torres), she continues to let Mike work at the firm, which also coincides with co-founding partner, Daniel Hardman (David Costabile), returning to the firm. Both Jessica and Harvey fear he wishes to return to his former position as managing partner, which will thus deem Jessica and Harvey fired. A lawsuit of fraud is placed on Pearson-Hardman, as well as Harvey being accused of burying evidence and facing disbarment. Despite Harvey maintaining his innocence, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) finds and destroys the buried evidence. Jessica soon, acquiescently, fires Donna from the firm. Hardman and Jessica disagree over how to settle the case, which eventually leads Hardman to challenge Jessica for the position as managing partner. Hardman soon battles with the firm, working as a contract lawyer for Rachel's father, well-known trial attorney Robert Zane, on multiple gender discrimination suits against the firm. As a way to defeat Hardman, Jessica agrees to a merger with the British firm of Harvey's competitor and rival, Dana Scott (Abigail Spencer), which is lead by Edward Darby (Conleth Hill). With frequent protests, Harvey tries to stop the merger out of fear that Edward and Scottie would have complete control over Pearson-Hardman. Mike, following the death of his grandmother, find himself in a romantic entanglement with his now-married first love, Tess. Rachel (Meghan Markle) sees them together, which leads to a rift in their relationship before Mike reveals his secret to Rachel.
Season 3 (2013–14)
On October 12, 2012, Suits was renewed for a third season, consisting of 16 episodes. Season 3 premiered on July 16, 2013 and the season was split, with six episodes airing after March 6, 2014. The complete third season was available on September 22, 2014 on Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A Blu-ray on October 3, 2014. The complete third season was picked up by Netflix on March 22, 2015.
The merger between Pearson and Darby International is now complete and Harvey, stinging from Jessica's refusal to make him a named partner, begins plotting with Darby to take her down. After Harvey manages to settle a case with his old mentor, Cameron Dennis (Gary Cole), Harvey's client, Ava Hessington (Michelle Fairley), is arrested for murder. Darby sends his "fixer", Stephen Huntley (Max Beesley), to help with the case. After first accepting Huntley after renegotiating Ava as a client, Harvey realizes Darby wants Huntley to help him completely take the firm from Jessica. Harvey informs Jessica, who says that he if wins the case, she will add him as named partner. Ava looks set to be convicted, until Mike discovers Huntley was actually responsible for the murders, something Darby had no previous knowledge about. Darby eventually agrees to testify against Huntley, only later realizing his own plea bargain will leave him unable to practice law in the United States. This allows Jessica to begin dissolution of the firm and she allows Louis to lead on the dissolution talks, which leads to complications. Darby appoints Scottie to negotiate in the dissolution case, promising her a named partnership if she wins. After Harvey wins the trial, Ava sues the firm for malpractice and appoints Travis Tanner (Eric Close) as her attorney. Harvey is soon able to get Ava to withdraw the suit.
Jessica learns of Mike and Rachel's relationship and threatens to fire Mike unless Rachel signs an affidavit saying she knew of Mike's fraud. She does so on the condition that Jessica waive the firm's "Harvard rule", so she can apply to work there as a lawyer upon graduation from Columbia. Mike's secret is nearly discovered by Louis, but is eventually convinced that Mike only "fixed" a grade in a single class. After Louis almost finds out about Mike's deception, Mike realizes he will never be able to make a name for himself in law with the threat of his fraud being discovered, and considers a career change after being offered a job as an investment banker by Jonathan Sidwell (Brandon Firla). In the season's finale, Mike is arrested alongside Harold Gunderson (Max Topplin) for supposedly bribing witnesses in the Ava Hessington trial, which threatens exposure for him. After Louis and Harvey manage to release them both, Mike realizes the problems that his situation causes for the firm and takes the job offered by Sidwell. This new job makes Mike a client of the firm, which now makes Harvey, technically, work for Mike.
Season 4 (2014–15)
Suits was renewed for a fourth season, with the first episode airing on June 11, 2014. It aired every Wednesday on USA network.
The season begins with Mike working for investment banker Jonathan Sidwell, creating an awkward situation when a takeover battle for Gillis Industries pits Mike's company against Pearson Specter client (and Rachel's former boyfriend), Logan Sanders. This leads to a battle between Mike and Harvey and a collusion claim between the two by the SEC. Mike and Rachel are at odds due to a moment of passion between her and Logan Sanders, causing Mike to move out for a short period.
By the season's sixth episode, Charles Forstman, an investor Mike went to in a last-ditch effort to save Gillis Industries, tells Sidwell that Mike was going to cut him out of the deal and Mike is fired. In actuality, Louis is the one who has made a shady deal with Forstman, forcing him to embezzle money through international banks. Jessica and Harvey offer Louis a reward for his work. He wants to be named partner, but Jessica declines. When Mike decides to accept a job with Forstman, which Louis cannot allow, Louis uses his reward to re-hire Mike at Pearson Specter instead.
Mike officially starts working back at the firm in the eighth episode. In the ninth episode, Louis resigns after the SEC looks into the deal between Forstman and Sanders. Louis tries to find a way to take clients with him to help him get a new job, but is stonewalled because of his non-compete clause. Mike helps Louis by getting him an interview with Robert Zane, who later tells Louis he will only hire him if he can steal one of Harvey's clients.
Katrina Bennett gives Louis the name of a company to go after, which Louis successfully steals, though Mike is able to use Walter Gillis to get the company back for Harvey. Mike visits Louis for a second time, and inadvertently gives away a clue to Louis that he never went to Harvard. Louis confronts Jessica, getting her to admit her hypocrisy, then threatens to expose Mike unless he is made a named partner.
Louis settles back with the team. He comes to terms with Donna, Rachel and Harvey, but he still cannot forgive Mike because of his lies. Mike tries to apologize but it doesn't work. After a roadtrip to a client of Harvey they fight and Harvey breaks them up. After the fight both of them calm down and have a moment of peace with each other. This moment solves the wrangle between them.
The season ends with Harvey going after Forstman in the Eric Woodall case. Mike proposes to Rachel by giving her the ring Mike's grandmother used. In the meantime, Donna tries to get what she wants from Harvey but in the end leaves him and becomes Louis' secretary.
The first 10 episodes aired in 2014, and the remaining six episodes began airing on January 28, 2015.
Season 5 (2015–16)
Cast and characters
- Gabriel Macht as Harvey Reginald Specter – A corporate lawyer (named partner) at Pearson-Specter-Litt (formerly senior partner at Pearson-Hardman, Pearson-Darby and named partner at Pearson-Darby-Specter and Pearson-Specter), a top 3 Harvard graduate and New York City's best closer. He serves as Mike's seemingly selfish and uncaring mentor and remains emotionally distant from clients and is willing to do anything to win, except alter the truth or break the law. He prefers to settle cases out of court as trials present too many variables.
- Patrick J. Adams as Michael James "Mike" Ross – A lawyer who never attended law school, but passed the bar exam and has an encyclopedic knowledge of law aided by his eidetic memory. He impressed Harvey with his drive to become a good lawyer and is hired as an associate attorney. His naiveté and sympathy for clients (and sometimes opponents) put him at odds with Harvey, doing things in the complete opposite way as how Harvey would do it.
- Meghan Markle as Rachel Elizabeth Zane – A summer associate and Mike's girlfriend (now fiancée), she works part-time while attending law school at Columbia. She is the first non-Harvard associate to be employed at Pearson-Specter-Litt. Although she finally received a Harvard-worthy score on the LSAT, the next Harvard class was already full with candidates who scored higher, and decides to join Columbia. Donna and Rachel are good friends, and have ongoing discussions about their personal as well as business relationships.
- Gina Torres as Jessica Lourdes Pearson – Co-founding and managing partner of Pearson-Specter-Litt, who was mentored by Daniel Hardman when she was an associate after graduating from Harvard. Her stature in the firm grew after Hardman and her wrote off three other named partners (Gordon, Schmidt and Van Dyke) from the firm's door. She has a close relationship with Harvey, originating from observing and sponsoring Harvey's rise through the firm, as well as paying his way through Harvard.
- Rick Hoffman as Louis Marlowe Litt – Harvey's rival and fellow Harvard alum, and named partner who oversees the first year associates. He is constantly upset by Jessica's apparent favoritism toward Harvey and her perceived disdain for Louis, though he feels he works harder and is more reliable than Harvey. Despite his personal faults, Harvey has praised Louis' impeccable legal skills, while Jessica has noted he is consistently among her top performers when it comes to accruing billables for the firm.
- Sarah Rafferty as Donna Roberta Paulsen – Harvey's legal secretary and close confidante, who has worked with Harvey since his first year as an assistant district attorney and is extremely loyal towards him. She oversees all of Harvey's personal and business decisions and is able to gain favors for Harvey from the firm. Donna also acts as a motherly-type figure to Harvey, pointing out personal faults that Harvey may commit.
- Rebecca Schull – Edith Ross, Mike's late grandmother who raised him after his parents' deaths.
- Unknown as Norma – Despite never having a physical appearance on the show, Norma is referenced several times as she acted as Louis' executive assistant.
- Eric Close as Travis Tanner – Harvey's rival at another law firm. He bears a personal grudge towards Harvey as he beat Tanner in a case.
- David Costabile as Daniel Hardman – founding partner and former managing partner of Pearson-Hardman.
- Amanda Schull as Katrina Bennett – a fifth year associate hired by Harvey. She later becomes Louis' personal associate, akin to what Mike is to Harvey.
- Conleth Hill as Edward Darby – Jessica's new named partner during Season 3, with 51% control of Pearson-Darby.
- Gary Cole as Cameron Dennis – Harvey's original mentor and disgraced district-attorney.
- Abigail Spencer portrays Dana "Scottie" Scott – Harvey's rival at Harvard, former girlfriend and former senior partner at Pearson-Specter.
- Tom Lipinski as Trevor Evans – Mike's former best friend and drug dealer.
- Max Beesley as Stephen Huntley – Darby's right-hand man and "fixer", Harvey's British counterpart.
- Rachael Harris as Sheila Sazs – a high-ranking official in Harvard's placement department who is also Louis' on-and-off love interest.
- Michelle Fairley as Ava Hessington – CEO of British oil company Hessington Oil. Her father was Darby's first ever client.
- Brandon Firla as Jonathan Sidwell – an investment banker whom Mike helps start his own company. He soon hires and fires Mike in Season 3 and 4.
- Željko Ivanek as Eric Woodall – a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office who is now working as an SEC prosecutor. He also has a personal vendetta against Harvey.
- D. B. Woodside as Jeff Malone – an SEC prosecutor and Jessica's lover, and is later hired by the firm.
- Michael Gross as Walter Gillis – the CEO of Gillis Industries.
- Brendan Hines as Logan Sanders – Harvey's client in the case regarding the acquisition of Gillis Industries; he is revealed to be Rachel's former boyfriend.
- Neal McDonough as Sean Cahill – a zealous SEC prosecutor who is determined to take down Pearson-Specter.
- Eric Roberts as Charles Forstman – a corrupt billionaire investor to whom Mike (while working for Sidwell) goes when he sees no other option to save Gillis Industries.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiered||Ended||Average viewers
|Season 1||Thursday 10:00 pm||12||June 23, 2011||4.64||September 8, 2011||3.47|
|Season 2||16||June 14, 2012||3.47||February 21, 2013||3.20|
|Season 3||Tuesday 10:00 pm (July 16, 2013 – September 17, 2013)
Thursday 9:00 pm (March 6, 2014 – April 10, 2014)
|16||July 16, 2013||2.93||April 10, 2014||2.40|
|Season 4||Wednesday 9:00 pm||16||June 11, 2014||2.50||March 4, 2015||1.55|
|Season 5||16||June 24, 2015||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Suits has gained favorable reviews throughout the course of the show, with many singling out Adams' portrayal of titular character Mike Ross, as Adams was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards. On the review aggregator website Metacritic, the first season scored 61/100, the second season scored 75/100, the third season scored 71/100 and the fourth season scored 80/100. Although the first season of the series only gained a moderately positive response from critics, the following seasons were very highly rated, making Suits a regular staple on the USA Network. The show also scored 8.8/10 on IMDB.
The first season of Suits garnered a score of 61/100 on Metacritic indicating generally favorable reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season scored a 7.1/10 rating, with the overall critical consensus stating: "Suits can feel bland and bloated, but flashes of sharp dialogue help bring the show to life." The season was, although, panned by critics faring mixed reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety described the show as: "Slightly darker than most USA fare, Suits follows the channel's pattern well enough, but breaks down when it comes to fulfilling the whole "Characters welcome" slogan." Nancy DeWolf Smith of the Wall Street Journal, however, praised the show describing it as: "Even if Suits never strips off all of its comedic clothes, the glimpses of bare souls here are tantalizing."
The second season saw a moderate increase in positive reviews, as the second season has a score of 75/100 on Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews. It also scored a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, showing a more positive reception from the show's fanbase. The overall critical consensus on the show's second season touched on the relationship between the two titular characters (Harvey and Mike), as well as commenting on the character relations within the show, stating: "There's hardly a weak link in the chain. Suits seems perfectly tailored to make its characters all look good." It also said: "Adams and Macht are terrific, with the former loosening up quite considerably this year as Mike."
The third season scored scored 71/100 on Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews. The third season also scored a 6.8/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the overall critical consensus stating: "Though it's occasionally overly wordy, Suits stimulates with drama derived from the strength of its well-developed character relationships." The season was also praised on its pace and momentum, with Carrie Raisler of the AV Club stating: "Suits has more internal forward momentum than most anything else on television right now, and when it's on, like it mostly is here, it just cooks." It also scored a 92% audience score on the site.
The fourth season garnered the highest amount of positive critical response for the show, with the fourth season scoring an 80/100 on Metacritic. The fourth season also scored a 8.7/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, obtaining a perfect 100% with 6 "fresh" ratings out of 6 reviews, with the overall critical consensus stating: "Suits has long been an underrated guilty pleasure, set in an aspirational fantasyland whose impeccably turned-out inhabitants lob zingers at one another's tender spots with the kind of aplomb you only wish you could muster at the office."
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