Suits (American TV series)

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Suits
Title card for the US TV show Suits.png
Suits title card (2018–2019)
GenreLegal drama
Created byAaron Korsh
Starring
Opening theme"Greenback Boogie" by Ima Robot
Composer(s)Christopher Tyng
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons9
No. of episodes133 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Gene Klein
  • Gabriel Macht
  • Patrick J. Adams
  • JM Danguilan
Production location(s)
CinematographyDan Stoloff
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkUSA Network
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseJune 23, 2011 (2011-06-23) –
present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website

Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. The series premiered on June 23, 2011, on USA Network, and is produced by Universal Cable Productions. It is the network's longest running original series in terms of seasons and episodes. Suits is set at a fictional law firm in New York City, and follows talented college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who begins working as a law associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), despite never attending law school.[1] The show focuses on Harvey and Mike closing cases, while maintaining Mike's secret.[2] The show also features the characters Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty), and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres). The show is set in a fictional New York law firm whose name changes throughout the seasons due to promotions, resignations and buyouts. The firm has been known as Pearson Hardman, Pearson, Pearson Darby, Pearson Darby Specter, Pearson Specter, Pearson Specter Litt, Specter Litt, Zane Specter Litt and Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams. In flashbacks, the firm was known as Gordon Schmidt Van Dyke.

On January 30, 2018, the series was renewed for an eighth season without Adams and Markle,[3] and Katherine Heigl joined the cast as Samantha Wheeler. Recurring characters Alex Williams (Dulé Hill) and Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull) were promoted to series regulars.[4] The show was renewed for a 10-episode ninth and final season on January 23, 2019, which premiered on July 17, 2019.[5][6] Throughout its run, Suits has been nominated for several awards, with Torres and Adams receiving individual praise. On top of two nominations recognizing her role as a supporting actress, Torres was awarded Outstanding Performance in a Television Series at the 2013 NHMC Impact Awards. Adams was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the show itself has been nominated for two People's Choice Awards. The show's success has spawned a spin-off, Pearson, centered on Jessica Pearson's advent into Chicago politics, which premiered alongside the final season of Suits on July 17, 2019.[7][8][9] It has also generated South Korean and Japanese adaptations.

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
112June 23, 2011 (2011-06-23)September 8, 2011 (2011-09-08)
216June 14, 2012 (2012-06-14)February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21)
316July 16, 2013 (2013-07-16)April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10)
416June 11, 2014 (2014-06-11)March 4, 2015 (2015-03-04)
516June 24, 2015 (2015-06-24)March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02)
616July 13, 2016 (2016-07-13)March 1, 2017 (2017-03-01)
716July 12, 2017 (2017-07-12)April 25, 2018 (2018-04-25)
816July 18, 2018 (2018-07-18)February 27, 2019 (2019-02-27)
910[10]July 17, 2019 (2019-07-17)September 25, 2019 (2019-09-25)[10]

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

Former student Mike Ross makes a living illegally taking the Law School Admission Test for others. To pay for his grandmother's care, he agrees to deliver a case of marijuana for his best friend Trevor, a drug dealer. Mike astutely avoids being arrested in a sting, only to stumble into a job interview with Harvey Specter, called the best closer in the city. Mike's knowledge of the law impresses Harvey enough to win him the associate position, even though Mike didn't attend Harvard. Together they try cases for the firm while maintaining the secret that Mike is a fraud.

Season 2 (2012–13)[edit]

Jessica Pearson, the managing partner, learns Mike's secret, but other issues take precedence when co-founding partner Daniel Hardman returns to the firm, pressuring Jessica and Harvey. Mike begins to foster a relationship with paralegal Rachel Zane, but finds himself pursuing other romantic entanglements after his grandmother's sudden death. Harvey and his secretary Donna face accusations of burying evidence and must discover the truth while keeping incriminating evidence from Hardman, who would use it to leverage a managing partner position. The intensifying threat from Hardman forces Jessica into a merger with a British firm headed by Edward Darby. Mike reveals he's a fraud to Rachel.

Season 3 (2013–14)[edit]

Darby's presence in the firm gives Harvey leverage to seek a position as a named partner. Meanwhile, the merger causes Louis Litt to clash with his British counterpart. Darby International client Ava Hessington draws Harvey into a lengthy trial against his former mentor and, when the lawsuit turns into a murder charge, the move in together. Realizing that his fraud can't continue forever, Mike leaves newly renamed Pearson Specter to take a position as an investment banker.

Season 4 (2014–15)[edit]

Mike's new job puts him and Harvey on opposite sides of a takeover battle, causing the SEC to accuse them of collusion. When Mike is fired, Louis goes to extreme lengths to persuade Mike to come back to Pearson Specter, rather than working for shady billionaire investor Charles Forstman. Louis demands a name partner position, competing with Harvey, but his wrongdoings get him fired instead. When he realizes Mike never went to Harvard, he blackmails Jessica into rehiring him with the promotion he desired. Mike proposes to Rachel; Donna leaves Harvey to work for Louis.

Season 5 (2015–16)[edit]

Harvey struggles with losing Donna and begins to open up to a therapist about his broken relationship with his mother. Louis' insecurity, however, and desire to undermine Harvey create an opening for Jack Soloff, an ambitious partner who is being manipulated by Hardman. Rachel's wedding plans and her relationship with her parents are both overshadowed by Mike's secret. Mike and Harvey both resign to protect their future, but Mike is abruptly arrested for fraud. More and more people involved realize the allegations are true, and facing a tenacious prosecutor Anita Gibbs, Mike accepts a plea bargain, pleads guilty, and turns himself in so that no one else will go to jail. At the wedding, Mike tells Rachel that he will not marry her now but if she still wants him in two years then he will marry her after getting out of prison. Harvey escorts him to prison making their last few goodbyes.

Season 6 (2016–17)[edit]

A two-year prison sentence puts Mike at the mercy of Frank Gallo, an inmate with a grudge against Harvey. At Pearson Specter Litt, few employees remain to help. Rachel works an Innocence Project case for her law professor; Jessica assists pro bono but is distracted from matters at the firm, and chooses to leave her position to pursue her own life. Mike's cellmate proves pivotal in a deal for Mike's freedom. He struggles with his fraud being public knowledge but obtains a job at a legal clinic. Harvey helps both Rachel and Mike pass the Bar, and persuades Mike to come back to the firm.

Season 7 (2017–18)[edit]

Everyone at the firm struggles to adjust to a new normal without Jessica. Donna takes a position as COO, and Harvey's friend Alex joins the team. Harvey begins dating his former therapist, Paula; Louis sees a therapist of his own, with mixed results. Rachel begins her career as an attorney, having passed the Bar. Mike continues to work pro bono cases at the clinic, with Harvey's blessing, but one of the cases puts Alex, Harvey and others at risk. Louis and Sheila reconnect; as does Jessica with her family in Chicago. Mike and Rachel accept a job offer in Seattle to run their own firm that takes on class-action suits, and get married before leaving. As the season closes, a case that puts Specter Litt in danger is found to be the work of Robert Zane's partners, Rand and Kaldore. When Zane finds out, he joins forces with Specter Litt.

Season 8 (2018–19)[edit]

As Mike and Rachel leave after getting married, Robert Zane is now the managing partner of Zane Specter Litt. Donna has become the COO of the firm as she has stuck by it for many years helping effectively. Robert hires a new senior partner, his right hand and fixer Samantha Wheeler. Wheeler later becomes a name partner alongside Alex Williams. Louis learns that Sheila is pregnant. Katrina Bennett makes senior partner, and struggles with romantic feelings for her married personal associate. Donna and Harvey finally admit their feelings for one another as Season 8 ends, but Donna's mishandling of client/boyfriend Thomas Kessler forces Zane to sacrifice himself for the good of the firm.

Season 9 (2019)[edit]

Cast and characters[edit]

Gabriel Macht at a promotional event for Suits
  • Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter: Name partner since the firm was Pearson Darby Specter, and the self-proclaimed best closer in New York City.
  • Patrick J. Adams as Michael “Mike” Ross (main season 1–7; guest star season 9):[11] hired by Harvey as his personal associate, despite not having a license to practice law initially but later was allowed by the bar.
  • Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt: Name partner since the firm was called at Pearson Specter Litt and current Managing Partner. Though he is Harvey's main rival, he loves the firm like family and considers the associates as his biggest assets.
  • Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane (main season 1–7):[12] a senior paralegal and later associate at Zane Specter Litt who becomes Mike Ross' wife.
  • Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen: Harvey's former secretary and close confidante who becomes COO at Specter Litt in season 7.
  • Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson (main season 1–7):[13] co-founder and former managing partner of Pearson Hardman, Pearson, Pearson Darby (in US), Pearson Darby Specter (in US), Pearson Specter and Pearson Specter Litt.
  • Amanda Schull as Katrina Bennett (main season 8–9; recurring season 2–7):[14] A former fifth-year associate hired by Harvey and later Louis' personal associate; in the fallout when Louis almost left the firm, she went to work for Robert Zane, Rachel's father, but returned to Specter Litt in season 6 and became a senior partner in season 8.
  • Dulé Hill as Alex Williams (main season 8–9; recurring season 7): Harvey's old friend who was a partner at Bratton Gould; Harvey hires him as a senior partner at Specter Litt and he later becomes a named partner at Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams.
  • Katherine Heigl as Samantha Wheeler (main season 8–9):[4] A talented new partner at Specter Litt, previously known as Robert Zane's "right-hand man", who challenges the status quo and later becomes a named partner at Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Suits first appeared on USA Network's development slate under the title A Legal Mind in April 2010.[15] 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.[16][17] The premiere was written by Aaron Korsh, and David Bartis and Gene Klein served as executive producers.[17][18] It was later announced on May 17, 2010, that USA ordered a ninety-minute cast-contingent pilot for the series.[19] 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.[20][21]

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 network, 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.[22]

The pilot episode was filmed in New York City, where the series is set.[23] The rest of the series is filmed in Toronto (at Downsview Park Studios), where the sets are built to be identical to the New York law offices seen in the pilot.[24] 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.[25][26] 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 23. They also held the promotion in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston to endorse the pilot.[25][27]

Casting and marketing[edit]

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.[28] In late July, Gabriel Macht joined the main cast as Harvey Specter.[29] Rick Hoffman came on board in mid-August to portray Harvey's competition, Louis, at the law firm.[30] Meghan Markle and Gina Torres soon joined the cast in late August, who were set to play Rachel Zane and Jessica Pearson respectively.[31] Sarah Rafferty completed the main cast as Donna, and the pilot was filmed in New York City in the fall of 2010.[32][33]

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.[34][35] Post production for the series was done at Cherry Beach Sound.[36] "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 American audiences, the scene was left in for British viewers when it was first aired, and the scene continues to be included in re-runs.[37]

Broadcast and home media[edit]

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/B Blu-ray on April 10, 2014.

Suits was renewed for a second season consisting of 16 episodes on August 11, 2011,[38] which premiered on June 14, 2012.[39] The mid-season finale aired on August 23, 2012, with the remaining six episodes returning on January 17, 2013. The complete second season was available on Region 1 DVD on December 2, 2013, and Region A/B Blu-ray on June 26, 2014. On October 12, 2012, the show was renewed for a third season of 16 episodes.[40] Season 3 premiered on July 16, 2013, with the final six episodes airing after March 6, 2014. The complete third season was available on December 22, 2014, on Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A/B Blu-ray on September 1, 2014.

A fourth season of 16 episodes was announced on October 24, 2013.[41] Season 4 premiered on June 11, 2014, with the mid-season finale on August 6, 2014. The complete fourth season was available on June 8, 2015, on Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A/B Blu-ray on June 8, 2015. On August 11, 2014, USA Network announced a fifth season of 16 episodes,[42] which premiered on June 24, 2015.[43] The complete fifth season was available on May 31, 2016 Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A/B Blu-ray on June 6, 2016. The complete sixth season was available on Region 1 DVD on May 30, 2017 and was released on Region A/B Blu-ray on May 29, 2017.

On July 1, 2015, Suits was renewed for a sixth season consisting of 16 episodes and premiered on July 13, 2016.[44] The series is available through streaming services on Amazon Video,[45] iTunes,[46] Vudu,[47] and Xfinity.[48]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the first six seasons of Suits were broadcast on Dave, but the channel chose to drop the series before Season 7, causing Netflix to pick up the UK rights, streaming the programme less than 24 hours after its U.S. broadcast. Netflix did not pick up the rights for Ireland.[49]

The series has not been released on Blu-ray in the United States or in Canada, but Region A/B releases are readily available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Suits has received positive reviews on Metacritic.[50][51][52] On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 91% approval rating with the Season 3 consensus reading, "Though it's occasionally overly wordy, Suits stimulates with drama derived from the strength of its well-developed characters' relationships."[53] Carrie Raisler of The A.V. Club said, "Suits has more internal forward momentum than [al]most anything else on television right now, and when it's on, like it mostly is here, it just cooks."[54] Julie Hinds of The Detroit Free Press said, "The combination of Gabriel Macht as slick attorney Harvey Specter and Patrick J. Adams as unlicensed legal genius Mike Ross has been a winning one."[55]

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired Avg. viewers
(millions)
18–49 rating
(average)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Thursday 10:00 pm 12 June 23, 2011 (2011-06-23) 4.64[56] September 8, 2011 (2011-09-08) 3.47[57] 4.28 1.4[58]
2 16 June 14, 2012 (2012-06-14) 3.47[59] February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) 3.20[60] 3.60 1.2[58]
3 Tuesday 10:00 pm (1–10)
Thursday 9:00 pm (11–16)
16 July 16, 2013 (2013-07-16) 2.93[61] April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10) 2.40[62] 2.73 0.9[63]
4 Wednesday 9:00 pm 16 June 11, 2014 (2014-06-11) 2.50[64] March 4, 2015 (2015-03-04) 1.55[65] 2.26 0.7[66]
5 Wednesday 9:00 pm (1–10)
Wednesday 10:00 pm (11–16)
16 June 24, 2015 (2015-06-24) 2.13[67] March 2, 2016 (2016-03-02) 1.71[68] 2.01 0.6[69]
6 16 July 13, 2016 (2016-07-13) 1.85[70] March 1, 2017 (2017-03-01) 1.13[71] 1.60 0.4[72]
7 Wednesday 9:00 pm 16 July 12, 2017 (2017-07-12) 1.40[73] April 25, 2018 (2018-04-25) 1.07[74] 1.30 0.3[75]
8 Wednesday 9:00 pm (1–10)
Wednesday 10:00 pm (11–16)
16 July 18, 2018 (2018-07-18) 1.27[76] February 27, 2019 (2019-02-27) 0.74[77] 1.02 0.2[78]
9 Wednesday 9:00 pm 10[79] July 17, 2019 (2019-07-17) TBD TBA TBD TBD TBD

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2012 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Patrick J. Adams Nominated [80]
ALMA Award Favorite TV Actress - Supporting Role Gina Torres Nominated [81]
2013 Imagen Foundation Awards Best Supporting Actress/Television Gina Torres Nominated [82]
NHMC Impact Awards Outstanding Performance In A Television Series Gina Torres Won [83]
2014 TV Guide Award Favorite Drama Series Suits Nominated [citation needed]
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramedy Suits Nominated [84]
NAACP Image Award Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Anton Cropper for "One-Two-Three Go..." Nominated [85]
2016 People's Choice Awards Fantastic Cable TV Drama Suits Nominated [86]
2018 Imagen Foundation Awards Best Supporting Actress/Television Gina Torres Won [87]

Spin-off[edit]

In February 2017, USA began early talks for a potential Jessica Pearson spin-off.[88] Gina Torres would star in and produce the spin-off.[89] In August 2017, it was revealed that the season 7 finale of Suits would serve as a backdoor pilot to the potential Jessica Pearson spin-off series.[90] On March 8, 2018, it was announced the Jessica Pearson spin-off was picked up to series.[7][91] On January 17, 2019, it was announced the spin-off would be called Pearson, titled after the main star's character.[92] On May 1, 2019, it was announced that the series will premiere on July 17, 2019.[9]

Remakes[edit]

Jang Dong-gun and Park Hyung-sik star in a Korean remake of the series, which is produced by Monster Union and EnterMedia Pictures and was broadcast on KBS2 in 2018.[93]

Yūji Oda and Yuto Nakajima play leading roles in a Japanese remake broadcast by Fuji Television in 2018.[94]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]