Suits (TV series)
|Created by||Aaron Korsh|
Patrick J. Adams
|Opening theme||"Greenback Boogie" by Ima Robot|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||62 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Doug Liman
Patrick J. Adams
|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)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||June 23, 2011– present|
Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. The series premiered on June 23, 2011, on the cable network USA, and is produced by Universal Cable. Suits is set at a fictional law firm in New York City. The focal point of the show follows talented college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who initially 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.
Suits has been nominated for six different awards since 2012, with Gina Torres and Patrick J. Adams receiving individual praise for their roles as Jessica Pearson and Mike Ross respectively. The show was nominated for Best Drama at the 2014 TV Guide Awards and Favorite Dramedy at the 2014 People's Choice Awards. Torres was nominated for Favorite TV Actress in a Supporting Role at the 2012 ALMA Awards and as Best Supporting Actress in Television at the 2013 Imagen Foundation Awards, while Adams was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the 2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The series is currently airing its fifth season, which premiered on June 24, 2015. On July 1, 2015, the series was renewed for a 16-episode, sixth season to premiere in 2016.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast and characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Broadcast and home media
- 5 Ratings
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Season 1 (2011)
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)
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)
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 if he 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 he 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)
As Mike begins working as an investment banker for Jonathan Sidwell, he finds himself in an awkward situation when a takeover battle for Gillis Industries pits Mike against Pearson Specter client (and Rachel's former boyfriend) Logan Sanders (Brendan Hines). This leads to a battle between Mike and Harvey, compiled with a collusion claim between the two by the SEC, a team led by Sean Cahill (Neal McDonough) who are determined to defeat Pearson Specter under direct orders from Eric Woodall (Željko Ivanek). Jeff Malone (D. B. Woodside) is hired by the firm after revealing the impending investigation against Pearson Specter to Jessica and Harvey.
Following back and forth takeover attempts from both Mike and Logan, Mike turns to Charles Forstman (Eric Roberts), a shady billionaire investor who decides to invest to save Gillis Industries, but under the condition that he cut Sidwell out of the deal, which would give Sidwell nothing from the Gillis Industries case. Mike reluctantly agrees to the deal, and not long after he hears that Forstman informed Sidwell about the inaccuracies in the deal, Mike is subsequently fired. As he is about to invest in Gillis, Louis turns to Forstman, making a shady deal, which would then force Louis to embezzle money through international banks in order for Forstman to avoid United States tax. After Louis points out an inaccuracy in Malone's work, which would have made the firm look vulnerable in the takeover deal, combined with the recent partnership with Forstman, Jessica offers Louis a reward for his work. Citing his desire to be a named partner, Jessica declines and Louis decides to use his reward to rehire Mike at the firm, after Mike was initially going to accept a job offer from Forstman.
Rachel and Logan find themselves working late for a period of time, and share a moment of passion between the two. Following the kiss, Rachel informs Donna, who advises her to act with caution and decide against telling Mike. Prior to Mike accepting the offer, Rachel reveals the fact that she and Logan kissed to Mike, who fights with Logan before briefly moving out. After Rachel then hands Mike an ultimatum, Mike finds himself moving back into his apartment with Rachel. At the end of the season, Mike proposes to Rachel by giving her the ring Mike's grandmother had when she got married.
Following the SEC investigation and Jessica finding out about Louis' wrongdoings, Louis resigns from Pearson-Specter. He is aided in his efforts to get a job at another law firm, and tries to find a way to take clients with him to help him land the job, but is stonewalled because of his non-compete clause. Mike helps Louis by getting him an interview with Robert Zane, Rachel's father, and offers him a job if he can successfully poach one of Harvey's pre-existing clients. Katrina gives Louis a company to go after, which Louis successfully steals, before Mike gets the company back for Harvey through Walter Gillis. Mike visits Louis for a second time, and after not recognizing the Order of the Coif key that the top 10% of graduates receive at Harvard, Louis finds out Mike's secret. Louis then confronts Jessica, getting her to admit her hypocrisy, then threatens to expose Mike unless he is made a named partner. Louis manages to settle back with the rest of the team bar Mike, before forgiving him and working out their differences after they have a physical altercation, and manages to get the SEC to drop the case against Pearson Specter.
Season 5 (2015)
Harvey must deal with Donna's departure as his legal secretary. This proves to be difficult as Harvey begins to experience panic attacks which leads him to seek therapy. Meanwhile, Louis worries that Donna will leave him and return to Harvey. Although jubilant about their engagement, Mike and Rachel keep quiet about it as they work to help Harvey.
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, but is not unwilling to take trials to court if he feels the need to do so.
- Patrick J. Adams as Michael James "Mike" Ross – A lawyer who never attended law school, but has passed the bar exam and has an encyclopedic knowledge of law aided by his eidetic memory. He was hired by Pearson Hardman after impressing Harvey with his knowledge of the law and with his drive to become a good lawyer, and Harvey hires him as an associate attorney. His naiveté and sympathy for clients (and sometimes opponents) put him at odds with Harvey, suggesting and doing things in the opposite way as how Harvey would do it, discarding whether it would present a win or a loss.
- 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.
- 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, despite receiving a Harvard-worthy score on the LSAT, the next year's Harvard class was already full with candidates who scored higher, so Rachel 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 disdain and lack of respect for Louis, though he personally 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. Despite acting as the office hatchetman and being despised by the new associates for his tyrannical attitude, Louis is shown to in fact be a very sensitive man, genuinely caring about the associates by pushing them to learn and being devoted to ballet, tennis, Shakespeare, and his pet cat.
- 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.
- David Costabile as Daniel Hardman – founding partner and former managing partner of Pearson-Hardman.
- Amanda Schull as Katrina Bennett – a former fifth year associate hired by Harvey. She later becomes Louis' personal associate, akin to what Mike is to Harvey.
- Max Topplin as Harold Gunderson – a socially-awkward former Pearson Hardman associate who was repeatedly bullied by Louis. He now works at the firm of Bratton Gould, and occasionally still crosses paths with Mike.
- Conleth Hill as Edward Darby – Jessica's new named partner during Season 3, with 51% control of Pearson-Darby.
- Abigail Spencer as 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 before he leaves and breaks up with Jessica.
- Brendan Hines as Logan Sanders – Harvey's client in the case regarding the acquisition of Gillis Industries and Rachel's former boyfriend.
- Neal McDonough as Sean Cahill – a zealous SEC prosecutor who is determined to take down Pearson Specter.
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 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.
Broadcast and home media
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.
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.
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 December 22, 2014 on Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A Blu-ray on January 3, 2015. The complete third season was picked up by Netflix on March 22, 2015.
On August 12, 2013, Suits was renewed for a fourth season, consisting of 16 episodes. Season 4 premiered on June 11, 2014 and the mid-season finale aired on August 6, 2014. The complete fourth season was available on June 8, 2015 on Region 1 DVD and was released on Region A Blu-ray on July 11, 2015.
|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 protagonist 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 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, with 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 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 A.V. 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, 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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