Suits (TV series)

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Suits intertitle.png
Genre Legal drama
Created by Aaron Korsh
Starring Gabriel Macht
Patrick J. Adams
Meghan Markle
Rick Hoffman
Sarah Rafferty
Gina Torres
Opening theme "Greenback Boogie" by Ima Robot
Composer(s) Christopher Tyng
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 73 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Doug Liman
Dave Bartis
Producer(s) Gene Klein
Gabriel Macht
Patrick J. Adams
Location(s) New York City, New York
Toronto, Ontario
Cinematography Dan Stoloff
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Universal Cable Productions
Hypnotic Films & Television
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network USA Network
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release June 23, 2011 (2011-06-23) – present
External links

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.[1] The show focuses on Harvey and Mike managing to close cases while maintaining Mike's secret.[2]

Suits has been nominated for several 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.

On July 1, 2015, the series was renewed for a 16-episode sixth season. Season 5-B premiered on Wednesday, January 27, 2016.[3]


Season 1 (2011)[edit]

Main article: Suits (season 1)

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)[edit]

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 result in Jessica and Harvey being fired. A lawsuit charging fraud is filed against Pearson Hardman, and Harvey is accused of burying evidence and faces disbarment. Despite Harvey maintaining his innocence, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) finds and destroys the buried evidence. When she finds out, Jessica fires Donna from the firm. Hardman and Jessica disagree over how to settle the case, which leads Hardman to challenge Jessica for the position of managing partner. Hardman 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 one of the firm's clients. 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 led by Edward Darby (Conleth Hill). With frequent protests, Harvey tries to stop the merger out of fear that Edward and Scottie would gain complete control over Pearson Hardman. Mike, following the death of his grandmother, finds 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, until Mike reveals his secret to Rachel.

Season 3 (2013–14)[edit]

The merger between Pearson and Darby International is now complete and Harvey, stinging from Jessica's refusal to make him a name 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 name partner. Ava looks set to be convicted until Mike discovers Huntley was actually responsible for the murders, something of which Darby had no previous knowledge. 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)[edit]

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, who are accused of colluding by the SEC. A team led by Sean Cahill (Neal McDonough), who is determined to defeat Pearson Specter, investigates the claim 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 agrees to invest to save Gillis Industries, under the condition that Mike cut Sidwell out, giving Sidwell nothing from the Gillis Industries case. Mike reluctantly agrees to the deal, but Forstman informs Sidwell about the secret condition, and Mike is fired. Rachel and Logan find themselves working late on the case together, and share a moment of passion. Rachel informs Donna of their kiss, and Donna advises her to act with caution, so she decides against telling Mike. When she does tell him, Mike fights with Logan before briefly moving out.

Louis prevents Forstman from investing in Gillis, but is forced to embezzle Forstman's money through international banks to avoid United States taxes. Jessica offers Louis a reward, and when she once again refuses his request to be name partner, he asks that Mike be rehired at the firm. Following the SEC investigation and Jessica finding out about Louis' wrongdoings, Louis resigns from Pearson Specter. He tries to take clients with him but is stonewalled by his non-compete clause. Mike gets Louis an interview with Robert Zane, but Zane adds the condition that Louis must poach one of Harvey's clients, which Mike prevents him from doing. When Mike visits Louis and doesn't recognize the Order of the Coif key that the top 10% of graduates receive at Harvard, Louis realizes Mike's secret and uses it to blackmail Jessica into rehiring him as a name partner. His pride in this victory leads to severe tension and problems with the firm. Louis and Mike have a physical altercation, after which Louis forgives Mike and manages to get the SEC to drop the case against Pearson Specter. Malone learns that Jessica lied to him about why Louis was made name partner, and resigns from the firm.

Rachel hands Mike an ultimatum, and Mike moves back into his apartment with her. At the end of the season, Mike proposes to Rachel by giving her the ring Mike's grandmother had when she got married.

When Mike was struggling with a case, Donna illegally obtained evidence for him. When this is discovered, Harvey, Rachel, and Mike rush to prove the company's guilt so that the charges against Donna will be dropped. Harvey tells Donna that he loves her, but remains non-committal, leaving her confused. She helps Louis get over the death of his abrasive but loyal secretary Norma, and decides to leave Harvey to work for Louis, devastating Harvey.

Season 5 (2015–16)[edit]

Harvey hires a new secretary who appears the opposite of Donna, but proves herself capable. However, he still struggles with losing Donna. After experiencing a serious panic attack, he seeks therapy, but finds it difficult to open up to a therapist who wants to address his abandonment issues. She slowly gets him to talk about his mother's affair throughout the season.

Meanwhile, Louis worries that Donna will leave him and return to Harvey. When he finds out that Harvey had been paying most of Donna's extremely high salary, he conspires with partner Jack Soloff (John Pyper-Ferguson) to change the firm's compensation structure and undermine Harvey, which gets him in trouble with Jessica as Soloff makes a power play. When Louis's sister Esther comes to the firm seeking legal advice, Louis makes Harvey promise not to sleep with her. Harvey does anyway, and when Louis finds out it leads to a physical altercation; Louis tries to get Harvey suspended. Jessica finds out that Soloff got advice from Daniel Hardman, and gives him one last chance at the firm. When Soloff tries to break ties with Hardman, though, the former managing partner finds ways to keep manipulating him.

Although jubilant about their engagement, Mike and Rachel keep quiet about it as they work to help Harvey deal with Donna's departure. Mike works a case with Robert Zane; Rachel decides not to sign a prenup suggested by her father. When Soloff proposes working a case with Mike, he initially refuses, not trusting the man who nearly got one of Louis's clients dropped. Mike and Soloff come to a mutual respect through the case, but this only causes more problems for Mike when Soloff recommends him for junior partner. The opposing counsel on Mike's first case is a former girlfriend who knows his secret, and Rachel is forced to handle the situation. Rachel is hurt by friction with her mother when Mike's secret forces her to give up her dream of a huge wedding.

Hardman threatens a hostile takeover of Pearson Specter Litt, with Soloff as his involuntary right-hand man. Louis fails to discover what Hardman is holding over Soloff. Harvey realizes Charles Forstman, now in jail, is funding Hardman as an act of revenge, and Forstman demands Harvey's resignation. When Hardman makes another move, Harvey agrees to resign and reveals the whole situation to the partners, leading them to vote to keep Jessica as managing partner. Mike also resigns after a difficult decision to protect his new family with Rachel, but is arrested before he can leave the office by two agents who accuse him of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Gabriel Macht as Harvey Reginald Specter – A corporate lawyer who became senior partner at Pearson Hardman and later name partner at Pearson Specter Litt, Harvey is a top 5 Harvard graduate and New York City's self-proclaimed "best closer." He remains emotionally distant from clients and acts as though he is willing to do anything to win, but holds true to his own sense of morality. 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 – Mike has an encyclopedic knowledge of law thanks to his eidetic memory, but never attended law school or passed the bar exam, at least not under his own name. He was hired by Harvey after impressing him with his knowledge of the law and his drive to become a good lawyer. His naiveté and sympathy for clients (and sometimes opponents) put him at odds with Harvey, and lead him to act sometimes without regard to whether he will win or lose.
  • Sarah Rafferty as Donna Roberta Paulsen – Was Harvey's legal secretary and close confidante, Donna worked with Harvey since his first year as an assistant district attorney and is extremely loyal to him. She oversaw all of Harvey's personal and business decisions, and is not afraid to give him advice or point out personal faults. She then left to work for Louis and this made Harvey become very angry at Donna but later forgives her.
  • Meghan Markle as Rachel Elizabeth Zane – A summer associate at Pearson Specter Litt and Mike's fianceé, Rachel works part-time while attending law school at Columbia. She is the first non-Harvard associate to be employed at the firm; when she wasn't accepted at Harvard, she negotiated with Jessica to be hired at the firm where she had already spent six years as a paralegal. Donna and Rachel are good friends, and have ongoing discussions about their personal as well as business relationships.
  • Gina Torres as Jessica Lourdes Pearson – Jessica is the co-founding and managing partner of Pearson Specter Litt, who was mentored by Daniel Hardman as a recently graduated associate. Her stature in the firm grew after she and Hardman wrote off three other name 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 alumnus, Louis oversees the first year associates at the firm. He is a very sensitive man, and while this makes him genuinely care about the associates and push them to learn, it also leads him to feel constantly ignored and unappreciated by both Jessica and Harvey, even though both have spoken highly of his legal ability. His position as the office hatchet man has made him despised by many associates. Louis has always wanted to be name partner, and finally achieved the position after discovering Mike's secret. He is devoted to ballet, tennis, Shakespeare, and his pet cat.

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Rebecca Schull as Edith Ross – Mike's late grandmother who raised him after his parents' deaths
  • 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
  • Max Topplin as Harold Gunderson – a socially awkward former Pearson Hardman associate who was repeatedly bullied by Louis; he now works at the firm Bratton Gould, and occasionally still crosses paths with Mike
  • Conleth Hill as Edward Darby – Was Jessica's partner at the firm 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
  • Eric Close as Travis Tanner - A rival lawyer of Harvey's who's a senior partner at Clyde McPhee, a firm in Boston.
  • Gary Cole as Cameron Dennis - A former New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney and Harvey's mentor until Harvey discovered his illegal practices.
  • Max Beesley as Stephen Huntley – Darby's right-hand man and "fixer", People refer to him as 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
  • Diane Neal as Allison Holt – the managing partner of Bratton Gould and a friend of Daniel Hardman
  • Wendell Pierce as Robert Zane – a high-powered attorney, Rachel's father
  • 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 who Mike helps to start his own company; he hires Mike at the end of season 3, and fires him in season 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 has a personal vendetta against Harvey
  • Eric Roberts as Charles Forstman – a corrupt billionaire investor who crosses paths with Mike and Harvey; he later lands in prison for bribing the SEC
  • D. B. Woodside as Jeff Malone – an SEC prosecutor and Jessica's lover, hired by the firm for a time, until he leaves and breaks up with Jessica
  • 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
  • Christina Cole as Dr. Paula Agard – Harvey's therapist
  • Aloma Wright as Gretchen Bodinski – Harvey's new secretary after Donna goes to work for Louis
  • John Pyper-Ferguson as Jack Soloff – an ambitious senior partner at Pearson Specter Litt



Suits first appeared on USA network's development slate under the title A Legal Mind in April 2010.[4] 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.[5][6] The premiere was written by Aaron Korsh, and David Bartis and Gene Klein served as executive producers.[6][7] It was later announced on May 17, 2010 that USA ordered a ninety-minute cast-contingent pilot for the series.[8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11]

The pilot episode was filmed in New York City, where the series is set.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14][15] 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.[14][16]

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.[17] In late July, Gabriel Macht joined the main cast as Harvey Specter.[18] Rick Hoffman came on board in mid-August to portray Harvey's competition, Louis, at the law firm.[19] Meghan Markle and Gina Torres soon joined the cast in late August, who were set to play Rachel Zane and Jessica Pearson respectively.[20] Sarah Rafferty completed the main cast as Donna, and the pilot was filmed in New York City in the fall of 2010.[21][22]

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.[23][24] Post production for the series was done at Cherry Beach Sound.[25] "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.[26]

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 Blu-ray on March 11, 2013.

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.[27][28][29][30] The complete second season was available on Region 1 DVD on December 2, 2013 and Region A Blu-ray on January 11, 2014.

On October 12, 2012, Suits was renewed for a third season, consisting of 16 episodes.[31] 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.

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.

On August 11, 2014, Suits was renewed for a fifth season which will again consist of 16 episodes.[32] On April 7, 2015, USA Network revealed it will premiere on June 24, 2015.[33]

On July 1, 2015, Suits was renewed for a sixth season consisting of 16 episodes.[34]

The series is available through streaming services on Amazon Video,[35] iTunes,[36] Netflix,[37] Vudu,[38] and Xfinity.[39]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes Premiered Ended
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
Season 1 Thursday 10:00 pm 12 June 23, 2011 4.64[40] September 8, 2011 3.47[41]
Season 2 16 June 14, 2012 3.47[42] February 21, 2013 3.20[43]
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[44] April 10, 2014 2.40[45]
Season 4 Wednesday 9:00 pm 16 June 11, 2014 2.50[46] March 4, 2015 1.55[47]
Season 5 16 June 24, 2015 2.13[48] March 2, 2016 N/A
Season 6 TBA N/A TBA N/A N/A N/A


The first three seasons of Suits received generally favorable reviews on Metacritic.[49][50][51] On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 77% 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."[52] Carrie Raisler of The A.V. Club said, "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."[53] Julie Hinds of The Detroit Free Press said, "The combination of Gabriel Macht as slick attorney Harvey Spector and Patrick J. Adams as unlicensed legal genius Mike Ross has been a winning one."[54]


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