Suits (TV Series 2011–2019)

TVSeries


Suits (TV Series 2011–2019)

While running from a drug deal gone bad, brilliant young college dropout Mike Ross slips into a job interview with one of New York City's best legal closers, Harvey Specter. Tired of cookie-cutter law-school grads, Harvey takes a gamble by hiring Mike on the spot after recognizing his raw talent and photographic memory. Mike and Harvey are a winning team. Although Mike is a genius, he still has a lot to learn about law; and while Harvey might seem like an emotionless, cold-blooded shark, Mike's sympathy and concern for their cases and clients will help remind Harvey why he went into law in the first place. Mike's other allies in the office include the firm's best paralegal Rachel and Harvey's no-nonsense assistant Donna. Proving to be an irrepressible duo and invaluable to the practice, Mike and Harvey must keep their secret from everyone including managing partner Jessica and Harvey's archnemesis Louis, who seems intent on making Mike's life as difficult as possible.
USA
IMDb   8.5 /10
Metacritic   65 %
TheMovieDb    8.1 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   7.2 /10
Creators
Creator Aaron Korsh
Information
Release Date2011-06-23
Runtime44mins
GenreComedy, Drama
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
Awards1 win & 9 nominations.
CompanyHypnotic, Universal Cable Productions, Dutch Oven
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Harvey Specter 134 episodes, 2011-2019
Louis Litt 134 episodes, 2011-2019
Donna Paulsen 134 episodes, 2011-2019
Mike Ross 111 episodes, 2011-2019
Rachel Zane 108 episodes, 2011-2018
Jessica Pearson 94 episodes, 2011-2018

Suits (American TV series)

Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. The series premiered on USA Network on June 23, 2011 and is produced by Universal Cable Productions. The series concluded on September 25, 2019.

Suits is set at a fictional New York City law firm and follows talented college dropout Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who starts working as a law associate for Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) despite never having attended Harvard Law School. The show focuses on Harvey and Mike closing cases, while maintaining Mike's secret. The show also features the characters Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty), and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres).

On January 30, 2018, the series was renewed for an eighth season without Adams and Markle, 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. The show was renewed for a 10-episode ninth and final season on January 23, 2019, which premiered on July 17, 2019.

Throughout its run, Suits was nominated for several awards, with Torres and Adams receiving individual praise. Besides 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. The show itself was nominated for two People's Choice Awards. The show's success spawned a short-lived spin-off, Pearson, centered on Jessica Pearson's entry into Chicago politics, which premiered alongside the final season of Suits on July 17, 2019.


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
112June 23, 2011September 8, 2011
216June 14, 2012February 21, 2013
316July 16, 2013April 10, 2014
416June 11, 2014March 4, 2015
516June 24, 2015March 2, 2016
616July 13, 2016March 1, 2017
716July 12, 2017April 25, 2018
816July 18, 2018February 27, 2019
910July 17, 2019September 25, 2019

Season 1 (2011)

Expelled student Mike Ross makes a living illegally taking the Law School Admission Test for others. He decided to start doing this in order to pay for his grandmother's care. In the pilot episode of the show, Mike agrees to deliver a case of marijuana for his best friend Trevor, a drug dealer, for a large payout. 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 tenacity and knowledge of the law impress Harvey enough to win him the associate position, even though Mike didn't attend Harvard, a usual prerequisite, and lacks credentials to legally practice law. Together they try cases for the firm Pearson Hardman while maintaining the secret that Mike is a fraud. The first season also introduces us to Mike’s and Rachel’s chemistry and gives the audience a romantic perspective to the show, something which creates a parallel story-line throughout the first season.

Season 2 (2012–13)

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. Tensions rise between the Jessica and Harvey duo against Louis Litt as he takes Daniel Hardman's side to be named senior partner. 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 tells Rachel his secret.

Season 3 (2013–14)

Darby's presence in the firm gives Harvey leverage to seek a position as a named partner. Meanwhile, the merger causes senior partner Louis Litt to clash with his British counterpart. Darby International client Ava Hessington draws Harvey into a lengthy trial against his former mentor, and the lawsuit turns into a murder charge. 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)

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)

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 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)

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, which he ultimately wins when he secretively catches a murder attempt by Frank on camera. 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)

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' sessions with Dr. Lipschitz, his therapist, have 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, Ellen Rand and Eric Kaldor. When Zane finds out, he joins forces with Specter Litt.

Season 8 (2018–19)

As Mike and Rachel leave after getting married, Robert Zane is now the managing partner of Zane Specter Litt, with Donna remaining in her COO role. 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 his legal career for the good of the firm.

Season 9 (2019)

With Robert now disbarred, Faye Richardson, a special master from the bar is sent to oversee the firm due to the perception of the underhanded tactics they have been involved with for years. Faye is out to dismantle and destroy the firm, but has a few skeletons of her own that can be used to take her down. At the end of the season: Louis marries Sheila, Sheila gives birth to their baby, Harvey marries Donna and they move to be with Mike and Rachel in Seattle. Louis makes Katrina a name partner and remains to lead the firm, now known as Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett.


Cast and characters

  • Gabriel Macht as Harvey Reginald Specter: The self-proclaimed "best closer in the city" and Jessica Pearson's right-hand. Harvey has been a name partner since the firm was named "Pearson Darby Specter" but resigns from "Specter Litt Wheeler Williams" in Season 9. He marries Donna Paulsen in the Season 9 finale and goes to live in Seattle with Mike Ross and Rachel Zane.
  • Patrick J. Adams as Michael James "Mike" Ross (main seasons 1–7; recurring season 9): Mike was hired by Harvey Specter to be his personal associate, despite not having a license to practice law. In Season 5, Mike gets caught and, in order to protect Jessica Pearson, Harvey, and Louis Litt, he takes a deal to serve two years in prison. In Season 6, Mike takes a deal to get out early and – in the season finale – passes the Bar to finally become a legal lawyer. He marries Rachel Zane and moves to Seattle in the Season 7 finale. He returns in Season 9 to help Harvey, Louis, Alex and Samantha oust Faye Richardson from the firm.
  • Rick Hoffman as Louis Marlowe Litt: Louis had a grudge against Harvey Specter, but they later became best friends. He has been a name partner at the firm since it was called Pearson Specter Litt. In Season 4, Louis uses Mike Ross' secret to strong-arm Jessica Pearson (the firm's managing partner) into making him a name partner – thus creating Pearson Specter Litt. He is the current managing partner off "Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett" and loves the members of the firm like family. He is married to Sheila Sazs who gives birth to their daughter, Lucy Litt, in the Season 9 finale. He considers the firm's associates his biggest successes, having been their tough-but-thorough mentor.
  • Meghan Markle as Rachel Elizabeth Zane (main seasons 1–7): Rachel is the daughter of Robert Zane, one of the best lawyers in the city. Despite getting a job offer at his firm (Rand, Kaldor, Zane), Rachel goes to work as a senior paralegal at Pearson Hardman. She later becomes an associate at Pearson Specter Litt – the first one who attended a law school other than Harvard. She marries Mike Ross and moves to Seattle in the Season 7 finale.
  • Sarah Rafferty as Donna Roberta Paulsen: Harvey Specter's former secretary and confidante. She goes to work for Louis Litt as his secretary in Season 5 but later returns to Harvey. She is one of the only people alongside Louis, Harvey, Jessica Pearson, Rachel Zane, and Benjamin to stay at Pearson Specter Litt after Mike Ross is caught and sentenced to prison for two years for practising law without a degree. In Season 7, she becomes the COO of PSL. Due to Donna's mishandling of client/boyfriend Thomas Kessler in Season 8, Daniel Hardman puts a case on Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams which results in Robert Zane taking the fall for Donna's mistake and Zane getting disbarred. Harvey and Donna get together by Season 8's end and get married in the Season 9 finale.
  • Gina Torres as Jessica Lourdes Pearson (main seasons 1–7): Jessica Pearson co-founded Pearson Hardman with Daniel Hardman. In the Season 1 finale, she found out that Harvey's associate (Mike Ross) was practising law without a degree but could not do anything since Hardman (who left Pearson Hardman years ago) had returned after his wife's death. So, after a long waged battle in Season 2, Jessica removed Hardman's name off the wall and merged with Edward Darby, creating Pearson Darby. She then promoted Harvey to name partner in Season 3 and removed Edward Darby's name off the wall, creating Pearson Specter. In Season 4, Louis Litt leveraged Mike Ross' fraud into becoming a name partner. In Season 6, Mike was caught and sentenced to two years in prison; however, he was able to save Jessica, Louis, and Harvey from being put in prison. In mid-season 6, Jessica chose to leave PSL and move to Chicago with her lover, Jeff Malone. However, prosecutor Anita Gibbs' attack on Mike forced Jessica to return and proclaim that she was the only one who knew about Mike Ross' fraud – causing her to get disbarred. She appeared in Season 7 on various occasions.
  • Amanda Schull as Katrina Amanda Bennett (recurring seasons 2–7; main seasons 8–9): 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. By the end of the series, she is a named partner of Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett.
  • Dulé Hill as Alex Williams (recurring season 7; main seasons 8–9): 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 seasons 8–9): A talented new partner at Zane 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, Specter Litt Wheeler Williams and finally Litt Wheeler Williams Bennett.

Production

Development

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.

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.

The pilot episode was filmed in New York City, where the series is set. 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. 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 City, 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 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.


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/B Blu-ray on April 10, 2014.

Suits was renewed for a second season consisting of 16 episodes on August 11, 2011, which premiered on June 14, 2012. 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. 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. 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, which premiered on June 24, 2015. 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. The series is available through streaming services on Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Xfinity. 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. 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

Critical reception

Suits has received positive reviews on Metacritic. 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." Carrie Raisler of The A.V. Club said, "Suits has more internal forward momentum thanmost anything else on television right now, and when it's on, like it mostly is here, it just cooks." 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."

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per season of Suits
SeasonTimeslot (ET)EpisodesFirst airedLast airedAvg. viewers
(millions)
Avg. 18–49
rating
DateViewers
(millions)
DateViewers
(millions)
1Thursday 10:00 pm12June 23, 20114.64September 8, 20113.474.281.4
216June 14, 20123.47February 21, 20133.203.601.2
3Tuesday 10:00 pm (1–10)
Thursday 9:00 pm (11–16)
16July 16, 20132.93April 10, 20142.402.730.9
4Wednesday 9:00 pm16June 11, 20142.50March 4, 20151.552.260.7
5Wednesday 9:00 pm (1–10)
Wednesday 10:00 pm (11–16)
16June 24, 20152.13March 2, 20161.712.010.6
616July 13, 20161.85March 1, 20171.131.600.4
7Wednesday 9:00 pm16July 12, 20171.40April 25, 20181.071.300.3
8Wednesday 9:00 pm (1–10)
Wednesday 10:00 pm (11–16)
16July 18, 20181.27February 27, 20190.741.020.2
9Wednesday 9:00 pm10July 17, 20191.04September 25, 20190.86TBDTBD

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryRecipient(s)ResultRef.
2012Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama SeriesPatrick J. AdamsNominated
ALMA AwardFavorite TV Actress - Supporting RoleGina TorresNominated
2013Imagen Foundation AwardsBest Supporting Actress/TelevisionNominated
NHMC Impact AwardsOutstanding Performance In A Television SeriesWon
2014TV Guide AwardFavorite Drama SeriesSuitsNominated
2015People's Choice AwardsFavorite DramedyNominated
NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Directing in a Drama SeriesAnton Cropper for "One-Two-Three Go..."Nominated
2016People's Choice AwardsFantastic Cable TV DramaSuitsNominated
2018Imagen Foundation AwardsBest Supporting Actress/TelevisionGina TorresWon

Spin-off

In February 2017, USA began early talks for a potential Jessica Pearson spin-off. Gina Torres would star in and produce the spin-off. 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. On March 8, 2018, it was announced the Jessica Pearson spin-off was picked up to series. On January 17, 2019, it was announced the spin-off would be called Pearson, titled after the main star's character. On May 1, 2019, it was announced that the series will premiere on July 17, 2019. In October 2019, the series was canceled after a single season.


Remakes

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.

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