From USA Network to Netflix’s Most-Watched: The Rise, Fall, and Revival of “Suits”
In a world where streaming platforms have granted second chances to many shows, “Suits” has stood out as a compelling testament. Initially aired on USA Network between 2011 and 2019, it has now risen from the ashes to become the most-watched non-original show on Netflix, even surpassing “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Remarkably, it remained the platform’s top content for three consecutive weeks, and ranked as the thirteenth most-watched show of all time. Such resurgence begs the question: why was such a beloved show ever cancelled in the first place?
Behind the Show’s Cancellation: Contracts, Competition, and Critical Cast Departures
Flashback to 2017: the TV industry was drastically different than it is in 2023. Studios were brimming with ideas, leading to a record-breaking number of new series. Such an overabundance of high-quality content meant heightened competition not only from streaming platforms but also changing audience preferences.
During this tumultuous period, “Suits” faced its own set of challenges. The contracts of its major actors were set to expire by the end of the seventh season.
This put tremendous financial strain on the series, with the studio not eager to chase higher ratings amidst a plethora of alternative productions.
However, the creators of “Suits” managed to secure two additional seasons. The eighth had its traditional 16 episodes, while the ninth offered an extra 10 episodes to gracefully conclude the series. Parallelly, there was an attempt to milk the show’s success with a spin-off focusing on Jessica Pearson, played by Gina Torres. However, that venture failed to capture the same magic.
“No one saw it coming.”** Meghan Markle’s announcement of her wedding to Prince Harry meant she was exiting the show, effectively killing off a major plotline. This unforeseen development was one of the reasons another lead, Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross), also decided to leave. Adams once revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he felt it was time to pursue new ventures and return to Los Angeles, given the series was filmed in Toronto.
These significant cast changes arguably diluted the show’s appeal. Ratings began to plummet, a decline from which “Suits” never truly recovered. By the time its final episode aired on September 25, 2019, the viewership was notably less than the seventh season’s conclusion.
Hope on the Horizon: The Potential for a “Suits” Revival
Given its newfound success on Netflix, whispers of a reboot or revival are inevitable. Could there be a tenth season with the original cast? Who would return? Are Netflix and the actors on the same page?
Gene Klein, one of the show’s creators, has shown enthusiasm towards a potential new season. “Yes, I’m waiting for that call, especially in these times of reunions,” he commented. However, the path isn’t straightforward. Coordinating the original cast for a bonus season with temporary contracts isn’t necessarily appealing. While Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter) hasn’t dabbled in other projects post “Suits”, the rest of the cast has been fairly active.
Only time will unveil if both audience interest and the willingness of streaming platforms like Netflix converge to give fans a long-awaited reunion.
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