It’s certainly been a newsy week for fans of USA Network’s Suits.
Just yesterday, the network confirmed the well circulated rumor that both Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle would indeed depart the series at the end of the current season, as Mike Ross and bride-to-be Rachel Zane wrap their seven season story together.
While Markle is planning her real (Royal) wedding, Adams went on the record today with THR to explain his own personal reasons for leaving the show.
“As we were starting to talk about renegotiating contracts [for season eight and beyond], I took a moment. Everybody was going full steam ahead and I stopped and said, “We need to think about this because this is more of my time and more of my life — and what’s the story left to tell?” said Adams.
“When I looked at the work I was doing, Mike would become a full-fledged, certified, legal on paper lawyer. That’s a long way from when we met him and he was this brilliant burnout pothead with no real prospects. I thought we’d come so far and now Mike is going to work to be a lawyer and he’s engaged to the woman of his dreams and he’s got the means and opportunity to do whatever he can imagine. I had this voice in my head that said that we’ve told his story and if he hangs out longer, Mike is just going to be another lawyer on television. That didn’t feel right for him. It didn’t feel right for where I was at in my life, either. I started having conversations with Aaron and we both decided [Adams leaving] made sense, as sad and scary as it was. It just felt like it was the way to go.”
In a statement to press, series creator Aaron Korsh said “I would like to thank Patrick and Meghan for their extraordinary contributions over the last seven years. Not only have they been outstanding in their roles as Mike and Rachel, they are also superb human beings who will always be beloved members of the SUITS family, and we wish them well in their days to come.” Korsh continued: “Speaking of days to come, I am incredibly excited to welcome back our phenomenal crew and cast – Gabriel, Sarah, Rick and Dulé [Hill] – who will continue the roller coaster ride with all of our amazing fans. Season 8 will have everything from shifting alliances and internal power plays, to secrets, betrayals and fiery relationships. Keep an eye out for an adversarial new character that will give Harvey a run for his money.”
Today, USA Network spilled the beans on the nature of this new character with the announcement that Grey’s Anatomy alumna Katherine Heigl has been cast in a new series regular role.
Heigl will star opposite Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter) as Samantha Wheeler – a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally … or most powerful enemy.
“Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an EP I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” shared Katherine Heigl. “I have watched Suits from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”
Heigl joins the Suits ensemble alongside Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter), Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt) and new series regular Dulé Hill (Alex Williams) for season 8, which begins production in Toronto in April 2018.
“I cannot wait to have her come play with our entire cast and crew,” said Korsh. “Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Harvey, Louis, Donna and Alex as the mysterious Samantha Wheeler is a direct threat to their status quo. One thing is for sure – Samantha’s wit, charm, loyalty, strength and vulnerability will all be put to the test as she muscles her way into the firm currently known as Pearson Specter Litt.”
The network announced that the back half of Suits’ Season 7 will premiere on Wednesday, March 28 at 9/8c, culminating in a 2-hour season finale on Wednesday, April 25 – an arc in which Suits says goodbye to characters Mike Ross (Adams) and Rachel Zane (Markle).
The episodes will see Harvey dealing with the aftermath of Jessica (Gina Torres) losing her license, while trying to process how the kiss with Donna will affect his relationship with Paula (Christina Cole).
Meanwhile, Mike tries to juggle his commitment to the firm, his passion for pro bono work, and his engagement to Rachel.
All the while, Louis struggles with right and wrong as his torrid affair with Sheila (Rachael Harris) deepens.