Written By: Mathew ‘JJ” Simoes
Today, the USA Network has officially renewed Suits for an eighth season but it will be without two of its leading stars.
The renewal, which has been expected since November, will keep the Aaron Korsh-created drama going after stars Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle wrap their runs in the second half of the seventh season, which returns March 28 at 9 p.m.
In addition, Dule Hill, who debuted in season seven in a recurring role, has been promoted to series regular. Hill joins returning stars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty and Rick Hoffman in season eight. Markle and Adams’ final appearance will be in the seventh season finale, which features the grand wedding of Mike Ross and Rachael Zane.
In a statement, Chris McCumber, president of entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, had this to say:
“After seven seasons, Suits remains one of USA Network’s most beloved and popular series. While we’re excited for season eight, everyone at USA will deeply miss Patrick and Meghan, and are grateful for the talent and commitment they brought to Suits season after season. We wish each of them nothing but the very best.”
Suits ranks as USA Network’s second-highest-rated scripted series, behind only the Jessica Biel-led anthology series The Sinner. The drama now looks to further rely on Macht’s Harvey Specter, who has been the focal point for the show since its inception.
In another statement, series creator Aaron Korsh spoke about Adams and Markle’s exits:
“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. Speaking of days to come, I am incredibly excited to welcome back our phenomenal crew and cast — Gabriel, Sarah, Rick and Dule — who will continue the roller coaster ride with all of our amazing fans. Season eight 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.”
The renewal also comes as Korsh is currently working on the Suits spinoff with former star Gina Torres, who played Jessica Pearson. The pilot will air as a planted episode in Suits‘ current season seven and is slated to part of the finale.
Finally, Patrick J. Adams added that he was imensely grateful for being a part of the series:
“It’s hard for me to imagine what words, in what order would sufficiently express my love and gratitude to all of the people who have made the last seven years possible. From my unbelievably talented cast mates to our relentlessly committed crew, to the brilliant minds at USA, UCP and Hypnotic, to the legions of fans all over the world, every one of them dedicating so much of their time, energy and talent to make Suits what it is today — one of the most beloved and successful shows on television. So I will choose the simplest words I have. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It has been an honor working with and for each and everyone one of you. Mike Ross has taught me a lot about commitment, hard work and the power of believing in yourself and I feel blessed that now we both get to walk out into the lives that we never dreamed we would actually be lucky enough to live. I’m excited to now step across the screen and become solely a fan of a show that I know has much more in store in the years to come. I wish everyone involved the best and am excited to see what kind of trouble they’ll get themselves in and out of from here on out.”