Suits EP Talks Show’s Surprise Resurgence and Inevitable Revival

Since the USA Network series’ first eight seasons hit Netflix on June 17 — all nine seasons are also available on Peacock — the legal drama Suits has regularly been in the streamer’s Top 10 TV Shows in the U.S.

Since the USA Network series’ first eight seasons hit Netflix on June 17 — all nine seasons are also available on Peacock — the legal drama Suits has regularly been in the streamer’s Top 10 TV Shows in the U.S. Then came this staggering stat: For the week of June 29, the “blue sky” entry amassed 3.1 billion minutes viewed (on Netflix and Peacock combined) — marking a Nielsen streaming chart record for an acquired title.

So what is responsible for Suits‘ streaming resurgence? How did the creative team react to the impressive numbers? And could that newfound popularity lead to a revival or a spinoff? Below, TVLine chats with executive producer Gene Klein, who served as a non-writing producer during the entire nine-season run, about the show’s second life.

Suits has been in the Top 10 shows on Netflix for weeks now. And the news on Thursday was that it amassed 3.1 billion minutes viewed across Netflix and Peacock, marking a Nielsen streaming chart record for an acquired title. What was your reaction when you found that out?

I was surprised. I’m very proud of the show. I, obviously, had a sense when I found out it was coming to Netflix [that] it would probably get another burst of viewing and that kind of thing, but I did not think this would happen. The first time the [Nielson] weekly Top 10 came out and the first three seasons were in there, I thought, “Well, if everyone just keeps on watching, this is going to go on for a while because they’ll keep on moving through the seasons,” and that’s exactly what’s happening. People are sticking with it. It’s lovely.

Have you spoken to [creator/showrunner] Aaron Korsh or any of the cast about it?

Since we found out this news, I’ve only exchanged texts with Aaron, and it was something on the order of, “Holy s–t.” [Laughs] Let me look and see if there’s anything particularly quotable. [Takes out phone] The most quotable part is he finishes a long rant with, “It’s nuts.” [Laughs] I think we’re all having kind of the same reaction, like, “This is amazing.”

Why do you think something that’s been off the air for years and has been streaming on Peacock is suddenly so extra-bingeable?

I think there’s two different things going on, one set of things that has to do with the show itself and another that has to do with the power of a particular platform. On the one hand, anecdotally, people reach out to me all the time, so I know it still finds new viewers here and there. But there’s also something about the show that is rewatchable. There’s people who’ve watched it all when it was coming out and find it very comforting to watch again.

And it’s also, I think, a unique enough show that it’s very rewatchable. You discover new things as you’re rewatching it. So there’s an additional set of things about the show that reveal themselves watching it again. So it’s a tribute to the show, creatively. But then it’s also a tribute to the power of Netflix because it’s been on Peacock for a while. There’s a hat tip that needs to go to Netflix and the power of their platform because it’s finding people.

The version of the pilot that’s on Netflix is actually slightly longer. It’s 81 minutes versus the one that’s on Peacock, which is 72 minutes. Did you know that?

I didn’t know that. I knew there were different versions. The slightly longer version has been on Netflix, internationally, and we’ve known that it’s out there. So it’s not exactly a surprise. USA, at the time, was willing to let us have a long pilot, but they weren’t willing to let us go that long. But they told us at the time that that one was fine for selling internationally. The difference is a few scenes and trimming scenes, and Aaron worked really hard to get those minutes out, but we’re not exactly surprised that it’s out there.

Suits EP Talks Show’s Surprise Resurgence and Inevitable Revival

Are you getting the sense that it’s more people rewatching the show, or it’s people discovering the show for the first time?

To tell you truth, I don’t know. But anecdotally, all I know is when people reach out to me, it seems like it’s a little bit of both. Hopefully, some of those people are younger people. The other thing that has occurred to me is I hope this is somewhat of a sign that Suits might be a perennial. There’s those shows that become re-licensable and rewatchable and are just sort of out there for all time, and some shows sort of fade away. Hopefully, this is a sign of the strength of the show, and it becomes a little perennial. I think it deserves it, but you know, I’m partial.

Peacock, not Netflix, carries the ninth and final season. Are you at all worried that people who are discovering the show on Netflix aren’t going to get the full story or see the full show?

[Laughs] You might have noticed this, but Peacock tweeted something about this. No, I’m not worried. I kind of assumed that eventually the ninth season would be on Netflix. I know nothing about the deal, but I kind of assumed at some point it would be there. But if it’s not, I’m sure the viewers who have loved it for eight seasons will be savvy enough to find it, the goodbye season.

As the show is finding new life on Netflix and streaming in general, have there been any talks about getting the gang back together for a revival? Is that something you and Aaron texted about?

You know, I’ve mentioned to Aaron that I keep, in this era of reboots and reunions and all this other stuff, that I’m expecting a call at some point. But I’m not aware of any serious conversations. It’s just one of those things where, in this day and age, you wouldn’t be surprised if somebody called you someday. But so far, nothing that I’m aware of

But the numbers definitely don’t hurt your case if you were going to go out there and pitch something when the strikes ended.

Yeah. As you might remember, it was a complicated dance keeping everybody involved, getting all the actors deals done and keeping them involved through the end of the show. I’d be surprised if we could thread that needle for a reunion, but I’d also be delighted if that happened because [when] you do a show for that long, everybody becomes such a good friend. A lot of us saw each other a month or so ago because there was a Suits-themed picket at Fox one day, and a lot of the writers, some of whom didn’t know each other because people were on Seasons 1 and 2, but not the later seasons, so some of the writers were meeting for the first time. But a lot of the actors came to that as well.

Suits EP Talks Show’s Surprise Resurgence and Inevitable Revival

I imagine it might be difficult to get some of the cast back, especially Meghan [Markle].

I would assume that’s just not possible.

Is the sudden resurgence of the show kind of bittersweet because streaming and residuals are right at the heart of what the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are about?

I don’t know if you saw one of our longtime, really great writers, a guy named Jon Cowan, just tweeted about this, which is he’s written some of the best episodes of one of the most streamed shows of all times, and he made a comment about how little residuals he’s seen. For me, the dominant note as people have rediscovered the show or found it again, it’s been just delight. It’s only bittersweet because it’s happening during a strike. And it does call attention to the fact that we had a lot of really creative people involved with the show that made really key contributions that probably should have made a little bit more money.

Louis Litt-Centric Suits Spinoff Was Under Consideration, Confirms EP

During its nine-season run, Suits launched the spinoff Pearson (which was cancelled after just one season), but Gina Torres’ character wasn’t the only one eyed for their own offshoot.

While talking about the legal drama’s recent resurgence after the show hit Netflix — the series has consistently been in the streamer’s Top 10 TV Shows in the U.S. and broke a Nielsen streaming chart record for an acquired title — executive producer Gene Klein told TVLine that he and creator/showrunner Aaron Korsh had conversations about further expanding the franchise.

“There were numerous ideas for spinoffs that we mostly just sort of fantasized about. Like, Aaron and I would sit around and go, ‘What about this? What about that?’” Klein shares, adding that all the scenarios involved “taking one or two of the characters and doing their own thing with them, but they just never went anywhere.”

One proposal featured spotlighting Rick Hoffman’s lovably ornery lawyer. “Obviously, there was a Louis Litt-themed one,” Klein reveals, while not wanting to divulge too many details. (In this day and age, you never know when the call might come to make a fantasy into a reality.)

There were also other possibilities bandied about from the large ensemble of fan-favorite characters, which evolved in the latter seasons with the exits of Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle, and the additions of Dulé Hill, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Schull.

“There were lesser characters who [Aaron] had spinoff ideas for, ideas that would be prequels where it’d be a younger version of, like, an ancillary character. Really interesting, fun ideas that we never took anywhere,” Klein admits.

But that was then, when the USA Network drama wrapped up in 2019, and this is now, when renewed interest in the original series has it back in the news and revivals are all the rage.

“Suits is 100 percent Aaron Korsh, so in order for anything to happen, Aaron would have to want to do it,” Klein notes. Despite texting with Korsh over the “nuts” streaming numbers, Klein doesn’t know if the creator would be interested in revisiting the world of Suits.

“I knew, in the immediate aftermath of writing nine seasons, he was eager to write other things. But I also know how much he loves these characters,” Klein says.

A new Suits show is in development amid the original’s streaming success

Court may be coming back in session for Suits fans. The USA Network legal drama has been the unlikely streaming phenomenon of the year, and in the wake of its runaway success on Netflix and Peacock, a new series set in the Suits universe is in the works.

EW can confirm that original series creator Aaron Korsh is working with NBCUniversal on the untitled project, which is not being labeled a reboot or a spinoff.

The series, which was first reported by Deadline, would feature an all-new cast and would not initially include characters from the original show, though a crossover could occur further down the line. The new Suits show has been likened to an NCIS or CSI companion series, as it would take place in a fresh location — likely Los Angeles.

Like the original Suits, the new series is envisioned as a workplace drama with elements of a legal procedural. The project is still in early development, and negotiations are still taking place. The series would air or stream on an NBCUniversal platform, though it’s still being decided which one.

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Source: TV Line

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