Everything you need to know about Suits

The sleeper-hit series is landing on BBC iPlayer…

Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams in Suits
Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams in Suits. (Open 4 Business Productions)

American TV series Suits is a bonafide bingable hit but the legal drama famed for being Meghan Markle’s last proper job before joining the Royal Family wasn’t always such a mega-success.

The show survived for nine seasons before finally bowing out in 2019. In the interim, it navigated various cast reshuffles, a few surprise endings and some unexpected attention behind the scenes — and while it was never considered a ‘water-cooler hit’ to the same degree as rivals like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones — it was seen as a reasonable success by most.

However, in 2023, the lasting legacy of Suits changed when the show landed on Netflix and American streamer Peacock and wasted no time shooting up the charts in both. It was a later-in-life resurgence that nobody saw coming and as a result, production on a new spin-off series titled Suits: L.A. was fast-tracked.

If you’re only familiar with the show thanks to its connection to clickbait headlines and royal engagements, you’ll soon be able to get to know it properly when it arrives on BBC iPlayer this May.

With that in mind, here’s a quick refresher on everything you need to know about Suits…

Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams in Suits
Meghan Markle starred in the US legal drama before marrying Prince Harry. (Alamy)

Suits was first released in 2011 on the USA Network and ended in 2019 after nine seasons.

The show was originally quite favourably reviewed but was never considered one of the most talked about TV hits of its day.

When Suits arrived on Netflix and Peacock in 2023, the show was discovered by a whole new audience. By the end of the year, Netflix reports suggested that viewers had spent a whopping 57.7 billion minutes binging Suits, making it their most-watched acquired show of 2023.

Cut to 2024 and all nine seasons of Suits will become available to watch on BBC iPlayer on Friday, 10 May.

Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross in Suits
College dropout Mike Ross (played by Adams) ends up working for a top law firm. (Alamy)

Suits is a legal drama that follows a cast of characters who work at a legal firm named Pearson Hardman, with new episodes usually revolving around new cases.

At its centre is Mike, a college dropout with a photographic memory which he uses to help make money for his elderly grandma — but usually via dodgy methods.

Mike is given the chance to turn his life around when he’s unexpectedly offered a job at a prestigious law firm that typically only hires Harvard graduates. Thanks to his razor-sharp memory skills, he’s able to convince his new colleagues at Pearson Hardman that he is a tried and tested lawyer despite having no legal qualifications.

While some people know Mike’s secret, he continues to practice, all while trying to keep his lack of legal qualifications hidden from everyone he meets.

During the show’s first season, Mike meets Markle’s character Rachel and the pair quickly form a relationship that eventually blossoms into a romance. As the show progresses, the death of Mike’s grandma sends his personal life into a short spiral while his firm’s new partnership with a British counterpart adds additional stresses that threaten his professional world.

Without wanting to spoil any major plot beats for those who may be reading this ahead of a Suits binge session, the show continues to explore Mike’s work and personal life.

Across nine seasons, we see Mike switch jobs to become an investment banker before his past finally catches up with him and he’s arrested for fraud, putting new strain on his relationship with Rachel.

Mike and Rachel leave the show at the end of Suits’ seventh seasons shortly after the news of Markle’s real-life marriage plans were confirmed. Seasons eight and nine largely focus on the show’s remaining characters but Mike makes a brief return for the 10-episode final season.

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter in Suits
Macht played expert ‘closer’ Harvey Specter. (Alamy)

Patrick J. Adams played Mike Ross, the lead character in Suits.

Adams was joined by an ensemble cast that included Gina Torres as Mike’s boss Jessica Pearson, Gabriel Macht as expert ‘closer’ Harvey Specter and Sarah Rafferty as legal secretary Donna Paulsen.

Rick Hoffman played office frenemy Louis Litt, while Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl joined the show in its eighth season as a new partner named Samantha Wheeler.

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on Suits
Markle appeared in seven seasons of Suits before her character was written out. (Alamy)

Markle played Rachel Zane, a highly ambitious senior paralegal, on Suits.

Her character was introduced in season one and remained on the show until Suits’ seventh season, when she was written off shortly after Markle’s impending marriage to Prince Harry became public knowledge.

Suits is available to stream on BBC iPlayer from Friday 10 May.