USA Nears Renewals Of ‘Suits’ & ‘Necessary Roughness’
EXCLUSIVE: It’s official — USA Network has renewed its hot new legal drama Suits. The series, which will end its 12-episode freshman season on Sept. 8, has received a 16-episode second-season pickup. Suits, starring Gabriel Macht as Harvey, a ruthless hotshot New York attorney, and Patrick J. Adams as Mike, his brilliant college-dropout protege, has been a solid performer since its June 23 launch. It has logged USA’s third-best freshman season of an original series in all key ratings categories including adults 18-49 (2.80 million in Live+7) and total viewers (6.34 million). “One of the things that we are trying with this show is really pushing out, trying new things,” USA co-president Jeff Wachtel said. “With Suits, we’ve gone to a new level of storytelling and visual sophistication and to a little bit of an edgier place — Harvey is not immediately likable and the young hero has made so many bad choices in his life, when we meet him he is dealing drugs. For a network that has made its mark with aspirational characters and smart escapism, this is a step in a new direction.” Added co-president Chris McCumber, “The show opened another Thursday 10 PM success for us after Burn Notice and Royal Pains, and we view it as a long-term player.” The renewal news comes just before Suits is slated to wrap production on its freshman season in Toronto tomorrow. “We believe it is really important to pick up the additional season while the show is still in production — it gives the cast and the crew a sense of stability knowing that the show is coming back, it’s better for the morale on the show.”

USA’s other new summer series, Necessary Roughness, also is expected to be renewed shortly. It doesn’t end production until end of August. (The series started later as it was originally targeted for a fall launch but USA brass then moved the premiere up to July to capitalize on pre-NFL season interest.) While not generating the same amount of chatter as Suits, Necessary Roughness has been a very solid ratings performer. Last week, it drew 4.46 million viewers/1.76 million among 18-49 in Live+same day, actually edging out Suits (4.03 million viewers/1.72 million in 18-49). “It may not have that immediate buzz that we’re feeling for Suits, it may be a little bit quieter but they have done a great job creatively and we also think it’s a long-term success for us,” Wachtel said. There will be more renewal news coming for USA’s returning series too as USA is coming off its biggest summer ever, maintaining its position as the top-rated cable network with a record number of original series – 8. Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle and Sarah Rafferty co-star in Suits, which was created by Aaron Korsh. Doug Liman, David Bartis and Gene Klein executive produce and Korsh co-exec produces for Universal Cable Prods., while the pilot’s director Kevin Bray is a supervising producer.