UPDATED WITH TCA TRAILER: The cast and creator of USA Network’s Suits came to the TCA Winter TV Press Tour this morning and talked about the show’s impact on the nation. “It was a White House Christmas party a year ago,” reminisced cast member Gina Torres. “It was one of those things — ‘Oh, my God. We are going to the White House!’ And it was like Comic-Con for lawyers… politicians start off as lawyers, or they start off as businessmen — they are running companies, or they have lots of lawyers in their lives, or whatever it is. And I walk into this thing, and whether it’s pages or whether it’s, you know, the congressman from this or that, and, then, the First Lady’s chief of staff, says, ‘I love your show. We love your show’,” Torres said. Her thought at the time: “Is the First Lady, is Michelle watching the show?”
Suits returns on Thursday, March 6 at 9 PM after a triumphant third quarter in which it was a Top 5 program in the demo among all of TV’s primetime scripted series. Last October, USA gave the hit legal drama a 16-episode fourth-season renewal, and series creator and showrunner Aaron Korsh signed an overall deal with Suits producer Universal Cable Prods to continue on the show and develop new scripted series.
“I’ve gotten so many tweets about kids saying, ‘I’m going to go to law school now’,” because of the show, cast member Sarah Rafferty contributed, in re the show’s impact on the country’s cultural landscape. “It’s not a good idea to make your career decision based on a television show, on a fictional representation of lawyers,” Korsh said he always advises those tweeters. “If we have an impact on how young people are dressing and I don’t have to see an ass crack in young kids, and guys are wearing suits, then I think we have made an improvement,” insisted Torres, who was not going to let anyone rain on this parade.
“We have won,” quipped Patrick J. Adams. But it has come at a price, he noted. “It was really tough, over the course of three seasons – thinking, like, how your posture changes when you have to be in a suit every single day.” He and co-star Gabriel Macht show up for work, he said, “basically in our pajamas and sort of bearded as we are right now. And then we sort of go into a room and switch up. And all of a sudden, we walk onto the set, and just being in those clothes alone does something sort of really rigid. It’s like putting on a suit of armor…and kind of doing battle, and it’s completely different from our normal lives, at times uncomfortable when you are heading into your 15th hour of work.”
One TV critic crowned Suits “the first basic cable show where the word ‘sh*t’ was said with such freedom”, and wondered if Korsh had had to push USA on that. “I was kind of a struggling writer and trying to get a job,” Korsh said. “When I wrote the pilot, they were investments bankers actually, not lawyers, and I wrote the way investment bankers talk — I used to be an investment banker, and they curse a lot. I never thought the thing would get sold, let alone made…And then, ultimately, USA bought it. We redeveloped it into lawyers, and I kept waiting for somebody to tell me, ‘Look, you’ve got to take all of the “sh*ts” out.’ And no one ever said that. So we left them in, and it’s worked.”
“Is that going to change for us being at 9 [PM] — the ‘sh*ts and the ‘dammits’?” cast member Meghan Markle worried. (USA has set a midseason schedule, which includes drama Suits returning to Thursdays at 9 PM, to lead into new comedy Sirens, USA’s first original half-hour comedy in a long time.)
“Sh*t no,” Korsh said.