Jessica Pearson could be getting her own show. USA Network is in early talks for a potential new series toplined by former Suits standout Gina Torres.
While a Jessica Pearson spinoff had been talked about on-and-off for more than a year as USA had been interested in pursuing an offshoot, I hear conversations recently heated up as Torres had been fielding a slew of broadcast pilot offers for a second straight year. Last year, she was cast as the lead in the ABC drama pilot The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez, which didn’t go forward, but the prospect of possibly losing Torres for years — if the pilot she’d choose this time became a successful series — likely prompted USA and Suits producer Universal Cable Prods. to act now.
I hear there have been meetings, and negotiations are in preliminary stages, with no deals in place. There is no fully formed concept yet as I hear the project would go through a development process, but the new series would center on Torres’ intrepid and very stylish attorney character, Jessica Pearson.
I hear the potential offshoot, first reported by TVLine, would be written by Suits creator/showrunner Aaron Korsh — solo, or with another writer — with Korsh expected to executive and showrun the potential new series alongside Suits, which, in its sixth season, remains USA’s most watched original scripted series. USA and UCP had no comment.
Torres’ Jessica Pearson was one of Suits’ most popular characters. Torres left the show midway through the current sixth season after approaching Korsh earlier with the request because it was getting difficult for her to be away for so long from her family, who are based in Los Angeles, since Suits films in Toronto (subbing for New York City).
“She said to me that if the show shot in L.A., she would stay on it for the rest of her life; I think she loved being on the show, and we’d loved having her,” Korsh told Deadline in September, following Torres’ final episode.
No one is commenting, but I hear USA and UCP likely would be able to accommodate Torres. She has been selective in her post-Suits choices, currently doing a season-long arc on ABC drama The Catch, which films in Los Angeles.
A potential Jessica Pearson series almost would’ve been a no-go had Korsh been allowed to go with his original idea on how to write the character off Suits in the Season 6 summer finale — Jessica deciding to go to Chicago to be with her love, Jeff (D.B. Woodside) before getting killed by the father of the victim in the pro bono case she was working on. (Woodside is not available as he is a regular on Fox’s Lucifer, recently renewed for next season.)
“The network didn’t want to go that way, and I didn’t really have it in me to come up with two plans and sort of struggle to make my case on the one, so we ended up going this way [with Jessica off to Chicago],” Korsh told Deadline in September. “I think it gives her a little bit of a happy ending and certainly leaves more opportunity for her to come back from time to time in the future.”
Or get her own show.
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