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Suits Season 8 Is Happening

UPDATE: USA Network has announced Katherine Heigl will join the Suits cast in season 8 as a series regular. She will play new character Samantha Wheeler, a partner at the firm who challenges the status quo and could be a great ally... or enemy. The original article follows.

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Suits is renewed for an eighth season, NBC Universal and USA Network has announced. The confirmation has arrived weeks before the show returns on air with the back half of their seventh year.

Still on their mandatory hiatus, fans of the long-running legal drama have been waiting for the show's comeback after the midseason finale shocker that saw Donna finally acknowledging her feelings for her longtime boss/colleague Harvey. But as the two's personal relationship becomes complicated -- something that they have been trying to avoid for the longest time, there are some pressing matters in relation to their law firm that need their attention first, including Jessica losing her professional license. Fortunately, the show will continue to move forward past the current year for more corporate law action.

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Actually, the official press statement from NBC and USA Network carries both good and bad news. While an eighth season of the legal drama has already been ordered, it will continue without two of its main stars: Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle. Despite months of speculation, this is the first time that the two's departure has actually been confirmed by people involved in the series. NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Entertainment Networks President Chris McCumber expressed his gratitude to both actors saying that "while we’re excited for Season 8, everyone at USA will deeply miss Patrick and Meghan, and are grateful for the talent and commitment they brought to SUITS season after season." Meanwhile, series creator Aaron Korsh has also shared his two cents on the matter and even teasing what's to come on the show:

"I would like to thank Patrick and Meghan for their extraordinary contributions over the last seven years. Not only have they been outstanding in their roles as Mike and Rachel, they are also superb human beings who will always be beloved members of the SUITS family, and we wish them well in their days to come. Speaking of days to come, I am incredibly excited to welcome back our phenomenal crew and cast – Gabriel, Sarah, Rick and Dulé –who will continue the roller coaster ride with all of our amazing fans. Season 8 will have everything from shifting alliances and internal power plays, to secrets, betrayals and fiery relationships. Keep an eye out for an adversarial new character that will give Harvey a run for his money.”

It's curious how the show moves on from such a huge shake-up, especially just after a season without Gina Torress' Jessica, who had to bow out from being a series regular after the commute to Toronto (where Suits was filmed) became too much for her to handle. Presumably, Adams' decision to leave is due to Markle's departure following her engagement to Prince Harry, as the two were the most enduring couple of the show. The move results in the loss of perhaps the most integral bond in Suits - Mike and Harvey's. Their dynamic and witty banter arguably is the core relationship that fuels the legal drama, and it'll be interesting to see how Korsh will spin the story moving forward. In hindsight, it's kind of a bummer given that the show has worked so hard to develop these characters to become what they are right now.

With half of the original six-member cast now already gone, Specter, Litt is left with just its managing partners -- Harvey, Louis, and Donna.  Sure there is the promotion of Dulé Hill, who plays Alex Williams, as a series regular, but it's still uncertain if his chemistry with all the principal cast can at least be at par with that of those who have left Suits. If anything, the show's biggest draw was the fact that every cast member pairs well with each other. We expect that Korsh and his team will tap new gameplayers that could beef up the roster of the show, but Adams', Markle's, and Torress', shoes will definitely be difficult to fill.

MORE: Suits Season 7 Finale Will Set Up Gina Torres Spinoff

Suits returns with the rest of their seventh season on Monday, March 28, at 9pm ET.

Source: USA Network

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Suits Season 8 Is Happening