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Suits has been delivering consistent legal drama for the better part of a decade without too many major changes to the cast, but that won't be the case moving forward. The good news for longtime fans is that USA has renewed the series for an eighth season, which is good to know ahead of the Season 7 midseason premiere this spring. The sad news is that the show will be back for Season 8 without two characters who have been around from the very beginning. Fortunately, there are a handful of folks sticking around for the new batch of episodes.
The two characters who will be absent are none other than Mike and Rachel, as played for the first seven seasons by Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle, respectively. The characters who will be sticking around are Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty), Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman), and the relative newcomer Alex Williams, played by Dulé Hill of Psych fame. Suits creator and executive producer Aaron Korsh is slated to return as well, which should mean that Suits will still feel like Suits, even without Mike and Rachel around.
Fans have known for a while now that Meghan Markle was set to leave Suits behind after Season 7 due to her engagement to Prince Harry of the U.K. Patrick J. Adams' departure wasn't confirmed, although rumors abounded that he was ready to move on. While their absences will surely be sad for many viewers, at least they won't come as much of a shock as if Gabriel Macht or Sarah Rafferty announced their intentions to leave out of nowhere. Besides, Adams and Markle leaving at the same time could mean that Mike and Rachel get a happily-ever-after together.
Suits does seem poised to give the characters a solid sendoff. Season 7 will end with a two-hour season finale that completes an arc sending Mike and Rachel off to the next stages of their lives, presumably somewhere other than New York. The Season 7 finale will air on Wednesday, April 25. Spring 2018 should be a big one in the Suits universe, all things considered. The Jessica Pearson-centric spinoff starring Gina Torres will premiere via backdoor pilot in the coming months as well. Given that the spinoff means Jessica almost certainly can't come back to Suits, there's not much of a chance that she'll return in any regular capacity. Suits will really be down to Harvey, Donna, and Louis as original stars.
It should be interesting to see how exactly Suits works without Mike and Rachel. The show was founded on the dynamic between Harvey and Mike. Suits has certainly developed relationships between the characters who will stick around, but the show is losing one of the elements that made it so popular with viewers since its premiere back in 2011. We can only hope that the show can survive the shift in status quo.