- Several executives suggested a father-son dynamic between Harvey and Mike instead of a brotherly bond on Suits.
- Aaron Korsh, the creator of Suits, pushed back against this suggestion.
- Korsh believed that Harvey being older would conflict with his womanizing lifestyle.
Suits creator Aaron Korsh details one way the hit legal dramedy could have been very different, explaining the change he made. Debuting in June 2011 and originally airing on the USA Network, Suits began by focusing on Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a college dropout who never attended law school, and Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) as they successfully win and close cases while also hiding Mike’s secret. As Korsh tells it, however, that central dynamic could have been virtually unrecognizable thanks to suggestions from executives.
In an interview on the Hollywood & Levine podcast to discuss the show’s streaming resurgence, which has led to a Suits spinoff series being developed, Korsh shared that he received suggestions to change the relationship between Harvey and Mike. Mainly, the suggestion was for Harvey and Mike to have more of a father-and-son bond rather than the brotherly dynamic that ended up on-screen. It was also noted that Harvey should be older, in his fifties. Korsh explains why he pushed back against those suggestions in the quote below:
This is what happened. I don’t know that I’ve ever told this story. But we had gone through a lot of people. Originally the networ envisioned the Harvey/Mike thing, I think, as like a father-son [dynamic]. Then I envisioned it as brothers. Right. So we had a disconnect, and they were wanting older guys to be Harvey.
I just thought—a couple of things. I didn’t like the relationship of father and son as much. But I also thought… if this guy is 50 years old and still hitting on women, and… like, I just didn’t think that was like, that’s, that’s not great, right? As opposed to, you’re in your mid-late 30s. You’re a little stunted. You have growing to do. But you’re not like 50 years old living that single, you know, womanizing life. So we went through so many weeks, we auditioned a ton of people, and it was hard to get agreement and whatever.
Harvey’s Change Was A Big Help To Suits
Korsh goes on to explain that once Macht was in contention to play Harvey, the right path for the character became clear. While it’s arguable that Harvey having a fatherly view of Mike could have worked, other aspects of Suits would not have been the same. Harvey’s relationship with Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) likely would not have emerged as a fan-favorite pairing for the reasons that the creator mentions.
While those changes are speculative, it’s undeniable that making Harvey younger ultimately helps the future of Suits. The upcoming sequel is not a revival, reboot, or strict continuation in the vein of the short-lived Pearson. It will be set in the same overall universe, with potential crossover with original Suits characters. Harvey, for instance, ended the original by reuniting with Mike in Seattle. That, too, might’ve changed if Harvey was positioned as a significantly older mentor figure.
Suits ended on a high note for all characters, but Louis was the top winner as he basically gets everything he’s ever wanted at the show’s end.
There was always, of course, a bit of hierarchy to Suits. Korsh’s change, however, gave some space for the show’s co-leads to develop a more natural friendship. It in turn impacted the rest of the ensemble, including Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle, Rafferty, Amanda Schull, and Gina Torres. It illustrates how fundamentally a series can shift from the initial pitching process.
Suits is available to stream on Netflix and Peacock.
Source: Hollywood & Levine
Suits follows Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who, despite never attending law school, is able to use his photographic memory to become a lawyer. The legal drama ran from 2011 to 2019 for a total of nine seasons and also starred Gabriel Macht, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, and Rick Hoffman.
- Release Date
- June 23, 2011
- Patrick J. Adams , Sarah Rafferty , Gabriel Macht , Meghan Markle , Rick Hoffman , Gina Torres , Amanda Schull , Dule Hill , Katherine Heigl
- Aaron Korsh
- Aaron Korsh
- Aaron Korsh
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