AceShowbiz - "Suits" is moving forward without %cMeghan Markle% and %cPatrick J. Adams%. USA Network has given the long-running drama a season 8 renewal while confirming the departure of the stars, who play on-screen couple Rachel Zane and Mike Ross.
EP Aaron Korsh said in a statement, "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 [%cGabriel Macht%], Sarah [%cSarah Rafferty%], Rick [%cRick Hoffman%] and Dule [%cDule Hill%] -- who will continue the roller coaster ride with all of our amazing fans," he continued. "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."
"After seven seasons, 'Suits' remains one of USA Network's most beloved and popular series," added Chris McCumber, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment's president of entertainment networks. "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. We wish each of them nothing but the very best."
Rachel and Mike are set to bid farewell in the two-hour season 7 finale, which is set to air on Wednesday, April 25. While it's sad to bid farewell to the fan-favorite characters, on the bright side, fans seemingly will see Rachel and Mike's highly-anticipated wedding in the finale.
"I think Mike and Rachel are two characters that there has never been any question that they're in love and that they're meant for each other and that they're willing to go to great lengths and sacrifice a ton in order to keep their relationship going," Patrick told The Hollywood Reporter.
He added, "It just so happens that the timing of how I was feeling [about leaving 'Suits'] and what was going on in Meghan's life created an opportunity where there was no need to force some conflict or tear Mike and Rachel apart. It allowed us to go onto whatever happens next for Mike and Rachel together."
The official season 7B logline reads, "When the back half of season 7 returns, Harvey must deal with the aftermath of Jessica (%cGina Torres%) losing her license, while trying to process how the kiss with Donna will affect his relationship with Paula (%cChristina Cole%). Mike tries to juggle his commitment to the firm, his passion for pro bono work, and his engagement to Rachel. All the while, Louis struggles with right and wrong as his torrid affair with Sheila (%cRachael Harris%) deepens."
"Suits" season 7B premieres on March 28 at 9 P.M. on USA Network.