‘Suits’: 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Netflix's Show of the Summer

The series exploded in popularity after hitting streaming platforms.

Suits is unmistakably the show of the summer. It's an astonishing fact, considering the show aired its final episode nearly four years ago.

The show, created by Aaron Korsh, premiered in June 2011 on USA Network and aired 134 episodes in nine seasons. The final episode aired in September 2019. Fast forward to now, Suits has become one of the top 10 shows on Netflix and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Suits now has an estimated 18 billion minutes of watch time on the streaming giant. To put that in perspective -- Stranger Things enjoyed similar success in July 2022. And by the way, Nielsen's ratings only cover U.S. television viewing. It doesn't count content devoured on phones or tablets or even viewership in other countries.

The series -- starring Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter), Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross), Meghan Markle (Rachel Zane), Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt) and Gina Torres (Jessica Pearson) -- centers around Mike barreling his way into one of the most powerful corporate law firms in Manhattan, largely due to his photographic memory. Harvey hires him at Pearson Hardman (later Pearson, Specter, Litt), even though Mike doesn't possess a law degree, much less one from Harvard Law School, which is where Pearson Hardman only hires from (that rule is ultimately bent for Markle's character who ends up at Columbia).

Together, Harvey and Mike become a force to be reckoned with, but they also have to jump through hoops to avoid their secret from being exposed. With Suits finding a resurgence on Netflix, ET takes a look at 10 fun factoids about the show of the summer.

It's primarily filmed in Toronto

While the show is set in the Big Apple, it's oddly interesting that only a handful of the shows were ever filmed in New York City. The bulk of the shows were actually filmed in Toronto, where a bunch of yellow taxi cabs, hot dog stands and USA TODAY newsstands were strategically placed so that the 6ix doubled as NYC.

Macht told The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 that, if he had his druthers, the show would film in New York City.

"Outsourcing I understand. But it’s better for the artist to shoot where the show takes place," he said at the time. "And I think New York City is the greatest city in the world, and hope one day to shoot a season there."

According to the outlet, the pilot was shot in NYC before producers moved the series up north, where production capitalized on generous tax incentives. 

Macht told the outlet that he once spoke to one of the producers, who told him production was actually running out of streets in Toronto to make it look like New York City.

The NYC skyline is actually a giant 'shower curtain'

Rafferty recorded a video, which has since resurfaced on TikTok, showing fans a little behind-the-scenes look on the set of Suits. Fans were flabbergasted after she revealed that the iconic New York City skyline was actually what she described as a "shower curtain."

Rafferty pulled the curtain in the mind-blowing video. One fan commented on the video saying, "Next you're going to tell us they’re not wearing $12k suits." Another fan wrote, "My life is a lie."


Macht's real-life wife guest stars in season 2 

Jacinda Barrett, who married Macht in 2004, first appears in season 2, episode 7. It's in the "Sucker Punch" episode when Macht's Harvey turns to Barrett's Zoe Lawford for help when the firm needs to hire a jury consultant.

Then, in episode 8 ("Rewind"), it's revealed that Macht and Lawford were former colleagues at Person Hardman who have a flirty history, too.

It's not the first time Macht and Barrett have worked together. They also appeared together in the 2009 crime Middle Men, which also stars Luke Wilson and James Caan.

By the way, Adams (Mike Ross) also starred opposite his wife, Troian Bellisario, in season 4 as his love interest. Troian's character eventually goes head-to-head against Mike's TV fiancée, Markle's Rachel Zane. 

Patrick J. Adams and his wife, Troian Bellisario, in 2018 at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in London. - Getty

Macht and Rafferty go way, way back

Their characters (Harvey and Donna) may (ultimately) play love interests in the series, but in real life, they're old pals. They've known each other for more than two decades, and their daughters are even best friends. Macht and Rafferty have also been to each other's weddings, too.

In fact, it was Macht who insisted Rafferty read for the role of Donna.

"It was Gabriel who gave me the script," Rafferty told The Herald in 2016. "I had done a pilot and I was waiting for news on whether it was going to get picked up, and it wasn't. The same day I got that news, I saw Gabriel and told him. He said, 'Great, you need to read this script tomorrow."

Rafferty went on to say that she sent an audition tape because she was in L.A. at the time and auditions were being held in New York City.

"The rest is history," she said.


Suits' success led to a fashion partnership and gave Lexus a big boost

Perhaps only diehard Suits will remember this but the show's popularity was so intense in its heyday that it struck a partnership with the subscription-based lifestyle company Birchbox in 2013. The ultimate Suits fan who signed up for the deal was treated to a Suits-themed beauty, grooming and lifestyle box -- for men or women -- that helped the ultimate fan achieve the signature Suits look.

The box, for men, included things like lapel pins and stay collars.

What's more, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that the show had an affinity for cars. Lots of cool cars, but, more specifically, it always opted for Lexus vehicles to chauffeur the high-powered attorneys around New York City Toronto. In fact, AdWeek reported in 2015 that, after striking a five-year partnership, Lexus vehicles in Suits helped boost the car brand's awareness by a whopping 22 percent.

Macht's family knows the law

In a 2012 interview with the UK's Metro, Macht explained why he didn't have to do any research for his role.

"I didn’t have to," he explained. "I have a family full of lawyers: my sister was a District Attorney in the Bronx, my cousin is a lawyer, my aunt is a lawyer, my grandfather was a judge and one of my closest friends was a much nicer version of Harvey in L.A., before becoming an advisor to Jerry Brown, Governor of California."

When asked if he was tempted to go into law, Macht said not a chance.

"No. I can’t argue my way out of a paper bag," he quipped. "My brother went to law school and quit halfway through, so I would never have handled it. My parents would have loved it if my brother or I had become a doctor or lawyer. But I have played a doctor on TV and now I’m a lawyer on TV."


Suits had a different title

It was originally dubbed A Legal Mind when it was in development at USA Network. That title made a lot of sense considering Adams' character, Mike, possessed a brilliant mind. For example, he memorized legal handbooks and every question/answer to the LSATs.

It's unclear why the show was renamed Suits, but that's title USA teased in April 2011 ahead of its series premiere.

With Macht, Adams and just about every hot-shot lawyer donning expensive three-piece suits -- inspired by Tom Ford -- the title change sure made sense. 

Torres' role was originally created for a man

Jessica Pearson exudes power and strength as a managing partner at Pearson Hardman. But the role wasn't originally intended for a woman.

In a February 2014 interview, Torres revealed that nugget while explaining to the UK's Metro what makes her character tick.

"Jessica was conceived as a man -- but here I am, a black woman in a world of white men," she told the outlet. "The strength of her character is that, in Suits, we never play on that. Her drive and her ambition has nothing to do with her gender or cultural background. She has to be taken on her own terms."

She added, "The female characters are so well-balanced and well-drawn. The women in Suits hold the emotional truth of the storyline, and that’s refreshing."

'Suits' creator Aaron Korsh in 2019 at a panel for the spinoff 'Pearson.' - Getty

The series was inspired by the creator’s own life

Korsh explained to Collider in 2016 that the show was originally going to be based on Wall Street, where he was an investment banker.

"I came from a different career. I went to business school. I was a finance major. I worked on Wall Street as an investment banker, which is the basis, by the way, of Suits," he said at the time. "It was originally written that they were investment bankers on Wall Street. I worked for a guy named Harvey, I had a good memory, and I had a dalliance with marijuana. A lot of the basis for the show is from that. But I found that very unsatisfying, as a career, and ended up leaving. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and then, ultimately, came to Los Angeles, not to be a writer, but just to live here. I had some friends that were writers, and then I decided that I wanted to try to do it."

Hoffman is allergic to cats in real life

Hoffman's Litt character is obsessed with his cat, to the point Litt assigned one of his associates (who is allergic to cats) to look after his beloved Bruno. But the real-life actor is "deathly" allergic to cats. He said as much in a 2017 interview.

Hoffman said he's so allergic that EpiPens and inhalers were on set whenever he filmed with Bruno, which begs the question -- they couldn't make him a dog lover instead?!

Suits seasons 1-8 are streaming now on Netflix. Season 9 is streaming on Peacock.