It’s official: Patrick J. Adams is leaving Suits.
The longtime star of the USA Network legal drama will be exiting the series after the end of the current seventh season, which will kick off its final episodes on Wednesday, March 28, it was announced Tuesday. The network’s longest-running drama has also been renewed for an eighth season, which will return series stars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty and Rick Hoffman, and welcome new series regular Dulé Hill.
"It’s hard for me to imagine what words, in what order would sufficiently express my love and gratitude to all of the people who have made the last seven years possible," Adams said in a statement to ET. "From my unbelievably talented cast mates to our relentlessly committed crew, to the brilliant minds at USA, UCP and Hypnotic, to the legions of fans all over the world, every one of them dedicating so much of their time, energy and talent to make Suits what it is today -- one of the most beloved and successful shows on television. So I will choose the simplest words I have. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."
"It has been an honor working with and for each and everyone one of you," his statement continued. "Mike Ross has taught me a lot about commitment, hard work and the power of believing in yourself and I feel blessed that now we both get to walk out into the lives that we never dreamed we would actually be lucky enough to live. I’m excited to now step across the screen and become solely a fan of a show that I know has much more in store in the years to come. I wish everyone involved the best and am excited to see what kind of trouble they’ll get themselves in and out of from here on out."
Adams also took to Instagram to post a separate message to his fans. "I'm sorry this has taken so long," he wrote in part. "But now I'm free to say that, yes, this will be my last season of Suits. The last 7 years have been life-changing. And playing a character that so many people all over the world have connected with has been one of the great honors of my life."
"Thank you for the wild ride. It's one I will never forget. Suits will very much remains and I look forward to seeing how it all unfolds," Adams added, with the hashtag "#darvey4life," a reference to Harvey and Donna's unrequited romance.
The announcement of Adams’ exit comes two months after Meghan Markle left the show following her engagement to Prince Harry. It is unclear if Adams, who has directed a handful of episodes during his run on Suits, will make a cameo in the eighth season in front of or behind the camera.
Adams, who received a Screen Awards Guild Award nomination in 2012, and Markle have both been with Suits since its debut in 2011 and their joint departures make the most sense creatively, as their respective characters -- attorney Mike Ross and paralegal-turned-lawyer Rachel Zane -- are engaged to be married. Their exits were rumored in late 2017. The duo's final episode will be the two-hour season finale, airing Wednesday, April 25.
On Monday, Adams teased a major announcement on Twitter, writing, “You have questions and tomorrow there are answers…..”
"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,” creator Aaron Korsh said in a statement. “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 eight 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.”
Adams and Markle's departures wouldn’t be the first major cast shift for Suits, which said goodbye to Gina Torres, who plays Jessica Pearson, on a full-time basis in September 2016. Torres ended up returning for several cameos and will star in a potential Suits spinoff, which will refocus her character in the world of Chicago politics. The offshoot’s first episode will air as a planted episode in the flagship series.
Suits returns for the second half of season seven on Wednesday, March 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.
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