Hit legal drama "Suits "has been renewed for an eighth season, just as the series prepares to say goodbye to Patrick J Adams and Meghan Markle. Both actors will leave the series at the end of its seventh season.
The departure of Adams and Markle indicate a likely overhaul of the series, as legal prodigy Mike Ross and savvy Rachel Zane have been central characters in the show. Series creator Aaron Korsh is set to return for season eight with stars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty and Rick Hoffman.
In a recent interview with "The Hollywood Reporter", Patrick opened up about his decision to leave "Suits".
"I started thinking about leaving at the end of the first half of season six," Adams said. "From a story point of view, I was a little unsure of what was left for Mike to do. He pledged during his trial that if he was allowed to continue to practise law, he would dedicate his time and energy to underrepresented people and not big, corporate interests.
"I wasn't sure how we were going to work that version of the character into the show. Aaron and I talked about it, and he pitched this idea of Harvey offering a one-for-one deal that would keep Mike working at the firm so he could gather the resources to do pro-bono cases. That brought up an interesting season seven. I'm proud of how this season turned out."
Halfway through filming season seven, he approached Korsh to tell him he believed Mike's story was over. He'd grown from a burnout with no prospects into a full-fledged lawyer, engaged to the woman of his dreams. There was no more growth for him to explore. Both Korsh and Adams decided it was time to say goodbye.
"When this became a reality, we had this great conversation where we talked about what it is to do work that you're proud of and how to move on from something that's been a big part of your life," Adams said. "We discussed how we'd prefer to see Mike exit, and how to do justice to all of it."
Adams' co-star, Meghan Markle, also announced that she'll be leaving at the end of the season, as she's set to marry Prince Harry of the U.K. However, they didn't discuss their respective decisions to leave the show at the same time. "There was this natural sense that we both knew that the time had come for both of us. We both knew that we wouldn't be coming back. It made every one of our scenes that much more special."
Without spoiling what's to come, Adams said that since both he and Markle are exiting the show at the same time, it allowed for their characters' stories to end together.
As far as returning to the show, Adams says he never closes a door. "I've loved and cherished my time on this show, and the past seven years have been some of the most challenging and transformational years of my entire life," he said. "When the time comes, if it felt like it was the right thing to do, I'd definitely be open to it."