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‘Suits’ Renewed for Season 8 Without Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

Suits” will suit up for another season, but without two of its top stars.

USA Network has renewed the legal drama for an eighth season as the series prepares to say goodbye to Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle. Both actors will depart the series at the end of its seventh season, the second half of which is set to premiere March 28.

“After seven seasons, ‘Suits’ remains one of USA Network’s most beloved and popular series,” said Chris McCumber, president, entertainment networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “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.”

A greenlight for a new season sans Adams and Markle has been expected since late last year. The departure of Adams and Markle indicate a likely overhaul of the series as the characters — legal prodigy Mike Ross and savvy paralegal Rachel Zane — have been romantically involved and central to recent storylines. Series creator Aaron Korsh is set to return for the eighth season with stars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman and new series regular Dulé Hill.

“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.” series creator Aaron Korsh said. “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 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.”

Korsh is shepherding a planted “Suits” spinoff revolving around the character played by actress Gina Torres, who left the series during its sixth season.

In November Markle became engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry. The two plan to marry in May.

Adams issued a statement Tuesday, saying, “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. 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. 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.”

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