'Suits' just set a streaming record years after it ended. Here's what's going on
A TV show that ended years ago is dominating the streaming world. Is it the writer's strike, the Meghan Markle effect, or something else?
What is it? Suits is a legal drama that ran for nine seasons on the USA Network, and ended in 2019.
What's the big deal? It appears this summer primed the series for a streaming renaissance. And that might give some insight into the state of streaming and TV as a whole.
Listen to the full Suits conversation with Eric Deggans on All Things Considered by tapping the play button at the top.
What are people saying? NPR TV critic and media wiz Eric Deggans shared his insight on All Things Considered as to how Suits became a late blooming success, and what it might mean for other overlooked streaming titles.
On what this popularity might mean for Suits, and the TV industry as a whole:
Nielsen says the popularity of Suits and the kids show Bluey helped boost viewers' time watching streaming. And at the same time, viewing of linear TV – programs on traditional broadcast, cable and satellite channels – dipped below 50% of all TV viewing for the first time. Nielsen says this hike comes from "library content" – shows like Suits that aired somewhere else, but are now in a streaming service's stored library. Some TV executives have said streaming is the future of TV, and figures like this show they just might be right.
On why viewers are watching Suits all these years later. Is it Meghan Markle?
I'm sure Meghan has her fans. But there's a few other things here. First, even though there are usually fewer new broadcast TV shows on in July, the strikes by writers and performers in Hollywood over this summer have halted production and that's left people looking more to streaming for fresh material.
I also think, at a time when TV platforms are canceling shows quicker than ever, there is some comfort in starting a series, knowing that there are nine seasons to enjoy if you like it.
Netflix featured Suits inside its app, guaranteeing that subscribers would be encouraged to view it, which always helps. And ... it's a great series, about this talented but self-centered lawyer — named Harvey Specter, played by Gabriel Macht — who hires a smart young guy to be his associate, even though he doesn't have a law degree. It's part Cinderella story, part legal procedural and part workplace drama with a killer cast.
So, what now?
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