How Suits became TV’s most popular show

by The Insights

“It usually takes me a few episodes to get into a show, but Suits had one of the best pilots I’ve ever seen. It had me gripped from the start,” says Johnson, 38, from London, who originally watched the show on TV but is now rewatching it on Netflix. She was drawn to Suits because of its sharp dialogue and the mixture of comedy, romance and dramatic plot twists. She also liked its array of female characters, including Jessica Pearson – the firm’s no-nonsense managing partner, played by Gina Torres. “For the time, it was quite a diverse cast,” she says. “And there was a black woman in charge.”

Anti-prestige TV

Suits being added to Netflix, the world’s most popular streaming service, is surely the key driver of its current success. TV critic and broadcaster Scott Bryan, host of the Must Watch podcast on BBC Sounds, thinks it sits in a sweet spot where it’s attracting re-watchers and first-time viewers. “We’re seeing a boom of new programmes in the streaming age, but also there is massive viewership of older shows, many of which might be available to stream for the first time,” he tells BBC Culture. “This can feed into a nostalgic viewing tradition, where fans rewatch a show they’ve seen before, or it can be a chance to watch a show that you might have missed the first time.”

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