Suits becomes first ever show to cross huge viewership milestone following Netflix revival

Suits has become the first TV show to record 3 billion minutes viewed in seven consecutive weeks.

The legal drama starring Meghan Markle has recorded 26.5 billion minutes watched in the eight weeks since it returned to Netflix earlier this summer.

Stranger Things still holds the record for the highest viewing total in eight weeks – 35.5 billion minutes in 2022 for season four – but Suits has stayed about 3 billion minutes for longer than any programme since Nielsen streaming records began three years ago.

The legal drama originally premiered on USA Network between 2011 and 2019, and aired on Dave in the UK.

It follows an attorney named Mike (played by Patrick J Adams) who lands a job at a prestigious New York legal firm despite never attending law school. Markle also plays a lawyer (named Rachel Zane) who falls in love with Mike.

The now-Duchess of Sussex played attorney Rachel in seven seasons before exiting in 2018 ahead of her royal wedding to Prince Harry. She became romantically involved with the prince in 2016.

Last month, it was revealed that Suits broke its own record for the most-watched acquired title, with 3.7 billion minutes watched from 3 July to 9 July across Netflix and Peacock, according to Nielsen data.

Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on season seven of ‘Suits’ (USA Network/Netflix/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)
Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane on season seven of ‘Suits’ (USA Network/Netflix/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

In an interview with the LA Times, Suits creator Aaron Korsch credited the show’s renewed success in part to Markle’s role in the royal family.

In another interview, he recalled a line that the royal family asked to be cut.

“My wife’s family, when they have a topic to discuss that might be sensitive, they use the word ‘poppycock’,” he explained.

“Let’s say you wanted to do something that you knew your husband didn’t want to do, but you wanted to at least discuss it, and in just discussing it, you wouldn’t hold him to anything he said, you’d be like, ‘It’s poppycock.’”

Korsch continued: “So, in the episode, Mike and Rachel [Markle’s character] were going to have a thing, and as a nod to my in-laws, we were going to have her say, ‘My family would say poppycock.’ And the royal family did not want her saying the word. They didn’t want to put the word ‘poppycock’ in her mouth.

“I presume because they didn’t want people cutting things together of her saying ‘cock.’ So, we had to change it to ‘bulls***’ instead of ‘poppycock,’ and I did not like it because I’d told my in-laws that [poppycock] was going to be in the show. There was maybe one or two more things, but I can’t remember.”

Korsch added that he wasn’t sure how or through what channels the royal family was receiving the scripts for his show. “I was aware that they were reading them because I got the feedback, but I don’t remember the process by which they got them,” he said.

Suits returned to Netflix on 17 June – the day of King Charles III’s birthday parade.