Gina Torres as Jessica Pearson in "Suits"
UPDATE: A week after we reported on rumors of a possible "Suits" spin-off with Gina Torres' Jessica Pearson character starring, it's now been confirmed that it's definitely happening!
Deadline has the exclusive details on the story this evening, stating that Torres has closed a deal with Universal Cable Productions, the TV studio behind the hit USA network legal drama series, that will see her star in as well as produce a spin-off series centered on her "Suits" character.
"Suits" creator/showrunner Aaron Korsh will guide the development of the potential series, although a deal for Korsh is still being worked out.
“I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity and the level of confidence Bonnie Hammer, Jeff Wachtel and everyone at UCP have in me and the potential of this project,” Torres said in a statement to Deadline. “Can’t wait to get started!”
The spin-off idea apparently originated with Torres who pitched it to the studio. It's all still very much in the early stages of development, although enthusiasm for the project is said to be high, which suggests that its chances of being picked up fully as a series are strong. Fans of Torres' character certainly were very excited about the possibility when we reported on the rumor last week, so they definitely should be thrilled with this news.
Get the full story from Deadline here.
Below you'll find last week's report.
Last fall, it was announced that Gina Torres was leaving "Suits" after five and a half seasons. She landed her first post-"Suits" role, joining the cast of Shondaland's ABC series, "The Catch," which returns for a second season this spring.
Torres made her final appearance on "Suits" during the season 6 summer finale last year, although the door was left open for a potential return, as was been reported by sources familiar with the matter.
"Playing Jessica Pearson has been one of the greatest rides of my career," Torres said in a statement. "It isn't often that an actress gets the opportunity to embody so rich a character. Thanks to Aaron Korsh's wonderful writing and his singular vision of Jessica, I believe that together we created a woman who has everything. Real power, wealth, intelligence, intuitive wisdom, humor, unapologetic female sexuality and, arguably, the best wardrobe in all of television. Because of all these qualities, I have not only been able to entertain 'Suits' fans but, with much pride and awe, I can say I have also inspired quite a few future Jessicas as well as shined a light on real-life Jessica Pearsons who are out in the world at this very moment, owning their place at the head of the table..."
Torres said she made the "difficult decision" to leave in order to spend more time at home ("Suits" films in Toronto).
But not-so fast...!
About the door being left open for a potential return... Torres also said last September, “I don’t believe for one second it’s the last we’ll see of Jessica Pearson..."
This evening, our friends at TV Line are reporting exclusively that USA Network might be "quietly" developing a "Suits" spin-off series that will center on Torres' Jessica Pearson character. No other details are available at this time, and USA network has not yet confirmed the news. So file this one under "rumor" for now, until we get confirmation.
At the end of last season, fans of "Suits" watched Jessica Pearson moving to Chicago to start a new life with her ex (played by DB Woodside), so the spin-off's story could certainly pick up from there... should it actually happen.
As for what role Torres booked on "The Catch," it's been kept underwraps. But we'd guess that whoever the character is, she'll probably be formidable.
"The Catch" returns to ABC's Thursday night lineup on March 9.
Torres is repped by Domain, Framework Entertainment and Shreck Rose Depello Adams.