'Suits' Season 5 Set Visit

Get a backstage look at the set of the hit USA Network show 'Suits.'


The USA Network's show Suits returns to television on January 27, and the network had us as guests out to visit the set. The series follows a law firm in New York City and Mike (Patrick J Adams), a college dropout with a photographic memory who begins to work at the firm, even though he has no degree in law.

Production designer, Clive Thomasson discussing the sets
Production designer, Clive Thomasson discussing the sets

The cast and crew were in the midst of filming the final episode of season 5, which deals with Mike's arrest for conspiracy to commit fraud. We weren't allowed to watch any of the scenes as they were underway, but we got caught up on what was going on during the day's shoot. While the series is set in New York City, it's actually shot outside of Toronto in a warehouse.

Clive Thomasson, who is in charge of production design and set decoration, gave us a tour of the warehouse, which housed multiple sets for the show. He explained the warehouse was originally part of the Canadian Department of Defense during the Cold War. The ceilings were concrete and it felt like a bomb shelter.

Thomasson led us to a lot of different sets for the second half of the season which we were sadly not allowed to take photos of, including a high-end restaurant and various character's apartments and places of living. We continued to look at the law offices on the main set. It was quite the sight to see how much work and detail went into all of them. Everything had a particular place, and they paid attention to the smallest of details, from college diplomas on the wall to fake awards lining the windows.

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Walking through the offices, all which have an immaculate attention to detail, feels like you're actually in a law office. The tour continued as Thomasson discussed how certain sets have changed over the past five seasons. He discussed the fact that one of the offices looked messy because one of the characters was working on a big case in a scene they shot the previous day.

One thing we noticed was that script notes and lines of dialogue were written on some notepads and in memos, which to the untrained eye, just looked like props on the set. However, before we headed to the bullpen, we were quickly reminded we weren't in a high-rise in New York City. We were in a warehouse in a Toronto suburb.

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We were seated back into the bullpen set while waiting to talk to the cast of the show. Because the show is at such a pivotal point, with the character Mike going to prison and the focus of the firm changing to try and defend the character, there wasn't a lot that the cast could reveal about where everything would be headed during the second half of the season.

It was clear from various interviews with the cast that the focus on the second half of this season would be getting Mike out of the predicament he was in. It would take the cast coming together to achieve that goal. Because there was so much happening in the upcoming episodes, the cast remained pretty tight-lipped about what fans can expect to see and discussed where their characters are at during this whole process.

Gina Torres, who plays Jessica Pearson
Gina Torres, who plays Jessica Pearson

In addition to Gina Torres sitting down to talk, Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, and Patrick Adams showed up to talk about the lead-up to the mid-season finale and how their characters reacted to Mike being arrested. Once again, there wasn't much to reveal to the mid-season premiere for January. However, each actor seemed very positive that fans of the show will enjoy what is coming down the line.

The Suits set was incredibly impressive and offered a lot of insight into the production design process, taking an old civil defense bunker and turning it into a New York City law office. Thanks to USA Network for having us out. Suits returns to USA on Wednesday, January 27.

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