10 Network Shows to Watch After Binging Suits

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10 Network Shows to Watch After Binging Suits

Remarkably, USA Network’s legal drama Suits, which ran during their “blue sky” era and ended in 2019, might just become the biggest streaming hit of the year. So far, it has spent four consecutive weeks atop Nielsen’s streaming chart, breaking record after record—including most weekly minutes viewed by an acquired title. This comes just about a month after the series was added (almost) in its entirety to Netflix, with the full series streaming on Peacock.

However, now that you’ve finished binging Suits, what’s next? While I could list off a number of streaming originals that also follow the happenings of lawyers, I don’t believe the legalese is why Suits has taken off in this exponential way. In fact, the runaway success of Suits indicates a strong desire from audiences to return to a television model we have increasingly grown nostalgic for: long-form seasons of long-running shows that allow us to watch characters grow and develop over time; in other words, we’re sick of 10-episode, 2-season wonders.

Below (and in no particular order), we’ve gathered shows that, like Suits, ran for multiple seasons and have at least 50 episodes, which allowed its characters and overarching storylines to develop and evolve in a pointedly long-form fashion—the way TV was meant to be. Similarly defined by a quick wit, enjoyable characters, and an episodic structure, these series are the best place to start in your post-Suits binge quest:

White Collar

Watch on Hulu
Watch on Freevee

From USA, the same network that brought you procedural masterpieces such as Psych, Burn Notice, and Monk, White Collar is another fun, case-of-the-week series worthy of a binge. The series follows Matt Bomber’s Neal Caffrey, a high-profile criminal that was finally captured by FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). However, after an inmate escapes from a high-security prison, Peter offers Neal the deal of a lifetime: his freedom in exchange for becoming an FBI criminal consultant. White Collar hinges on the relationship between the charming Neal and buttoned-up Peter, and only gets more intriguing as Neal refuses to leave his criminal past behind him. Joined by his friend and co-conspirator Mozzie (Willie Garson), Neal’s criminal hijinks and his helping hand offer an addicting duality across the series’ six seasons. Anna Govert​​

The Good Wife

The Good Wife Review: “Iowa”

Watch on Paramount+
Watch on Freevee

Are network dramas supposed to be this good? Julianna Margulies stars as the title character Alicia Florrick, who (in a storyline ripped from many, many headlines) is subjected to public humiliation when her husband, Peter (Chris Noth), the District Attorney of Chicago, is caught cheating with a prostitute. The scandal forces Alicia back into the workforce, and she takes a job with her (very sexy) old law school friend Will Gardner (Josh Charles). But Alicia is not your typical “stand by your man” woman and The Good Wife is not your typical show.

The brilliance of the series is that it deftly blends multiple and equally engaging storylines that both embrace and defy genre conventions. Each episode is an exciting combination of political intrigue, inner-office jockeying, family strife, sizzling romance, and intriguing legal cases. The series features a fantastic array of guest stars, and creates a beguiling and believable world where familiar characters weave in and out of Alicia’s life just like they would in real life: You’ll be fascinated by Archie Panjabi’s mysterious Kalinda Sharma, delighted by Zach Grenier’s mischievous David Lee, marvel at Christine Baranski’s splendid Diane Lockhart. And, witness the transformative performance Alan Cummings gives as the cunning Eli Gold. But the real reason to stick with the series is to partake in the show’s game-changing fifth season. Many series start to fade as they age, but The Good Wife peaked late in its mostly glorious seven season run. —Amy Amatangelo


Watch on Peacock

“Homicide detective with OCD” might seem like a cheap concept on paper—after all, Detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub)’s obsession with the tiniest of details is an easy, plausible explanation for his uncanny ability to solve even the most convoluted crimes by episode’s end. But Monk used its central character’s mental illness as so much more than plot device; though the show was a procedural, character development was always its driving force. We continue to learn bits and pieces of Monk’s backstory (his wife Trudy was killed by a car bomb, resulting in his nervous breakdown and worsening of his OCD), we watch as his mental health gradually improves, and through it all we’re treated to an expert blend of comedy and drama that makes it so obvious why Shalhoub was nominated for eight Emmys (taking home three) for the role. —Bonnie Stiernberg

Mad Men

Watch on AMC+

Look, you don’t need us to tell you that Mad Men is one of the greatest TV dramas of all time; you have the entire Internet for that, and frankly, that’s time you could be spending watching more Mad Men. But with his tale of 1960s (and eventually, early 1970s) ad men and women and the American Dream, Matthew Weiner did something truly extraordinary: He proved that there’s drama in everyday life. Unlike pretty much every other TV drama, this one doesn’t deal with cops, doctors, or lawyers; there are no Mafia dons or drug lords going down in a hail of bullets. It’s just a bunch of people working together in an office, trying to push forward and navigate one of the most compelling decades in American history. Sure, it’s glamorous and brilliantly written, and the fact that Elisabeth Moss never won an Emmy for it is criminal, but ultimately, it’s oddly relatable, and that’s what great TV is supposed to do—show us to ourselves. —Bonnie Stiernberg

Burn Notice

Watch on Hulu
Watch on Freevee

Another classic from USA Network’s “blue sky” era is Burn Notice, a breezy spy drama that is almost impossible to put down once you start. The series follows Michael Westen (Jefferey Donovan), a former spy that was handed a “burn notice,” effectively icing him out of his inner circles and legitimate intelligence contacts. He is basically forced into an early spy retirement in his hometown of Miami, but being handed a pink slip isn’t going to stop him from solving weekly cases. Instead, he teams up with a number of his spy friends, including his ex-girlfriend and spy Fionna (Gabrielle Anwar), retired covert operative Sam (Bruce Campbell), and his mother Madeline (Sharon Gless), to become a private investigator and continue his own covert operations in the sunshine state—all while trying to get to the bottom of who burned him and why. Befitting its era, this series shines in its procedural drama, but most importantly in its quick wit, engaging characters, and undeniable humor. —Anna Govert

The Mentalist

the mentalist cbs

Watch on Max
Watch on Roku

In many ways, The Mentalist is a procedural unlike any other. Sitting firmly within the “consultant procedural” subgenre, the series follows Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), whose unusual methods and acute attention to detail makes him an undeniable asset to the California Bureau of Investigations as a consultant. Working alongside senior agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), Jane uses his status as a consultant to not only aid the CBI in investigating various crimes, but also to hunt serial killer Red John, who murdered his wife and daughter. The series manages to strike a brilliant balance between serialized and episodic, allowing new viewers to jump in during practically any episode through its procedural format, but its long-running storyline following the hunt for Red John allows The Mentalist to thrive in its serialized elements. The series ran for seven seasons on CBS, and remains rewatchable and fun in its afterlife on streaming and in syndication. —Anna Govert


Watch on Amazon Prime
Watch on Peacock

When USA debuted Psych, it was just a little show about a fake psychic who solved crimes. The network was in the nascent stages of its “blue sky” period, a time that included Burn Notice, White Collar, and Royal Pains. Now that the phase is over, it’s easy to declare Psych the best of the no-heavy-watching-required bunch. Starring James Roday Roderiguez, Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson, and Maggie Lawson, the comedy-mystery hybrid is decidedly lighter than most shows centered around solving murders. Frequently hilarious, the series relishes in spoofing the pop-culture landscape and tapping into the zeitgeist both past and present. Almost every episode is themed around a trope, genre, or specific film or TV show. Psych ran for eight seasons and spawned three follow-up films, so don’t be a myopic Chihuahua—dive in. Wait for it. Wait for iiiiiiiit… —Shannon Houston


Watch on Hulu

Like Murder, She Wrote before it, ABC’s Castle follows mystery author Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) as he is called in to consult for the NYPD after a copycat killer begins copying murders from his novels. Paired with Detective Beckett (Stana Katic), Castle eventually remains with the NYPD as an official consultant, helping his new partner solve various murder cases alongside Detectives Ryan (Seamus Denver) and Esposito (Jon Huertas). Rounded out by his eccentric mother (Susan Sullivan) and daughter (Molly Quinn), Castle’s cast of lovable characters only elevates the series’ murder mystery vibes, all uplifted by the show’s signature humor and high-stakes capers. —Anna Govert

Rizzoli & Isles

Watch on Max

Following titular Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles ran for seven seasons, and has maintained a solid fanbase in syndication and streaming. Jane, Boston PD’s only female detective, and Maura, medical examiner, could not be any more dissimilar—Jane is brash and tough, Maura is cold and reserved—but together, they are a match made in heaven. The series follows as this odd couple pairing solve cases together, often using their combined knowledge and skill to uncover each week’s ploy. Beyond its success as a procedural, Rizzoli & Isles might be most known for its presentation of female friendships, showcasing the strong bond between the two women at the heart of the show. —Anna Govert


House MD

Watch on Amazon Prime
Watch on Peacock

Hugh Laurie shined as the cranky and brilliant titular character who never believed his patients (they always lie) and could solve even the most complex medical cases (Note: it’s _never_ lupus). The series was the pitch-perfect mix of the Case of the Week (often introduced in the cold open as some seemingly healthy guest star falls ill) with ongoing story arcs that followed the will-they-won’t-they romance of House and Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), the lives of House’s often randy interns, and the long-running bromance between House and his best friend Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard). It’s a winning TV prescription playing out again today on ABC’s The Good Doctor, which is also produced by House creator David Shore. —Amy Amatangelo

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