Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) is turning Chicago upside down in the spin-off of USA's popular drama Suits. Pearson sees the former managing partner of Pearson-Spector-Litt in the Windy City with a new job and no law license as she tries to reconnect with the family she never got to know.
Pearson is a deep dive into Chicago's political underbelly as Jessica tries to use her powers of persuasion to make a real difference in the city her father left behind many years ago. The cast and producers of the show, including Torres and Bethany Joy Lenz, gathered at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January to discuss the new series and deliver the first full trailer for the Suits spin-off. Here's everything we know about the series so far.
Jessica is unlicensed in Chicago. The backdoor pilot for Pearson that aired as part of Suits Season 7 saw Jessica taking a job with a potentially corrupt mayor after his city attorney took her license. She's his fixer and has her own agenda, but we won't be seeing Jessica in court.
Bethany Joy Lenz is playing Keri now. Rebecca Rittenhouse played the mayor's city attorney in the backdoor pilot, but the role has been taken over by One Tree Hill alum Bethany Joy Lenz. Keri will be going toe-to-toe with Jessica.
It's a political noir tale. The first trailer for Pearson reveals that Jessica is going into the deep, dark world of Chicago politics. Can she survive in this new world without the courtroom to support her? The lawyers on Suits were cutthroat, but her new coworkers leave bodies behind when they make enemies.
Jessica's fashion will remain on point, though a little subdued. "We are very much aware of Jessica Pearson as a fashion icon. That's how she developed. We had a great time with that and just had a blast," Torres told reporters. "It was a conversation as to how fabulous Jessica needs to be in Chicago. She is trying to fit in. She is trying to be taken seriously and not so much blend into the background but respect her new surroundings. Having said that, Jessica is still Jessica. I think it would be a tragedy if folks tuned in and didn't see that part of the DNA carry over [from Suits]."
Jessica won't have the support system she had on Suits. Jessica ran the firm on Suits and that meant she could always count on the people below her to have her back. The same cannot be said of the world of Pearson where she's a fish out of water.
"Jessica has to earn her family," Torres said. "These are completely different people. It's a completely different world. She doesn't know them. They don't know her. They don't know if they trust me." That goes for both the corporate family at City Hall and the aunt and cousin that Jessica moved to Chicago to get to know.
Jessica still has a boyfriend. Even though D.B. Woodside wasn't present, Gina Torres assures us that Jeff Malone is still part of the cast and remains Jessica's boyfriend.
Pearson premieres in 2019 on USA.