Outlaw: New Jimmy Smits TV Show; Cancel or Keep It?

OutlawMany people first became aware of actor Jimmy Smits when he co-starred back on NBC’s LA Law in the 1990s. He’s worked on many TV shows since then — The West Wing, Cane, NYPD Blue — with varying levels of success. Now, he’s back in the courtroom again, playing a lawyer on NBC’s Outlaw. How will this new series work out for him? A big success or a quick cancellation?

Outlaw follows a Supreme Court Justice (Smits) who decides to step down and go back to being a lawyer to fight injustices. The NBC series also stars Carly Pope, David Ramsey, Jesse Bradford, and Ellen Woglom.

NBC gave Outlaw a special preview on Wednesday September 15th, in the plum spot of following the season finale of America’s Got Talent. The series premiere was reasonably sampled with a 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 10.68 million viewers. Those are okay numbers on their own but it’s not a good sign that Outlaw lost a significant amount of America’s Got Talent’s lead-in audience — 42% in the demo and 35% of total viewers.

What do you think of Outlaw?

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A couple days later, in its regular Friday night timeslot on the 17th, NBC reran the pilot episode. Outlaw performed terribly but, after all, it was a repeat. The rerun attracted just a 0.9 in the demo and 3.93 million viewers. The NBC execs were surely hoping originals would perform better.

Not so much. This past Friday, episode two of Outlaw only mustered a 1.1 rating in the all-important demo ratings and 4.99 million viewers (per the overnights). It was in last place in both categories and lost a large percentage of its lead-in audience from Dateline. Last year, an episode of The Jay Leno Show even did better with a 1.6 and 5.79 million.

TV show supportWith ratings like these, it’s hard to imagine that NBC would bother ordering more episodes beyond the initial 13 installments. They may in fact decide to pull the show altogether and plug in repeats of another series. It looks like it’ll soon be back to the drawing board for Mr. Smits.

What do you think? Did you watch Outlaw? Do you like it? Is it worth saving or should it just be cancelled?

Canceled and renewed TV show

167 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Tami says

    I agree! Another one of those that you just start looking forward to each Friday, and suddenly NBC pulls it off the air. They really didn’t give this series a chance. I throughly enjoyed it and Friday needs some decent shows.

  2. jewel says

    Once again a great show canceled! I can’r understand how they think they can eliminate something when they don’t give it a chance. Now there isn’t a reason to watch NBC.

  3. Gaye CT. says

    I can not believe you cancelled Outlaw. The show was very good and watching Jimmy for an hour was great. What are you going to do put on some more reality shows? PLEASE NO MORE REALITY SHOWS.

  4. Susan S - WI says

    I am very disappointed that this show is cancelled. Moving it to Saturdays after just few episodes is hardly the way to build an audience. I hope they reconsider.

  5. Kathy says

    I agree – what’s wrong with NBC – 1st – Law and Order, now Outlaw – ???

    It’s not like they have an abundance of great shows, since they show only
    RERUNS on Saturday nights !!!!

  6. brian says

    I can’t imagine what they are thinking giving up on a Jimmy Smits vehicle so early. He has kicked @ss everywhere he has been! As much as I loved NYPD, with Jimmy the show doesn’t last nearly as long as it did. This ensemble type of cast could do the same type of thing. I just wonder if maybe they hit too close to home on a couple of hot button issues too soon. Racism/ elitism in schools and the last episode probably had some important people talking, ya know?
    Sure home they pull their heads out and keep the show alive!
    ps: And there is nothing wrong with “Blue Bloods”! A very entertaining type of police drama.

  7. Natalie says

    Hey bring back Outlaw!!! Give it a chance it is a great show. I have been looking for it and can never find it. I was looking forward to Friday nights. I am so upset that you dropped this awesome series!! Bring it back!!

  8. JCHAVIS61 says

    THIS SHOW IS THE TRUTH I NEED TO GO ON NBC.COM AND BRING THE SHOW BACK ON THE AIR FOR MANY YEARS A LOT OF GOOD SHOWS HAVE CAME AND WENT BUT NOW I’M GONNA FIGHT FOR THIS SHOW TO STAY ON THE AIR EVEN IF I HAVE TO GO TO THE SUPREME COURT MY SELF IA ANY ONE WITH ME JUST HIT ME ON THE E-MAIL OR FACE BOOK TO HELP OR TELL ME WHAT TO DO

  9. Sue in Florida says

    I agree whole heartedly with the last comment. This show is good. I have wondered why I did not see another episode aired. Therefore, I resorted and did an internet inquiry. What a shame if it is cancelled. What female does not want to watch an hour of Jimmy Smits. Do I have an amen. NBC, please get it right. Give this show a chance. Friday nights needs something to look foward to on TV. Some people don’t go out drinking all night.

  10. Nancy says

    How can they cancel a show after one-two episodes? Outlaw was so much better than that is the awful Blue Bloods (Outlaw’s “competition”?)–Tom Selleck never changes his facial expression, his tone of voice–he can’t act; yet his show evidently earned higher ratings than Outlaw–a show not only with better writing, but with a much better leading actor–indeed, the entire cast shines in comparison.

    NBC just can’t seem to get it right–from the Leno fiasco to cancelling Law and Order and now refusing to give Outlaw even a opportunity. (I watched the first episode–it was excellent.)
    Finally, I also agree with the comment on Dexter–finally some unique writing, and NBC decides to…oh, yeah, they cancelled Dexter as well. Fortunately this fine show was picked-up by a cable network that has an eye for excellencd.,

  11. says

    Saw another episode of Outlaw this evening (11-13-2010). Do not recall
    this one on before cancellation. Is the show back? I hope so. We do/did
    enjoy. Can not figure out why it would be cancelled. Friday’s need this
    show.

  12. craig leonard says

    I’ve never really been a fan of NBC and now I know why. I truly liked watching OUTLAW and once again NBC pulls a fantastic series of the air. Why not give the show a chance.

    • says

      I feel the same way . you get a decent show on and they take it off for a stupid
      war or gangster show leave some of the good family shows on

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