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. Prudence says

    It is understandable why NBC has fallen in the ratings, when good quality shows such as Outlaw are cancelled. Here, it was scheduled for Friday night and that is a bad night for any show. We are never home on Friday but I always recorded it, gave us something to watch on rerun Saturday. This show was the only show, besides Parenthood, NBC had to offer this season that was worth watching. I guess Parenthood will be next. If you don’t bring Outlaw back, NBC will truly be appropriately called “The Biggest Loser” network.

  2. Sharon says

    I can’t believe you canceled this show you kept bouncing it around I couldn’t even follow it and then it was off the air Jimmy Smit is a great actor in all aspects…Give it a shot and put it on regular viewing time and see what happens Thank you Sharon

  3. topcat says

    Outlaw was an excellent show and I missed seeing it on Friday nights. I am also awaiting its return to the network, if that is possible how can you expect a show be successful if it is never debued.

  4. Anonymous says

    We love this show! Why would you cancel it so soon, give it a chance. NBC should put it on during the week and leave it there.

  5. Rosalie McHugh says

    Love this show. I looked forward to Friday nights when Outlaw was on. So upset that the show was cancelled. NBC needs to give this show a chance. Please bring Outlaw back!!!!

  6. says

    Who makes your decision on what stays on TV. They couldn’t be over 20 years old or they would see that this program is GREAT. It is has the things that you look for in a show. The characters are diverse and they all work together well. It doesn’t have a lot of sex and violance and that is why you probably want to cancel it. Maybe you should rethink your decision. We need a few more shows like Outlaws to reminds people how to relax and enjoy a show that takes their mind off of the everyday and yet gives you an opportunity to look at the siutation and see how you would handle it and maybe learn something in the process. I have told at least a dozen people at my office about this show and now they are as hooked on it as I am. Please reconsider you decision and leave us a few good shows and Outlaws is definitly one of the really good ones.

    • Anonymous says

      I completely agree, I am 18 and in love with this drama. Not all of us young people are dumb, a few of understand it’s quality tv!

  7. Dolores Winther says

    I left a comment for the first time in my life and it wouldn’t go through because they said I had already left a comment. This is a mistake. I am for Outlaw being brought back and have never written anything before. How could you think I was writing more than once.

  8. ellenge50 says

    I enjoyed OUTLAW with Jimmy Smits. He is a very good actor, just as he played in LA LAW. I do not believe that raqce should play into the equation as to whether or not to keep the show. There have been many successful shows that show different races as to be Mexican, african-american or not. But what I can say is the shpw OUTSOURCE is totally a show that should betaken off the air. Just like having to soeak to another person across the water, India where you can barely understand what they say. I say keep OUTLAW and remove COMMUNITY , OUTSOURCE and UNDERCOVER. These three shows do nothing that is worth watching.

  9. Susan Juergens says

    I love this show. I watch a lot of TV and Outlaw has great writers. Smits delivers the crisp dialogue with great conviction. Excellent acting. I’m now a real fan of his. Please take the show out of the dreaded “Saturday” slot. Try it in prime time for six months. For me it addresses serious issues (the last–schools and racism) with heroism and at least some resolve. I think it’s inspirational. Gives me a spark of hope that this country CAN pull itself up out of the mud.

  10. Jean J. Gordon says

    I provided my first comment early this am. and, have been so very upset AND even more disappointed with their irrational programming antics!

    I hope all of the fans of this innovative, hopeful and intriguing Show watched it – tonight – all of the episodes have been amazing HOWEVER TONIGHT’ SHOW was, in my opinion, the most dynamic and compelling one thus far – absolutely ALL of the planets were aligned tonight with this show – it contained the drama, intrigue, controversial subject matter (an issue that still unfortunately exists – public school system segration in the USA),, legal perfection and the stellar performance and humanity of Jimmy Smits
    He IS certainly the one to be cast as the former Supreme Court Justice. NBC – are you trying to be completed boycotted if you cancel this amazing and ever-entertaining and event-filled Show? Please consider some or all of the following suggestions from me: change the day of the airing of this Show, please stop airing decade-old reruns of Friends – sure that was a great show TEN YEARS AGO!. get rid of most of your reality shows like “What would you do..” viewers have had it with reality shows and look forward to, instead of listening to and viewing other people’ perils in life, watching Outlaw where you are assured one hour of pure entertainment, wisdom and knowledge and fun and escape from their own perils – American viewers really do need that outlet always, but especially now with the direness of the economy, war and serious international mishaps which could represent some additional negative forthcomings to us innocent U.S. citizens NBC please wakeup and start providing valid programming, cancelling so many of your nonsense shows and get to work doing your job for your viewers and your first job at hand, with all due respect, is DO NOT CANCEL OUTLAW – IF YOU DO YOU WILL BE DOING A GRAVE INJUSTICE TO YOUR FORMER LOYAL VIEWERS AND TO NBC – Thank you and please listen to the millions of fans of Outlaw – you know what to do and how to do it – JUST PLEASE DO IT AND DO NOT CANCEL OUTLAW!

  11. Michael Shurr says

    This has the makings of a good show. it is fast moving and has a lot of twists and turns. I like it and hope that it will be renewed under better circumstances. It looks that they set it up for failure.

  12. Yvonne says


    BRING IT BACK!!!!!!

    Anxiously looking for its return in KCKS.

    • Dolore Winther says

      We saw two episodes of this show and went on vacation and had the show taping while we were gone. Have been looking for it and finally came online to see what happened. We loved the show and have always liked Smits. Please bring it back. You didn’t give him a fair chance. I thought at last there were two good new shows with Jimmy Smits and Tom Sellect.

  13. Jan says

    I agree with Patti. I was so disappointed when you cancelled CANE and now you’ve cancelled OUTLAW without giving it a real chance. I’ve been a Jimmy Smits fan for a long time. Just don’t put it back on Monday night. That’s NBC’s best TV night

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