Coming Soon: Outlaw
When Does It Start: Wednesday September 15th at 10pm / 9c on NBC
In A Nutshell: A Supreme Court judge resigns from the bench and returns to private practice…
What’s It About: Jimmy Smits plays Cyrus Garza, a playboy Supreme Court judge who makes the unprecedented decision to step down from the bench so he can pursue his own brand of justice. Garza returns to the world of private practice and surrounds himself with a dream legal team, travelling the US and using his insider knowledge to take on some of the biggest and most controversial cases in America today.
Plus Points: Jimmy Smits has proven a dependable TV star over the last 3 decades with plenty of hit shows on his resume (by the way can you believe Jimmy is now 55 – the guy never ages!). From LA Law and NYPD Blue to The West Wing and Dexter, Smits has the Heather Locklear factor – likability, accessibility and the perfect persona for TV stardom.
The show’s reportedly produced by Conan O’Brien – an interesting scenario given all that went down between team Coco and NBC earlier in the year. How ironic would it be if Outlaw becomes a breakout hit in the 10pm slot previously occupied by Conan’s nemesis, Jay Leno! (I say ‘reportedly’ since Conan’s name is totally missing from the show’s NBC site page….)
The trailer certainly looks polished and courtroom dramas have been a TV staple for decades now (and a source of early success for Smits on LA Law). Outlaw will be facing The Good Wife (which uses the courtroom mainly as a backdrop for its personal dramas) and the Rob Morrow / Maura Tierney drama The Whole Truth… will Jimmy come out on top?
On The Downside: Smits may be a familiar name in the TV world but the last show he anchored, 2007’s Latino soap Cane only lasted 13 episodes. In fact Smits has generally worked best as part as an ensemble cast, or as a late addition to an existing series. Will Jimmy’s name alone be enough to bring in viewers, especially as fellow cast members Jesse Bradford (Swimfan), Carly Pope (Popular) and Ellen Woglom (Californication) aren’t exactly household names.
Scheduling isn’t going to help either. Though the show is getting a premiere slot on Wednesday 15th it’ll then be reverting to the Friday night death zone for its actual run. And nothing survives Friday nights – just ask Dollhouse, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Lipstick Jungle, Ugly Betty and Miami Medical…
Plus competition on Fridays this Fall is going to be more intense that ever this Fall with Medium, CSI: New York, The Good Guys, Human Target and new series Blue Bloods and Body of Proof all competing for limited eyeballs. It’s gonna be a bloodbath…
Finally there’s the subject matter itself. Outlaw doesn’t exactly look like a fresh new concept… were we really in need of ANOTHER courtroom drama? As I argued in my Career Crisis piece earlier in the year when will networks stop building shows around lawyers, cop and doctors? And Outlaw’s premise is pretty far fetched in the first place… are viewers really going to believe a ‘playboy’ judge made it to the Supreme Court after all the scrutiny Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan went through…
Prediction: I have a feeling Outlaw may have fared better as a summer series on USA or TNT… as it stands I think we might be looking at the first Fall casualty. Can the show even last until Christmas? I wouldn’t bet on it…
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about 2 years ago - 3 comments
Okay – so we’re two weeks into the 2010 TV season and already a few early trends are becoming apparent. Two shows have already been canned (Lone Star and My Generation), many more are struggling, and it’s returning shows that are making all the headlines and getting all the buzz (Glee, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and even Desperate Housewives).
Am I surprised… not really! I had a feeling the new season’s batch of newcomers were going to struggle based on the early glimpses I got over the summer. Big on gloss but low on ideas there just seemed to be too many cookie cutter shows… and you know – not everyone wants to watch CBS!
So here’s a few early lessons we can all learn from the season so far… enjoy – and don’t forget to weigh in with your own thoughts below!