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Fall TV Preview: Outlaw Stars Jimmy Smits! What More Could You Want? Oh...You Did Want More?

Outlaw, Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey, Ellen Woglom Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Fall TV Preview

Jimmy Smits is back on TV! But wait...So are Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg, at the exact same time? Curses!

Well, you're gonna need the nitty-gritty 411 on which series (if any) you should watch—Smits' Outlaw or Selleck and Wahlberg's Blue Bloods?—and we have it right here:

Outlaw (NBC)

Premieres Wednesday, Sept. 15, 10-11 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Blue Bloods (CBS), 20/20 (ABC)
Cast: Jimmy Smits, David Ramsey, Jesse Bradford, Carly Pope, Ellen Woglom
Status: We've seen the first episode

Outlaw is Jimmy Smits' show, but everyone else is pretty forgettable in the pilot episode. Their lives revolve around his character, Cyrus Garza, a playboy Supreme Court justice who shocks the country when he quits to reenter private practice. Why, you ask? Only Garza himself seems to know for sure. To change the legal system? To represent the little man? To make his late father proud? Or does it have to do with his $250,000 gambling debt?

 "He's something different from what I've done before, a character that's much more loose and comfortable," Smits tells us. "He's a character outside the box in a lot of ways."

So what does every good lawyer need? According to longstanding TV traditions, a diverse legal team who butts heads, but become a family by pilot's end. We've got Al (David Ramsey), family man and moral compass of the team; Eddie (Jesse Bradford), the recent Ivy-league grad looking to make a name for himself; Lucinda (Carly Pope), the bisexual bad-girl private investigator, and Mereta (Ellen Woglom), a law clerk with a schoolgirl crush on Garza.

While Smits is in fine form as always, his character isn't entirely compelling and is still the only one worth caring about. Eddie and Lucinda's "will they or won't they" dynamic lacks heat, and Mereta's crush on Garza is predictably boring. The supporting characters are severely underwritten, so we're hoping future episodes will delve more into their personalities and backgrounds.

Still, executive producer John Eisendrath promises viewers will constantly be surprised by Garza's stance on hot-button topics as the series unfolds: "You won't really be able to gauge what his position will be on gay marriage or freedom of choice or the death penalty. He's a character full of vices, and he's conservative."

While we weren't entirely sold on the pilot, we'll stick around for a few more before sentencing Outlaw to death by canceling our season pass.

Verdict: DVR it. CBS' Blue Bloods (with Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg) is the far better bet for this hour. (Get our full review on Monday, when we break down all the new CBS shows.)

 What's your take on Outlaw? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Click through E! Online's Fall TV Preview photo gallery, check out all our reviews for this season's new shows, and be sure to bookmark our calendar of premiere dates!

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