After weeks of less than stellar ratings, the new court drama “Outlaw” is on the verge of being canceled. NBC has put the shows on what it calls a “temporary production hiatus,” but it is being kept on the air for now.
“Outlaw” stars Jimmy Smits as a Supreme Court justice who leaves the bench to start his own law firm. The show was on the fence during the pilot development process and many insiders were shocked when it actually was put on NBC’s schedule. It has been beat handedly each of its three weeks by the CBS cop drama “Blue Bloods.”
Production will stop on Thursday while NBC watches the ratings and mulls its options. Right now, eight episodes have been produced with five not having aired yet. If the show is cancelled, episodes of news magazine “Dateline” will likely fill its Friday 10ET spot on the schedule.
If ratings improve, more shows will be ordered; if not, cancellation will probably happen before the important November sweeps period. A cancellation of “Outlaw” would be a blow to Conan O’Brien’s Conaco Productions, which was part of NBC before the O’Brien’s exit after the “Late Night” fiasco.
Also in trouble is reality show “The Apprentice.” Even with the hook of contestants who lost their jobs during the recession, no one is watching. It may be moved from Thursday night to Saturday night, which is usually filled with reruns and news shows. No show has been pulled this season by NBC, but almost all of the new programs have performed lower than expected.