Jimmy Smits has been going the extra mile — and then a few miles more — to give a last-minute boost to his new NBC “Outlaw” series, which gets its premiere tonight (9/15) after the finale of “America’s Got Talent.”
“I’m a little worn around the edges. I’ll be happy when we kind of set sail and let the shows speak for themselves,” admits the nice guy star, who’s also an exec producer on the show. “But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Having to travel to New York or DC to do press stuff, which we have to do — it’s taxing. It’s been an exercise in time management for me.” He laughs. “Get the violins.”
He was in the midst of what promised to be a 16-hour work day when we spoke to him.
The fact that Smits’ new drama takes lots of risks makes it all the more challenging to launch. The biggest risk: his character, a Supreme Court Justice who’s a decidedly flawed fellow, and who steps down from the bench in a crisis of conscience and starts taking on cases that are related to controversial issues, like immigration. The bad boy good guy has left some critics dubious. However, Jimmy points out, “It’s a very personalized viewpoint we’re looking at, so it’s not soap-boxy…The hot button issues we do, juxtaposed with a character who has a lot of flourishes, complexities and chinks in the armor, makes for something really compelling.” They’re starting Episode 4, he says, and have found their groove.
Smits’ lady of twenty-some years, Wanda De Jesus, has her own series about to launch as well – “Law & Order: Los Angeles.” As far as how things are on the home front, he says, “We’re fine. Everything is fine.”
And as far as the fact that his show is scheduled, in its forthcoming regular Friday night timeslot, opposite fellow veteran Favorite TV Star Tom Selleck’s “Blue Bloods”?
“I wish him well. We all just have to do the best we can when we get our up at bats, that’s all,” says Jimmy. “We’re doing good work over here. I’m excited.”