'Outlaw' Wrangled

Word is that NBC has ceased production on "Outlaw" (NBC, 10 p.m.) after five episodes. The network will burn off the last two or three it has left to air, including tonight's, but that will be it for the show.

"Outlaw" becomes the third show to be yanked by a network, following Fox's "Lone Star" and ABC's "My Generation."

"Outlaw was among the worst-reviewed shows of the new season, based on a flimsy premise about a Supreme Court judge (Jimmy Smits) who resigns from the bench to take on cases for the little guy. Not even Smits' star power could save it.

It didn't help that CBS' "Blue Bloods" airs opposite it and has gotten favorable reviews, not to mention a steady audience of about 11 million, a good number on any night, but very strong for a Friday.

It hasn't been a good start for NBC, which has also seen "Chase" and "Undercovers" start off weak in terms of the ratings. Of the network's new shows, only "The Event" and "Outsourced" have pulled in decent ratings, and the latter's is more because of its timeslot than its material.

It will be interesting to see NBC's strategy to replace "Outlaw." Does it move one of the struggling dramas into that slot, or does it just place a "Dateline" in there, which is much cheaper to produce?

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: CBS, meanwhile, is winning the night pretty handily with "Medium" and "CSI: NY" preceding "Blue Bloods."

Thanks to the other networks' relative weakness, Fridays have actually been the strongest night of the week for The CW, which has a new "Smallville" (guest-starring Supergirl) and "Supernatural."

Meanwhile, Friday was supposed to be a potentially decent night for Fox to show two ratings-challenged shows, "Human Target" and "The Good Guys," but the former hasn't even begun yet while the latter is getting trounced.

On cable, BBC America has moved "Law & Order: UK" to the 9 p.m. slot. It's actually a pretty neat show, and I've never been an "L&O" fan.

SyFy has a new "Haven" at 10 p.m.

On Saturday, how will Georgia blow it this week against Tennessee? (WGXA, noon) Virginia visits Georgia Tech at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

On Sunday, "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) continues in Ghana, followed by "Undercover Boss" and "CSI: Miami." They could have done a great crossover last week with David Caruso trying to do the sunglasses challenge during "The Amazing Race."

Fox's animated block is all-new Sunday, while ABC has "Desperate Housewives" and "Brothers & Sisters" from 9-11 p.m.

PBS continues "Masterpiece: Mystery" with Kenneth Branagh's "Wallander" (PBS, 9 p.m.)

On cable, "Rubicon" and "Mad Men" continue to wind down their seasons from 9-11 p.m. on AMC.

On premium cable, "Boardwalk Empire" (HBO, 9 p.m.) is new, followed by "Bored To Death" and "East Bound and Down." Showtime airs a new "Dexter" at 9 p.m.

And all weekend long, the MLB playoffs continue.