It’s star-vehicle time Wednesday night as Jimmy Smits returns in the new series “Outlaw,” at 10 p.m. on NBC. (The pilot is then repeated at 10 p.m. Friday, the show’s regular time slot.)

This time out, Smits plays a conservative Supreme Court justice with a gambling problem. He’s haunted by the voice of his late father, a civil rights attorney. He decides to resign his seat on the high court in order to become a crusading lawyer, helping the little guy and angering the powers-that-be who supported his rise.

The gracefully aging Smits is charismatic in the lead. He’s surrounded by a rainbow coalition as his two-dimensional staff. The rather ordinary “Outlaw” isn’t even the best new legal series this season. Its success comes down to whether viewers like Smits or Tom Selleck in his new show “Blue Bloods” better as they jostle in the same time slot.

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