Potential is the best word to use when describing tonight’s three new series.
First up is the documentary-style drama “My Generation,” debuting at 8 p.m. on ABC. The series follows seven students from an Austin, Texas, high school, first during their graduation year and then again 10 years later.
The message of “My Generation” is that some people peak in high school, while others continue to grow. The characters all are archetypes with which most viewers can identify. But up against established shows such as “Bones” and “30 Rock” and up-and-comers such as “Vampire Diaries,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Community,” “My Generation” doesn’t stand a prayer of making its 20th class reunion.
Fresh off his comeback as Denny Crane in “Boston Legal,” William Shatner returns as the focus of “$#*! My Dad Says,” airing at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. Based on the popular Twitter feed of the same name, Shatner plays a stubborn, conservative old coot who ends up taking in his long-lost younger son.
The show has gotten off to a bumpy start, with the son’s role getting recast. But it comes from producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (“Will & Grace”), and it has a protective timeslot behind “The Big Bang Theory,” so the sitcom should have a chance to improve.
Gaining the choice slot on NBC’s Thursday-night comedy lineup is “Outsourced,” debuting at 9:30 p.m. A trainee at the Mid-Western Novelty Company is given the choice of transferring to run the new Indian call center or be downsized out of a job. So his job is to train a group of would-be telemarketers who don’t understand either novelties or Americans.
This is a typical “fish-out-of-water” comedy, with the cast a group of stereotypes played this time by Indian actors. “Outsourced” shouldn’t have knocked “Parks & Recreation” off the schedule until mid-season.