TV Newness

Tonight you get not one but three new TV series making their debuts.

The first two come from NBC, a series not known for launching commerically successful series these days. The sitcom "Parks & Recreation" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) wasn't made available for preview, but is worth checking out nonetheless simply because it's made by the same people who make "The Office" and stars Amy Poehler.

It's not really a spinoff of "The Office," but rather shot in the same mockumentary style, with Pohler as a somewhat clueless parks employee. Among the cast is Rashida Jones, not reprising her "Office" role of Karen.

NBC also brings us "Southland" (NBC, 10 p.m.), which occupies "ER's" old time slot. It stars Ben MacKenzie as a rookie cop among veterans working in the seedy parts of L.A. It's vaguely reminiscent of "Homicide" and "Boomtown," though not nearly as good as either of those two shows.

It seems to possess a lot of stock, humorless characters, and really doesn't show you something you've never not seen before.

Finally, CBS counters with "Harper's Island" at 10 p.m. Think an Agatha Christie-style mystery starring the good-looking young cast of shows like "The O.C." and you have an idea of what this show is like. The show will run 13 weeks, with one person getting bumped off each week. If the show makes it to a second year, it will be a different 13-week mystery with a different cast.

I saw the original pilot presentation for it last fall, but that's not helpful since most of it has been re-shot and re-cast, but basically, it involves a bunch of 20-somethings who go to the island for a wedding, and dark secrets are revealed as people die. Why they don't leave the island after the first death is anyone's guess, but I suppose it would be a really short series if they did.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Still some familiar stuff with new episodes as well, though not on the CW, which is all reruns.

ABC only offers new episodes of "In The Motherhood" and "Samantha Who?" at 8 p.m., while CBS leads into "Harper's Island" with new installments of "Survivor" and "CSI."

NBC anchors "Parks" with two new episodes of "The Office" at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. before a new "30 Rock" at 9:30 p.m.

Finally, Fox delivers a new "Bones," followed by "Hell's Kitchen."