J.J. Abrams has struck again.

Abrams, along with co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, are renowned for such works as “Lost,” “Alias” and the much-anticipated reboot of the “Star Trek” movie franchise. Their latest effort is “Fringe,” debuting at 9 tonight on Fox.

What is “Fringe”? Well, that’s hard to say based on the pilot. It’s kind of a cross between “Alias” and “The X-Files,” and promises to have the maddening complexity of “Lost” as well. If you like your TV wrapped up neatly with a bow at the end of each episode, this isn’t for you.

At the heart of “Fringe” is FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), who finds herself drawn into a world of intrigue after her partner John Scott (Brad Valley, “Boston Legal”) is nearly killed in an explosion while chasing a suspect.

Olivia finds a mad scientist, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), who she thinks can save John. But in order to get Bishop out of the asylum which he’s in, she must recruit his reluctant son Peter (Joshua Jackson, “Dawson’s Creek”) to help her.

Olivia also uncovers a connection linking Bishop’s decades-old research, his old partner who runs a multinational corporation and the mysterious case she’s working on at the same time as she’s trying to save John. She’s also being recruited for something bigger by shadowy Department of Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, “The Wire”).

If this all seems a little confusing, well, duh. Abrams and company want viewers to come along for the ride on “Fringe.” And many will.

Also debuting at 9 tonight is a drama quite unlike “Fringe.”

The lighthearted “Privileged” centers on Megan Smith (played by Joanna Garcia, “Reba”), a recent Yale grad with a sunny attitude who finds her life in the crapper. Homeless and jobless, she decides to take a job as the live-in tutor for the twin granddaughters of cosmetics magnate Laurel Limoges (Anne Archer). If she’s successful, she’ll be rewarded accordingly, and it will help her get her life back on track.

She has quite a task ahead of her. Sage Baker (Ashley Newbrough) is the dominant twin, determined to play the role of the profligate heiress. Shy Rose Baker (Lucy Kate Hale) is very intelligent, but tends to follow her older sister’s lead.

Megan understands sister issues, since she headed off to Yale to escape her drunken father, leaving her younger sister Lily (Kristina Apgar) behind, which caused a rift between the siblings. (Lily also poached Megan’s girlfriend.)

“Privileged” has a likable supporting cast, including Allan Louis as the chef, Michael Cassidy as Megan’s old friend Charlie and Brian Hallisay as mysterious next-door neighbor Will Davis.

“Privileged” is an amusing fish-out-of-water tale, and has a lead-in with strong buzz in “90210.” Will it attract enough viewers to survive? If CBS’ new “The Mentalist” tanks and “The Biggest Loser: Families” doesn’t draw well, then maybe both “Fringe” and “Privileged” can find their niches behind the “Dancing with the Stars” results show.