Kaitlin Olson Says ‘High Potential’ Role Is Nothing Like Her Past ‘Degenerate Characters’

Kaitlin Olson in HIgh Potential
Fall Preview
Disney/David Bukach

It’s fitting that one of the most anticipated fall TV shows has a title like High Potential. A fish-out-of-water tale with shades of The Rookie and Castle that stars the deft Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Hacks), ABC’s newest dramedy procedural, written by Alias and Good Place vet Drew Goddard, is poised to be a breakout series. And Olson is ready.

“It’s so different than anything I’ve done before,” she tells TV Guide Magazine, even though her protagonist Morgan Gillory — a single mom of three with a genius IQ — bears some resemblance to Sunny’s wise-cracking barfly “Sweet Dee” Reynolds. “I still love a scrappy character. Morgan’s incredibly intelligent, but it tortures her. She also is a wonderful mom who cares so much about her kids. It’s a fun departure from the degenerate characters I’ve played.”

Kaitlin Olson in HIgh Potential

ABC/Disney

Based on the French hit Haut Potentiel Intellectuel, this take taps into Olson’s crackerjack comedic timing and dramatic abilities as her authority-averse brainiac juggles parenthood with the search for a missing beau and an unlikely alliance with the LAPD.

“She’s the cleaning lady, and in the first episode, as she’s dancing around cleaning in the middle of the night, she knocks over a big pile of evidence,” Olson previews. While trying to put everything back in place, Morgan uses her exceptional intelligence to figure out the suspect board on the wall, and viola! She’s recruited into helping intrigued lieutenant Selena Soto (ClawsJudy Reyes) crack the case and eventually partnered with a very irked by-the-book detective (Rescue Me’s Daniel Sunjata).

“It’s not like the police department is inadequate,” explains the actress. “They’re very capable and very talented, but because her brain just works differently, Morgan is able to just spot things that they maybe didn’t see.”

High Potential, Tuesdays, Fall 2024, 10/9c, ABC