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    tv critic’s corner

    No shortage of promising new shows on the way

    A scene from TNT’s new series “The Alienist.”
    Kata Vermes
    A scene from TNT’s new series “The Alienist.”

    A whole raft of new TV shows and miniseries are on their way this month, now that the holiday season is over. Here are a few I’m most looking forward to — and this doesn’t include returning series, such as “Victoria” on PBS (Jan. 14).

    “The Chi,” Showtime

    This drama is from Lena Waithe, who plays Denise on “Master of None.” It’s about families who live on the South Side of Chicago, and a pair of shootings. Think “The Wire” meets “Shameless,” to some extent. My full review runs Friday. (Sunday, Jan. 7)

    “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,” Amazon

    Each episode of this sci-fi anthology series, whose executive producers include Bryan Cranston, will have different writers and directors. It sounds like “Black Mirror,” but with a less obsessive focus on the future of technology. Cranston, Steve Buscemi, Janelle Monae, Anna Paquin, and Terrence Howard are in the cast. (Friday, Jan. 12)

    “The Assassination of Gianni Versace:
    American Crime Story,” FX


    If this season is as good as the last, called “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” we’re in for something good. The story will chronicle the life and murders of Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) leading up to his murder of Versace (Edward Ramirez) in Miami in 1997. Did homophobia enable Cunanan to keep killing? (Wednesday, Jan. 17)

    “Counterpart,” Starz

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    To this day, when I see J.K. Simmons — who won an Oscar for “Whiplash” — I think of his role as white supremacist Verne Schillinger. In this sci-fi series, he plays two versions of the same character, an intelligence bureaucrat and, in a parallel dimension, a brutal agent. (Sunday, Jan. 21)

    “The Alienist,” TNT

    This period thriller follows the investigation of murders of boy prostitutes in New York City by a team put together by newly appointed police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty). The focus of the show, based on the novel by Caleb Carr, is on the early days of forensics and psychology. (Monday, Jan. 22)

    “The Looming Tower,” Hulu

    Based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book about Sept. 11 and what led up to it, this 10-episode miniseries looks at the counterterrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA. It’s scripted, and it features Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, Bill Camp, and Michael Stuhlbarg. (Wednesday, Feb. 28)

    Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.