19th century serial killers: The Alienist
In the late 19th century, a doctor who studied and treated the mind (a modern-day criminal psychologist) was called an alienist because their patients were believed to be "alienated from their mind." Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) in TNT's new drama The Alienist is one such doctor who is tasked with helping solve a string of boy sex worker murders in the seedy underbelly of New York City. Joining him is talented New York Times reporter and illustrator John Moore (Luke Evans) and whip-smart young secretary Sara Howard (Dakota Fanning) after being tasked to the secret investigation by police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Geraghty). The new series is a juicy period piece based on Caleb Carr's 1994 bestseller. It's a tale of a group of unlikely detectives who practice early forms of criminal psychology by keeping a running list of serial killer traits in order to get inside his head and hopefully catch him. 9 p.m. Monday, TNT
Another medical show: The Resident
The last thing we need is another hospital-based drama. But The Resident is a little different than the dozen others (okay, not really). The new series on Fox focuses on a young doctor's residency before he heads out on his own. During his final years of training he learns what really goes on behind the curtains in hospitals around the country, both the good and the bad. The young hotshot doctor (Matt Czuchry) faces off against the chief of surgery (Bruce Greenwood) in a fight pitting brilliance and arrogance against intimidation and manipulation. The series also stars Emily VanCamp, Manish Dayal, Moran Atias, Shaunette Renee Wilson and Melina Kanakaredes. 9 p.m. Monday, Fox
Winter thriller: The Open House
"You can't lock out what's already inside," warns the trailer for Netflix's new horror flick The Open House. The trailer — and hopefully the film — shows that October isn't the only month when horror does well. It even seems to take inspiration from The Shining and Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why) stars as Logan, a teenager who moves to a relative's vacant home with him mother (Piercey Dalton) after his father's death. They just barely begin to settle in when they begin to be tormented by eerie forces and the creepy small town seems to conspire against them — a nice mix of haunted house and small town paranoia. 3 a.m. Friday, Netflix.
Spike is undergoing a rebranding effort, and the transition brings us the six-part limited series Waco, chronicling the infamous 51-day Waco, Texas siege in 1993. Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) plays infamous Branch Davidian compound leader David Koresh while Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) as the FBI agent tracking the cult. The Branch Davidians were a sect that in 1955 separated from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The siege occurred after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms suspected the group of weapons violations and attempted to raid the Mount Carmel Center in Waco. The series promises an intriguing look at hostage situations, ATF raid procedures and the tactics cult leaders use to gain devoted followers. 10 p.m. Wednesday, Paramount
Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.