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1tvwestworld_tzrThis new sci-fi drama series — a new version of Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie — has been promised for a long, long, time. What has arrived is a dark, brooding meditation on artificial intelligence and reality, set in the town of Sweetwater, an adults-only, Wild West-themed amusement park. Jeffrey Wright plays a programmer concerned with recent strange behavior by the park’s “hosts”; Evan Rachel Wood is rancher’s daughter Dolores; Anthony Hopkins does his creepy best as the park’s founder; and be on the look out for the Man in Black (Ed Harris). Creepy and thought-provoking. Series premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, on HBO.

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720x405-R1238_FOB_TV_ATake a deep breath. All the elements that made the premiere season of writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto’s crime drama such a buzzed-about hit are back for season two. The new setting is a gritty, film-noir version of present-day Los Angeles. There are three tortured law-enforcement officers this time out (Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch), plus Vince Vaughn as a slimy criminal. And there’s a twisted murder to bring all the elements together. I said it last year when the show premiered, but it bears repeating: This is some deep, layered, “must-see” television. Season premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, June 21, on HBO.

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veep13_04The joys of watching this political comedy — now in its fourth season — are multifold. This tale of former senator-turned-vice president-now-POTUS Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) features clever and witty (and more than likely blue) dialogue, and a supporting cast (Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky and Matt Walsh) that is an embarrassment of comic riches. 10:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26, on HBO.

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Coming June 21.

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newerhbofmThe final two hours of this four-part miniseries based on Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel airs tonight. The tale is set in a small New England town and stars Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray and John Gallagher Jr. It was directed by Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right”). Parts 3 and 4 premiere 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, on HBO.

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ustv-hbo-the-leftovers-promotional-imageThis new dramatic series — from the executive producers of “Lost” and “Friday Night Lights” and based on the novel by Tom Perrotta — looks at the residents of a small New York town three years after an event in which 2 percent of the world’s population disappeared without a trace. The series is bleak, but full of intriguing ideas and images (the opening sequence from the pilot is particularly haunting). Justin Theroux heads a cast that includes Amy Brenneman, Chris Eccleston, Liv Tyler and Ann Dowd. 10 p.m. Sunday, July 6, on HBO.

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normalheartRyan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic captures all the original’s emotional and devastating anger. Mark Ruffalo anchors a top-notch cast as writer Ned Weeks, who in early 1980s New York City founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis while battling the medical and political communities. Amazing and nuanced work from Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons as well. Not to be missed. 9 p.m. Sunday, May 25, on HBO.

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