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TV Watchlist: Trekking Across Bakersfield

Plus, the final Season of 'Merlin' casts a spell on Syfy

Happy New Year! Airlock Alpha fans can start their year with a bazinga and I don't mean bees. (Editor's note, that joke is only funny if you read my other article) The gang from "The Big Bang Theory" dress as their favorite "Star Trek: TNG" characters and head out to fabulous Bakersfield Comic Con; which is its own kind of "Fresh Hell." Jim Parsons makes such an amazing Data that Brent Spiner should ask him to come on his web series

Plenty of shows are airing new episodes after a break for the holidays. The final season of "Merlin" continues, new episodes from "Castle," "Person of Interest," and "Once Upon a Time." The countdown to the end begins for "Fringe" and "American Horror Story: Asylum" fans. Sadly, "Grimm" and "Revolution" supporters will have to wait until March.

The television landscape isn’t as bleak as it seems. Each week we’ll countdown the best in sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal television for the viewer with discriminating tastes. Here is this week’s Watchlist for January 7 – 13.

MONDAY
Bones (8 p.m., Fox)
(“The Diamond in the Rough; The Archaeologist in the Cocoon”) When a professional ballroom dancer is killed before her audition for a reality-TV dance competition, Brennan and Booth pose as potential contestants to hunt for suspects. In the second hour, an archaeologist with a dubious reputation is murdered soon after making an important discovery. “Bones” returns with this all new episode on January 14.

The Haunting Of… (10 p.m., A&E)
(“Fairuza Balk”) Fairuza Balk attempts to communicate with spirits at her studio.

Castle (10 p.m., ABC)
(“Significant Others”) Several angry ex-husbands come under suspicion when a divorce attorney who only represented women is murdered; when Alexis gets sick, Castle's ex-wife moves into the loft to take care of her.

Revolution (10 p.m., NBC)
The series has been placed on a long hiatus returning on March 25. “Revolution” promises to pick up exactly where it left off; with Miles & Co. starring down the barrel of Monroe's chopper guns. "We don't take away that card that we gave as a cliff-hanger," Executive Producer Eric Kripke says. "Monroe does have choppers and does have a limited form of power. Giving him power was more about making him an unstoppable force that your heroes are totally outmanned and overwhelmed as they're trying to battle against him."

TUESDAY
Our search revealed no new genre shows of note for the TV Watchlist. However, the Science channel is airing three hours of “Fringe” beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. Found something missing? Email us if you’d like to see your show added to the list!

WEDNESDAY
Arrow (8 p.m., The CW)
(“Burned”) The series comes back next week, January 16. On the return episode, the green-hooded vigilante will go up against Firefly, a psychologically damaged firefighter who is going around Starling City, committing acts of arson. It's about to get hot!

The Neighbors (8:30 p.m., ABC)
(“The Gingerbread Man”) Larry Bird uses his experience as supreme leader to help Debbie navigate PTA politics, specifically officious president Linda (Nora Dunn). Meanwhile, Jackie tries to help Marty coach soccer, until her cutthroat competitive nature kicks in.

NOVA (9 p.m., PBS)
(“Decoding Neanderthals”) Find out what happened when the first modern humans encountered Neanderthals 60,000 years ago.

Supernatural (9 p.m., The CW)
(“Torn and Frayed”) Like other CW series, this also returns on January 16. Castiel tries to rescue a fellow angel, who is being held captive by Crowley. Meanwhile, Amelia asks Sam to either stay with her or leave and never contact her again.

American Horror Story: Asylum (10 p.m., FX)
(“Spilt Milk”) Grace brings Kit devastating news about the aliens' experiments on Alma. Dr. Thredson receives an unexpected visitor. The Monsignor goes to extreme lengths to silence Jude.

Note: CBS will airing a two-hour special for the 39th Annual People’s Choice Awards, pre-empting some shows. Please check your local listings. Kaley Cuoco of Big Bang Theory will host.

THURSDAY
Big Bang Theory (8 p.m., CBS)
(“The Bakersfield Expedition”) While the guys attend the Bakersfield Comic-Con dressed as “Star Trek: The Next Generation” characters, the girls decide to explore their world of comic books and get deeper than they expected. Leonard's car is stolen while they are dressed in Star Trek costumes.

Last Resort (8 p.m., ABC)
(“Damn the Torpedoes”) A typhoon, a mutiny and a Washington coup d'etat will force Marcus and his crew into unlikely alliances. As Sam's grief strains his loyalty to Marcus, will Sainte Marina get the supplies it so desperately needs? How far will Marcus go to ensure the crew's survival — will it cost him his life?

Person of Interest (9 p.m., CBS)
(“Prisoner's Dilemma”) While Carter engages in mental warfare with the FBI to help Reese evade Agent Donnelly's narrowing focus, Reese crosses paths with foes both old and new. Meanwhile, Det. Fusco is forced to fly solo to help the team's newest POI: supermodel Karolina Kurkova.

Elementary (10 p.m., CBS)
(“M.”) Holmes faces a British criminal, known as M. (Vinnie Jones), who appears to have followed Sherlock to New York City. Meanwhile, Joan begins to have reservations about leaving Holmes and caring for a new client.

Note: The CW will airing a two-hour special for the 18th Annual Critic’s Choice Movie Awards, pre-empting shows like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Vampire Diaries.” Please check your local listings.

FRIDAY
Fringe (9 p.m., Fox)
(“The Boy Must Live”) With only three episodes of “Fringe” left, you can’t miss a single minute! Did we mention that Walter has a nude scene? Walter goes into the deprivation tank with the goal of learning more about the mysterious figure called Donald; Capt. Windmark sets out on a crucial mission. Tonight’s episode is an explain-it-all-before-the-finale where fans get an interesting look at the origins of the fedora-wearing baldies. It's a history slightly reminiscent of “Battlestar Galactica.”

Grimm (9 p.m., NBC)
“Grimm” is on an especially long hiatus, not returning with new episodes until March 8.

Banshee (10 p.m., Cinemax)
(“Pilot”) From the creator of "True Blood," Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) is an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania. There he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier.

Upon arriving in Banshee, Sheriff Lucas Hood immediately has a chance run-in with an Amish gangster, while keeping a watchful eye out for the New York mob czar he once double-crossed.

Merlin (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Arthur’s Bane Part 2”) Merlin fears that the ancient prophecies about Mordred might come true as even he is not able to sway Arthur from his chosen path. Alone and close to exhaustion, Merlin and Arthur struggle to carry on as dawn breaks across the icy tundra. With each tortured step bringing them ever nearer to the looming fortress of Ismere, Merlin's fear intensifies. What are Mordred's real intentions? And what powerful secrets are Morgana and the druid Ruadan interested in finding amongst its twisted catacombs? It might be that this time not even Merlin can prevent Arthur from stepping right into the lion's den… for only one thing seems certain in such bleak and transient wilderness: the great trial for Albion has finally begun.

Ghost Adventures (9 p.m., Travel)
The team take on Wyoming Frontier Prison, where they believe 200 tortured souls are still imprisoned.

SATURDAY
Super Cyclone (9 p.m., Syfy)
Ming-Na ("Stargate Universe") and Nicholas Turturro ("NYPD Blue") star in this movie about a meteorologist and a petroleum engineer who try to stop a superstorm from taking out the Eastern seaboard.

Celebrity Ghost Stories (9 p.m., Biography)
(“Patricia Velasquez, Susie Essman, Elya Baskin”) Patricia is terrorized by a ghost who escapes from the pages of an antique book; Susie feels she has made biggest mistake of her life but finds forgiveness and unconditional love from the spirit of her grandmother; in communist Russia, Elya encounters the wrath of an entity seeking revenge.

SUNDAY
Once Upon A Time (8 p.m., ABC)
("The Outsider") Mr. Gold finds an unwilling test subject to see if a spell he has concocted will allow him to cross the border of Storybrooke — without losing his memory — and go in search of his son, Bae; Belle stumbles upon a vengeful Hook in the Storybrooke harbor whose main goal is to eradicate Rumplestiltskin; and Mary Margaret and David go house hunting in search of a bigger place to live. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, Belle meets Mulan as the two set out to slay a fearsome beast called the Yaoguai, who has been ravaging the land.

The Walking Dead (9 p.m., AMC)
(“The Suicide King”) In the series' February 10 return, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is back with her superb sword fighting skills, guns are being fired and the "whole town is out on the street."

The Mentalist (10 p.m., CBS)
(“Little Red Corvette”) The CBI investigates the death of a geologist, which Lisbon is convinced is the key to bringing down Tommy Volker (Henry Ian Cusick).

Talking Dead (11 p.m., AMC)
(“Hounded”) Host Chris Hardwick is joined by celebrity guests to recap this week’s episode and take your questions live. The series returns February 10.

Comic Book Men (11:30 p.m., AMC)
Watch Kevin Smith and his crew of fan boys turned pop culture experts live, work and breathe comic books. Mike, Walt, Ming and Bryan geek-out over rare artifacts and memorabilia and discover treasures of the comic collecting world. The series returns February 14.

Robot Chicken (11:59 p.m., Adult Swim)
("Caffeine-Induced Aneurysm") Normally we don’t list animated series but this episode features a “Star Trek” song that even the “Great Bird of the Galaxy” would appreciate. This episode also highlights the truth behind "Airwolf" and the final episode of "iCarly."

Note: NBC will airing a three-hour special for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards, pre-empting some shows. Please check your local listings. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will host.

About the Author

Lisa Guetzkow is the Chief Operations Officer for Trek Radio and Holonet Radio, members of the Suraya Media Network. She currently lives in Southern California. Follow her on Twitter (@RadioRisa) or tune in anytime 24/7 to request your favorite music.
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