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With the seasonal TV slowdown, I thought rather than highlight what’s on this week, I’d let you know when a few of your favorites are returning next month. Dates are subject to change, and I’m sure I’ve left some shows out. But either way, it’s a great time to unclog your DVR to make room for a busy new year:

January 4
“Merlin” (10 p.m., Syfy) returns for its fifth and final season.

January 6
Jillian is back as season 14 (!) of “The Biggest Loser” (9 p.m., NBC) kicks off.
Shirley MacLaine joins the popular “Downton Abbey” (9 p.m., PBS).

January 7
Sean Lowe is the new “Bachelor” (8 p.m., ABC)
ABC Family brings back two of its new-ish dramas: “Switched at  Birth” (8 p.m.) and “Bunheads” (9 p.m.)

January 8
The hat is back! Raylan and Boyd return on “Justified” (10 p.m., FX). Sigh. Good times.
Mona is released on guilty pleasure “Pretty Little Liars” (8 p.m., ABC Family). Of course, I only watch for my daughter’s sake. Really. And Hannah is totally my favorite… er, I mean HER favorite.
For more deception,  “The Lying Game” follows.
“Cougar Town”
(10 p.m.) makes the leap from ABC to TBS.
“Snooki & JWOWW”
(10 p.m., MTV). Enough said.

 January 13
The critically acclaimed “Girls” (9 p.m., HBO) as well as “Enlightened” (9:30 p.m., HBO) are back for their sophomore seasons.
Pay channel rival Showtime does one better, bringing back THREE shows: The William H. Macy-helmed “Shameless” (9 p.m.), “House of Lies” (10 p.m.), with the always wonderful Kristen Bell, and “Californication” (10:30 p.m.).

January 14
Need a supernatural drama to tide you over until “The Walking Dead” returns in February? Then “Being Human” (9 p.m., Syfy) may be for you.

January 16
See if Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj are worth the money as they join Randy Jackson as judges on “American Idol” (8 p.m., Fox).

 January 17
There must be Charlie Sheen fans, because “Anger Management” (9 p.m., FX) is still on.
But I’ll be skipping Charlie and watching Harvey and Mike over on “Suits” (10 p.m., USA)
The animated “Archer” (10 p.m., FX) also returns.

January 22
Now that Neal has found his father, he and Peter delve into the past on “White Collar” (10 p.m., USA)

January 23
“Necessary Roughness” returns (10 p.m., USA)

January 28
Larry Hagman and J.R. Ewing appear for a final time as the “Dallas” reboot  (8 p.m., TNT) kicks off its second season. We’ll miss you, J.R.

Some other return dates: “Touch” (9 p.m. Feb. 1, Fox); “Rules of Engagement” (8:30 p.m. Feb. 4, CBS); “Smash” (9 p.m. Feb. 5, NBC); “Body of Proof” (10 p.m. Feb. 5, ABC); “Community” (8 p.m. Feb. 7, NBC); “The Walking Dead” (9 p.m., Feb. 10); “Southland” (10 p.m. Feb. 13, TNT); “Psych” (10 p.m. Feb. 27, USA); “Revolution” (10 p.m. March 25, NBC); and another of my favorites, “Game of Thrones” (9 p.m. March 31, HBO).

And though it seems like they were just on (because they were… or, in some cases, still are): reality TV shows “Survivor” (8 p.m. CBS, Feb. 13); “The Amazing Race” (8 p.m. Feb. 17, CBS); “Dancing with the Stars” (8 p.m. March 18, ABC) and “The Voice” (8 p.m., March 25), sans Christina and CeeLo will again take over the airwaves.

– Heather Chavez

 

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