TV THIS WEEK: Merlin's back, Chuck teases a pregnancy (!) and more

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Dec 16, 2012, 12:07 PM EST

The CW and some of the other networks celebrate the new year with some welcome originals, including the return of Supernatural and Once Upon a Time and the fourth-season premiere of Syfy's Merlin.

Also, Klaus and Stefan go to war on The Vampire Diaries, Cassie discovers her dark side in The Secret Circle, Casey falls for Trinity on Chuck, Disney says goodbye to Wizards of Waverly Place, and Alex goes home on Nikita.

Here's what we have to look forward to this week on sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal and spy-fi TV.

Tuesday, Jan. 3, and Wednesday, Jan. 4

The Secret Circle Marathon (The CW) 8 p.m.

The CW's been airing this season's episodes during prime time to gear you up for the start of the second half of the season, which premieres on Thursday. Tuesday's episodes, "Wake" and "Masked," and Wednesday's episodes, "Beneath" and "Balcoin," introduce us to Jake.

Here's a look at the preview for "Wake," with some insight from executive producer Andrew Miller:

Thursday, Jan. 5

The Vampire Diaries (The CW) 8 p.m. - "The New Deal"

Klaus threatens to go to war with Stefan if his family's coffins aren't returned. Meanwhile, Alaric runs into a doctor (Torrey DeVitto) who finds his ability to heal intriguing, and Tyler explores his hybrid abilities.

Here's a look:

The Secret Circle (The CW) 9 p.m. - "Darkness"

Cassie learns a secret about herself and decides to share it with Adam. Meanwhile, Diana's grandmother (Stepfanie Kramer) pays a visit, and Faye turns to a stranger (Grey Damon) in an attempt to succeed with a spell.

Here's a preview and a sneak peek:

Friday, Jan. 6

Chuck (NBC) 8 p.m. - "Chuck Versus the Kept Man"

Carrie-Anne Moss alert! While Casey has to deal with that love stuff thanks to the return of Gertrude Verbanski (Moss), Chuck and Sarah consider their next step. But is that a pregnancy test we see in the previews? Meanwhile, a clear-headed Jeff realizes that odd things are going on at the Buy More.

Here's a preview:

Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney) 8 p.m. - "Family Wizard"

Series finale! After four years the popular Disney series will come to an end and finally answer the question "Who Will Be the Family Wizard?" So who do you think will be the only sibling to keep their powers: Justin, Alex or Max? The Emmy-winning series is the Disney Channel's longest-running original series.

Here's a look:

Nikita (The CW) 8 p.m. - "Pale Fire"

Alex returns to her childhood home. Meanwhile, Nikita plots to steal Semak's black box and Michael tries to figure out Percy's plan involving the Guardians.

Here's a promo:

Supernatural (The CW) 9 p.m. - "Adventures in Babysitting"

Fun title alert! Sam agrees to help a teenage girl find her hunter father, while Dean explores his options when it comes to taking down Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart).

Here's a look:

Merlin (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "The Darkest Hour, Part 1"

Part one of the two-part season-four premiere! This season a new age returns and Arthur decides to use magic ... at least according to the preview. As the season opens, Morgana is up to her trouble-making ways as she summons Callieach (Gemma Jones) to help her unleash creatures that can kill with a touch. It looks like Arthur and Merlin have their hands full once again.

Here's a preview:

Other Friday shows of interest:

On CBS's A Gifted Man (8 p.m.), when Michael shows signs of a grave condition, his clinic colleagues try to save him in "In Case of a Bolt From the Blue."

Sunday, Jan. 8

Once Upon a Time (ABC) 8 p.m. - "Desperate Souls"

Considering the shocking events of the last episode before the holidays, expect lots of fallout as Emma considers running for public office and Regina and Mr. Gold battle it out on different sides of the election. Meanwhile, in the fairytale world, it's a Rumpelstiltskin story as he tries desperately to keep his son from going off to war.

Here's a preview:

Other Sunday shows of interest:

On Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot (10 p.m.), the team of Bigfoot hunters head to Rhode Island for an investigation in "Big Rhodey."

What are you going to watch?

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