NEW THIS WEEK : DECEMBER 8 to 14

We’re edging close to Christmas – and a two week layoff for New This Week, from December 22 to January 7. In the meantime, here is New This Week: Slim Pickings Actually Edition …

SATURDAY
Well, TV One have got … err … and TV2 are showing … umm … well, at least TV3 have a new series of ICE ROAD TRUCKERS to keep us entertained for the night. I mean, unless you don’t care for ice, roads or trucks. In which case, I have no advice for you. (TV3, 7.30pm).

SUNDAY
Your Sunday night isn’t faring much better: the annual COCA-COLA CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK gets a bit of coverage on the box (TV3, 7.00pm), while BABIES IN THE OFFICE explores the notion of employees looking after their, uhh, babies in the, uhh, office (Vibe, 7.30pm). Ab-Fab star Joanna Lumley finds herself in the meditteranean on JOANNA LUMLEY’S GREEK ODYSSEY (One, 7.30pm). Lastly, it wouldn’t be December without rom-com LOVE ACTUALLY … which is really just lust actually, but whatever (TV3, 8.30pm).

MONDAY
Tim Allen’s surprisingly entertaining sitcom LAST MAN STANDING gets a repeat showing in Home & Away’s usual time slot (TV3, 5.30pm). Later, you can enjoy looking down on someone less fortunate than you with OBSESSIVECOMPULSIVE HOARDER (One, 9.30pm), or take in the season finale of NURSE JACKIE (TV3, 9.30pm). Meanwhile, Prime doesn’t ever seem to manage a trio of great music docos in a row but, hey, two out of three ain’t bad – it’s PRIME ROCKS: MEATLOAF (Prime, 9.30pm)

TUESDAY
It’s more schadenfreude on Tuesday, with WORLD’S STRICTEST PARENTS AUSTRALIA (Prime, 7.30pm) – fortunately, more discerning viewers can take a look inside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on RPA (One, 7.30pm). The always enjoyable RIVER COTTAGE: CHRISTMAS FAYRE lands later in the evening (Prime, 8.30pm). A pair of season finals dominate the schedule elsewhere: both THE MENTALIST and BODY OF PROOF come to a close for 2012 (TV3, 8.30pm / 9.30pm). Later, I’m not sure how it happened, but ICE LOVES COCO is back for a third season (E!, 9.30pm).

WEDNESDAY
It’s a brace of season finals tonight: IS MODERN MEDICINE KILLING YOU? ends its most recent series (One, 7.30pm), while HOT IN CLEVELAND ends another baffling season – how is this crap even popular?! (TV2, 8.00pm). Sci-fi/fantasy show REVOLUTION departs for its mid-season finale, returning in 2013 (TV2, 9.30pm). The pick of the bunch might be the excellent SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, which caps off its latest season, too (Prime, 9.30pm).

THURSDAY
Prime finds an intriguing replacement for the brilliant Downton Abbey, with SECRETS OF THE MANOR HOUSE (Prime, 8.30pm), while POITUKOHU NBA brings us delayed coverage of the LA Clippers vs Chicago Bulls (Maori TV, 8.30pm). Later, the brilliant British comedy THREESOME gets a go on free-to-air (One, 9.30pm) before a new episode of A NIGHT AT THE CLASSIC (One, 10.10pm).

FRIDAY
Popular soap SHORTLAND STREET draws to a close for the year (TV2, 7.00pm), before the final episode of THREE MEN GO TO IRELAND (Prime, 7.30pm). Later, THE VOICE is into the quarter-finals (TV2, 8.30pm), while THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW plays host to Jake Gyllenhaal, Joan Rivers, Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson & James May, and pop singer Ke$ha (TV3, 8.30pm), before a round-up of our most successful comedy, 7 DAYS: YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENTS 2012 (TV3, 9.30pm). For you night owls, its more talk-show action as ALAN CARR: CHATTY MAN returns with all-new episodes (One, 11.10pm).

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