Traditionally, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the quietest of the year on TV, save for football.
Yet while the broadcast networks play repeats, some networks have decided to pump out several new and returning reality series.
On Tuesday, WE brings Texas moms who happen to have twins, triplets or quintets. On Thursday, TLC offers the sophomore year of “N.Y. Ink” and a new series “Hook, Line & Sisters,” which is yet another series based in Alaska. Animal Planet on Friday brings back “Infested!” On Sunday, Food Network combines Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray for a celebrity cookoff featuring the likes of boy-band vets Joey Fatone and Aaron Carter.
And Saturday night is packed with New Year’s celebrations on several networks. The newest twist is on Fox, which has added a country music twist to its New Year’s proceedings as counter-programming to Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark over on ABC.
“Monday Night Football” 8:30 p.m. ESPN — A well-rested Atlanta Falcons team (9-5) takes on the formidable New Orleans Saints (11-3)
“The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT (seventh season winter finale) — The federal lawsuit against Brenda heats up.
“The Year the Earth Went Wild” 9 p.m. Discovery — A review of the most notable natural disasters of 2011.
“Fascinating Celebrity Weddings” 9 p.m. E! — From Kate Middleton to Reese Witherspoon, re-live more famous people’s weddings yet again.
“You Deserve It” 9 p.m. ABC (first season finale) — This game show has pulled in such pitiful ratings, it’s likely this is a series finale.
“Pawn Stars” 10 p.m. History — A 1968 Volkswagen Beetle convertible and a limited edition Nike shoe.
“Rizzoli & Isles” 10 p.m. TNT (second season finale) — Jane and Maura take on a warehouse fire case that killed a fireman.
“Texas Multi Mamas” 8 p.m. WE (new series) — Moms of twins, triplets and quartets unite.
“The 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” 9 p.m. CBS — Honorees are Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep.
“Dirty Jobs” 9 p.m. Discovery — Mike works as a seed preserver.
“Hardcore Pawn” 9 p.m. TruTV — Last week, this show drew 2.7 million viewers, a record for the network.
“Extreme Couponing: All Stars” 10 p.m. TLC — Coupon mavens go head-to-head in 30-minute challenges to see who can save the most on $500 worth of merchandise.
“Hidden City” 10 p.m. Travel — Marcus Sakey looks back at the seamy side of Atlanta, including the day trader murder spree in 1999 and a great locomotive chase of 1862.
“Swamp Loggers” 10 p.m. Discovery — Costly mistakes mount at the Lennon Tract.
“Storage Wars Texas” 10 p.m. A&E (first season finale) — This spin-off has pulled in strong numbers and will be back.
“Full Throttle Saloon” 9 p.m. TruTV — Ted Nugent’s arrival could mean a big crowd.
“Extreme Cheapskates” 9 p.m. TLC — From bartering to dumpster diving, these cheapskates put Clark Howard to shame!
“Black Gold” 10 p.m. TruTV — Cheston tries to get his job back, but Brandon is reluctant to rehire him.
“Hot in Cleveland” 10 p.m. TV Land — The ladies host a dinner party to solve their dating dilemmas. Sean Hayes plays Victoria’s hand-model boyfriend.
“Moonshiners” 10 p.m. Discovery — A moonshiner has an accident.
“Toddlers & Tiaras” 10 p.m. TLC (fourth season finale) — A competition in Arkansas spotlights a face-off between three girls and their coaches.
“Braxton Family Values” 9 p.m. WE — Trina wants Towanda to move out but leaves it to Gabe to drop a hint.
“Man, Woman, Wild” 9 p.m. Discovery— The hosts traverse a glacier in Alaska and make their way through bear territory.
“N.Y. Ink” 9 p.m. TLC (second season debut) — Ami’s tattoo shop has become a hit but success causes more problems.
“Alaska: The Last Frontier” 10 p.m. Discovery (new series) — Cameras follow the Kilcher family in a remote community outside of Homer, Alaska.
“Beavis and Butt-Head” 10 p.m. MTV (ninth season finale) — The boys try going to a bordello, but it’s not what it seems.
“Big Shrimpin’” 10 p.m. History — The aftermath of the storm has the shrimpers ready to get back to work.
“Hook, Line & Sisters” 10 p.m. TLC (new series) — A commercial-fishing family in Alaska (again!) is the focus.
“Chuck” 8 p.m. NBC — Sarah faces a secret from her past and feels she must deal with it alone.
“Gold Rush: Alaska Aftershow Special” 9 p.m. Discovery — Interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes footage.
“Infested!” 9 p.m. Animal Planet (second season debut) — Three generations battle cockroaches from a neighbor’s home.
“Say Yes to the Dress” 9 p.m. TLC (seventh season finale) — Beating cancer, a woman is set to marry her high-school sweetheart.
“Confessions: Animal Hoarding” 10 p.m. Animal Planet (third season winter debut) — A woman’s head injury precedes filling her home with cats and raccoons.
“Sanctuary” 10 p.m. Syfy (fourth season finale) — Bigfoot and Kate investigate Caleb’s rise to power.
“New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” 8 p.m. Saturday ABC — Jenny McCarthy and Fergie host the early portion of the celebration. Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest join up closer to midnight. Justin Bieber and Carlos Santana perform lives in Times Square.
“New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” 10 p.m. Saturday NBC — Guests include Drake, Cee Lo Green and Tony Bennett.
“American Country New Year’s Eve Live” 11 p.m. Saturday Fox — Performances by Lauren Alaina and Rodney Atkins.
“New Year’s Eve Live” 11 p.m. Saturday CNN — Anderson Cooper and the always lively Kathy Griffin preside.
“All American New Year” 11 p.m. Saturday Fox News — Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly host. Trace Adkins and Big & Rich perform.
“Mob Wives” 8 p.m. Sunday VH1 (second season debut) – These made women truly made a mark season one. Now they’re back.
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” 9 p.m. Sunday OWN (new series) — Oprah’s new weekly interview show. First subject: Steven Tyler.
“Rachael Vs. Guy Celebrity Cookoff” 9 p.m. Food (new series) – Eight celebrities compete for $50,000 (for charity). Among the celebrities: Cheech Marin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Coolio and Taylor Dayne.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk