This week sees the return of the laugh-track as the free-to-air channels roll out their new and returning sitcoms. They're keeping things pretty even on the gender front with two new shows about girls and two older shows about guys. New Girl has indie movie star Zooey Deschanel moving to the small screen as Jess, a quirky, naive young woman who has her heart broken and moves in with three new male flatmates.

Cue gender stereotyping jokes, and many scenes involving Jess singing to herself, falling over in high heels, and watching Dirty Dancing too many times. She does, however, have a heart of gold and is sincerely determined to help her male flatmates see the sunny side of life, too - see the story on the previous page.

2 Broke Girls is based on the notion of two young women overcoming their different-sides-of-the-tracks backgrounds to become friends, flatmates and, possibly, business partners.

Written by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings, the show takes streetsmart Max (Kat Dennings), poor from birth, and intellectual but unworldly Caroline (Beth Behrs), born wealthy, but down on her luck, and throws them together as waitresses in the same colourful Brooklyn diner.


On Tuesday, TV2 is on a mission to wrap up Charlie Sheen's time on Two and a Half Men, screening five back-to-back episodes, before Ashton Kutcher takes over on Wednesday. Having gone off the deep end last year, Sheen was written out of the show so producers could introduce a new lead rather than cancel the popular series. So, this week, Charlie dies in mysterious circumstances in France, leaving the house up for sale, and Alan and Jake thinking they'll have to find a new home. But the Malibu beach house is snapped up by lonely, socially awkward internet billionaire Walden Schmidt (Kutcher), who asks them to stick around while he recovers from his split with his wife.

And The Big Bang Theory continues to try to solve the mysteries of the universe, with relationships at the centre of everyone's troubles in this lovable group of nerds. Leonard is still struggling after girlfriend Priya ditched him; Howard is finding his fiancee Bernadette's new job and PhD hard to swallow; and Penny must confront her bad behaviour after admitting she still loves Leonard but ended up drunk in Leonard's bed with an equally intoxicated Raj.

To satisfy your comedy quotient during the rest of the week, Four also start up fresh series of The Simpsons, The Family Guy and How I Met Your Mother.

Tuesday, 8pm
Where: Four

Wednesday, 8pm
Where: TV2

Five-episode package on Tuesday, 7.30pm then every Wednesday, 7.30pm
Where: TV2

Wednesday, 8.30pm
Where: TV2