ABC kicked off its portion of the Television Critics Association midseason press tour by breaking a little news: The network has officially renewed six series — Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, Modern Family, The Middle and Cougar Town — through next season.
Conspicuously missing from the pickup list are Sunday staples Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters. Although DH creator Marc Cherry has a deal in place for two more seasons, the show’s core quartet — Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria — will see their contracts expire at the end of the current season. As EW reported earlier this month, negotiations are already underway on new pacts that would keep them on Wisteria Lane for another season or two.
Brothers & Sisters, meanwhile, remains firmly on the bubble. Encouraging ratings this fall led ABC to increase the drama’s episode order from 18 to 22, but insiders say there’s a 50/50 chance the Walkers will bow out in May.
Cougar Town‘s pickup comes as the Courtney Cox comedy is about to relinquish its time slot to Matthew Perry’s Mr. Sunshine. ABC president Paul Lee told reporters at press tour this morning that he’s pleased with the show’s creative direction and ratings performance, but added that the cushy post-Modern Family perch serves as a “great launch pad for [new shows]… But we’re very pleased with [Cougar Town]. It’s really found its voice.”