- Associated Press - Monday, January 10, 2011

PASADENA, CALIF. (AP) - Fans of “Castle,” “Cougar Town” and four other ABC TV series can rest easy: The network says the shows will be coming back next season.

“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Middle, “Modern Family” and “Private Practice” are the other shows given an early pickup for another year, ABC announced Monday.

But the fates of “Desperate Housewives,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “Detroit 1-8-7” remain unsettled, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee told the Television Critics Association.

He lauded the three series’ quality but signaled that ratings are the issue as he decides on their return for the 2011-12 season.

It’s premature to discuss new shows being developed for next year, Lee said, although he mentioned a series from ABC mainstay Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes is the executive producer of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” and the midseason entry “Off the Map.”

Rhimes told critics the series is about a Washington, D.C., “professional fixer,” and is inspired by a real-life crisis management consultant, Judy Smith, who shepherds people through difficulties. Monica Lewinsky has been among her clients.

Lee, who came to the network after heading ABC Family and has been on the job five months, said he views the ABC brand as combining “smart with heart,” offering shows that are “culturally defining, smart, big-tent aspirational television.”

Also Monday, ABC Family announced it’s renewing “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” for next season.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.

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http://www.abc.go.com

(This version CORRECTS `Grey’ to `Grey’s‘ in 5th paragraph)