Fall TV: Networks start naming winners, losers

The hits and misses of the new fall season are coming into focus this week as the networks start sending out -- or not sending out -- full season orders on new series.

ABC has three winners with the Wednesday night comedies "Modern Family," "Cougar Town" and "In the Middle." All three were picked up by the network for a full season of 22 episodes this week. The lone new Wednesday night comedy that didn't get such an order was "Hank," starring Kelsey Grammer in a family sitcom about a CEO fired in the wake of last year's Wall Street meltdown. "Hank" will soon be yanked.


I have a piece running in the Sunday "Sun" on Jason Winer, the Baltimore native who directs and serves as an excutive producer of "Modern Family." Check back here later today, and I'll update with a link as soon as it is posted. Winer is a remarkable story in his own right with his journey  from teen TV star in Baltimore to Hollywood director -- and he is re-shaping the look of prime-time comedy with his work behind the camera today.

UPDATE: Here's a link to my Sunday story on Baltimore native Jason Winer, director and executive producer of "American Family."


(Photo of Courteney Cox courtesy of ABC/James White)

Two other very successful series that received full season orders this week are "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "The Good Wife," both of which air on CBS. The two dramas are averaging about 16 million and 12 million viewers, respectively, which puts them in solid hit territory. "The Good Wife" is one of the 10 p.m. shows making life miserable for NBC with its low-cost Jay Leno experiment.

It is nice to know both will be with us for the full season -- at least.

On the dark side of the ledger, NBC cancelled the cop drama "Southland," before the start of its second season scheduled for Oct. 23. Blame it on Jay Leno. The series could only run at 10 p.m., because of its subject matter and tone, but NBC found a cheaper way to go at 10 p.m. weeknights with Leno. No more "Southland."

Are you watching any of the series that got picked up? Were you a fan of "Southland"? What's your favorite show? Let me know, and I'll tell you what I know about its chances of making the cut.