Courteney Cox’s “Cougar Town” among early renewals for ABC

A half-dozen ABC shows have received early pickups for the 2011-12 TV season.

On the comedy side, ABC has assured that Modern Family, Cougar Town and The Middle are coming back.

On the drama side, ABC confirmed that Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Castle are returning.

There are no surprises among the dramas coming back, and Modern Family obviously is a breakout hit on the comedy side. But Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment, said the patience his network has shown with Cougar Town and The Middle slowly has started to pay dividends.

“There are many dramas that come out fully formed, but with comedies, typically, it takes time for that group to find themselves,” Lee said. “That’s what those half-hour slots are, great opportunities to do that.”