Writer/producer/director John Wells, who was responsible for bringing such shows as China Beach, ER , and The West Wing to television said on Thursday that he would have struck out if he tried to sell the networks any of those shows today. Instead, he would have taken those shows to cable. Currently, his Shameless airs on Showtime while his Southland is carried by TNT. Appearing on a panel at the Television Critics Association meeting, Wells noted that in Shameless, the actor playing a gay teenager has turned 18, allowing him to appear in sex scenes. (Federal law bars underage actors from appearing in such scenes.) The actor, Cameron Monaghan is not gay, Wells said, "but he has completely embraced the idea of this character." And Wells, who writes the show, said that most of the mail he gets comes from grateful gay teenagers. "That's something that I feel really good about," he said.