I'm assuming you understand that the search function simply locates the subject in the guide and recordings are actually set from the guide, or the info page from within the guide. As a test, open menu -> search -> type in "all" -> click on "All My Children -> the next screen will show links to the guide for all the located showings of the program -> highlight the first and press the R record button. A red R should appear on that showing. Wait until tomorrow top confirm the program recorded.
Don't assume anything - I am brand new to Directv!! I am used to Mediacom cable DVR, in which there are minimal options. The Genie DVR is light years advanced over my old DVR.
I think your answer may have explained it. When I got Directv a few weeks ago, I searched for shows that were not on the guide yet. The search pulled up the shows, even though there was no schedule yet. I was able to set a series recording, but the recording is not linked to a specific channel. For example, Modern Family that I mentioned earlier originally pulled up as ABC, not my local ABC which shows as 8 WQAD.
This would explain why some shows worked OK, and some didn't. I still have Grimm set to record from NBC (not 6 KWQC), but I realize now that it won't since it is not on the schedule until October.
It seems odd that Directv would allow a series to be set when it's not linked to an actual channel.
Thanks for your help!