One thing I have noticed since I was young is that every new season of television shows creates a new trend or two. In the last 15 years it seems we have seen everything, from a flood of cartoons, themed sitcoms, non-themed sitcoms (thanks, Seinfeld), sci-fi shows, crime dramas, and more. There are two common patterns; either a network hits gold and cranks out dozens of similar shows to cash in (see how The Learning Channel nearly destroyed itself thanks to Trading Spaces), or two networks create almost identical pieces of shit in hopes that theirs will stick.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, we have seen both of these trends as the games industry has tried to tackle episodic gaming. On one hand, we had Telltale Games working on episodes for Bone and Sam and Max, while Valve and Ritual made their own serialized installments of Half Life and Sin via Steam and the Source engine. → Lose belly fat now!