Hmm television serialization tied into the old idea of "Bread and Circuses". An interesting notion. Where would Western culture be without so many of us spending hours every week involved in TV shows, video games, Facebook, Reddit etc?
I have only seen bits and pieces of a few foreign(Non-English) shows, but serialization seems quite heavy in what I have seen. The various Spanish language telenovelas, the Korean soaps. We're certainly not alone in wanting escapism in our entertainment.