Strictly it's not bread and circuses, because the powers that be aren't into giving out bread, just circuses. Besides, in addition to the question of how much serialization has really increased overall, there's the question of how much escapism is just normal rest? Worse, alternative question is whether the apparent huge increase in villainous heroes expresses a newly unashamed imperialist ethos? That may be a more useful question.
One thing about escapism is that it depends on what's entertaining. I once read some remarks by some fool about how reading modern arty literature was like solving a crossword puzzle. (Robert Heinlein? I forget for sure.) Since no one ever did a crossword puzzle for anything but entertainment, this was a remarkably stupid complaint. Entertainment includes things like being dropped from great heights in a roller coaster. And it is very likely that nothing has ever topped the entertainment value of sex. The "it's just entertainment" argument is a sure symptom of thoughtlessness.