Which of course, doesn't really matter as far as ratings go. While critical praise and spotlighting in a few magazines are nice, networks tend to look at how many people are actually watching their shows. In that regard, the serialized format is definitely not the only way to go since episodic shows are still very popular with today's audiences. In fact, there is no indication whatsoever that they've ever stopped being very popular. I would say how much people care about a show is equal to how many people tune in to see it each week. In that capacity, you're going have to flip that statement around. Don't think for a moment that episodic shows don't have their legions of followers. They may not spend all week on the internet talking/complaining about the latest episode of NCIS, but if 20 million of them tune in each week, they just represent a different kind of following (the less vocal, but larger in numbers kind).