Have you ever watched an episode of your favorite show and thought "man, I would love to write for this show"? Well, you may not be part of the writing team in charge, but nothing is stopping you from doing just that! Just don't expect for it to ever see the light of day.
One of the most commonly used plot devices out there is the MacGuffin. Popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, the term typically describes an object that is important to the characters in some way and helps move the plot forward. In Hitchcock's original description of the term, he also mentions that the MacGuffin doesn't actually have to be important aside from to the characters at that specific point of the story. Once it has served its purpose, it often becomes far less useful to the characters.
Like you, I grew up on television. That meant that every week, the shows I followed would come around at a set interval – once a week at the same time every week. Cable and network television has been this way for a very long time, and until TiVo and streaming services came around, that was just the way you had to deal with watching your favorite shows. We started getting more power over not only when we watch our favorite shows, but how much of them we watch at time. We’re in control now, but is that really a good thing?