From a certain perspective, it's fair to state that Lost (2004 - 2010), created by J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof, helped to rescue dramatic, scripted television for the next generation.
These programs boasted titles such as Prison Break, Reunion, Surface, Invasion and Threshold. More recent programs such as The Nine, FlashForward and The Event appear to operate from the same outline.
Then, the series culminated with a whimper rather than a bang after featuring flashes-forwards and, weirdly, flashes "sideways." By the end of its network run, Lost had became a veritable cluster fuck of narrative cheating and revisionist series history. The final episode cracked open a pretty big schism in Lost fandom (as the final episode of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica also did, likewise, in that particular franchise).
After checking to make certain he is actually alive, this visibly-shaken man runs onto a nearby beach and finds utter, complete pandemonium. A jet turbine grinds away, undeterred, as huge sections of the downed plane are seen on the shore line. Survivors of the crash move about, dazed and confused, bloodied and bruised.
He promptly informs them that authorities are looking in "the wrong place," and that the plane was "a thousand miles off course." In other words, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are really on their own, and can't count on a rescue.
And the potential here for good science fiction storytelling was nothing short of amazing. What was the monster? Who was on the island along with the survivors? Would the survivors ever be rescued? Or were the survivors actually already dead...dwelling in some kind of strange, paradisaical Purgatory?
In general, the characters are well-drawn and sympathetic and the writing is sharp and lean too. The dynamic visual presentation, of course, is the thing that matters most, and Abrams directs the episode well. The pace never flags and we feel, by and large, that we've been dropped into a blender; only half-understanding what has happened, and to whom it has happened.
By the second year, stories such as "Adrift" featured characters stuck on a raft at sea, literally treading water for forty-five minutes instead of countenancing the island's many enigmas. At this point, the show became about purposefully denying the viewer answers rather than explaining what the hell was going on. And in this fashion, Lost pretty much tread water for its first few seasons itself, the producers and writers apparently never certain if they were making a science fiction epic, or a drama that happened to be set on a weird island.