Long-arc television is just a Johnny come-lately when it comes to episodic storytelling. The original show runner was Scheherazade, the narrator of “A Thousand and One Nights.” Even the most put-upon NBC writer never faced such a demanding audience: a cuckolded king so bitter that he marries a new virgin each night, then lops off her head. Scheherazade volunteers to meet this regal head of programming, then begins her pitch—only to stop in the middle. And so on for a thousand and one nights, a new cliffhanger each dawn. By then, her audience has fallen in love with her, and they’ve had three kids, an ending that’s even more romantic than syndication, which requires only a hundred episodes.