Shows with the same formula every week tend to get boring, yet there are a few that somehow manage to keep the audience interested. An excellent example of this is The X-Files, a show that adapted this predictability of the procedural into stories that maintain mystery. However, I must admit that even I, with my deep love for The X-Files and my usual unending loyalty to shows, lost interest part-way into the seventh season and stopped watching entirely during the eighth. The reason? You can’t have The X-Files without Mulder and Scully.
This is something that all procedurals should take note of: it isn’t the new medical mystery or supernatural event or bizarre murder every week that keeps bringing us back, it’s the characters.