Along those lines, I’d like to see a return to non-serialized detective shows, where we can have the case of the week but not a larger mythology plot like Burn Notice or Castle or what-have-ya.
The one example I’d point to would be The Rockford Files. There wasn’t a larger encompassing mythology plot like James Rockford trying to find the unseen archenemy that put his life in ruins. No, it was about Rockford getting into case after case (or adventure after adventure) each week.
The way TV storytelling is conducted nowadays, we’ll probably never see a widescale return to non-serialized programs, but I’d welcome it.
Columbo being another great example. There wasn’t even continuity between episodes. Actors could return as totally different roles and did so often, most notably Jack Cassidy and Patrick McGoohan, who were both the killer three different times as three different characters. And no one cared.
Yes the death of the great character actors started in the 1990s when shows switched from serialised to plot arcs.
It’s hilarious to watch some people try and give in-universe reasons for these actors to reappear as different people two or three times a season. One of the things I loved about the Hutton/Chaykin Nero Wolfe series was they used an emsemble cast of actors to take on different roles each week. Inspired.