a mysterious chain of events happen. you don't understand what is really going on, but you really want to learn more. as the story develops, you start to learn more about the characters. the mystery slowly starts to reveal itself, or rather, it shifts from the event itself to the characters. now, you have a better understanding of what is going on, and you more likely focus on the characters. you want to know how the characters react as the new situations occur. perhaps, the initial mystery is not solved completely, but it keeps revealing itself, as the seemingly bad guys turns out to be the good guys and the seemingly good guys turn out to be the bad guys, until of course, they switch back again. and just don't forget one or two characters who continiously switch side either because they are compelled to it for some reason, or they only think about their selfish benefit all the time.
and, how many tv shows did you watch using this template?
lets's think. hmm, lost, heroes, flash forward, persons unknown, the event.
do you know any?