Television has been around for decades. Its a piece of entertainment that probably won't be lost for a long time. Sure of late the number of viewers according to Nielson ratings has declined but that's only because there are so many different avenues to watch television now that its hard to collect accurate numbers. But still, writers and producers are doing their best to come up with the best story lines for their shows, a way to keep viewers coming and not moving on to the next show. Some think the best way to keep viewers coming is to introduce a MAJOR shock factor.
Think back to when you were taking English and were studying plots. Some of the best stories were the ones where the climax scene was one you didn't even expect, it caught you completely off guard. Emotionally it hit you hard, but that is probably why the story remains so precise in your mind.
When watching a show try to remember that it is just that, a story. A fictional portrayal of a group of characters and their lives. As long as the story makes TV sense and the plot flows in the best way there is no reason a death in a show should keep you from watching. If it does, maybe you are not grasping the art of literature and television storylines like you should.