I can't remember where I heard this so I don't have anything to quote or link, but I read something about how much of a problem developing the Featured Episodes were becoming and that they were becoming more and more expensive with each series. I remember before my hiatus from this game the FE was the big thing, it sounded like we were going to end up in a state where we would get these awesome missions on a regular basis.
It would really be a shame if this was being replaced by all the time slotted mini-missions.
Can we get some closure on this? Has the development of featured episodes dropped on the list of priorities underneath lock boxes and mini-missions?