Just a thought: it seems to be wide spread thought that there is a lot of, for lack of a better word, CRAP on TV. Having said that, let it be known that there are some shows out there that work toward ameliorating the couch potato- or at least his mind. Shows like House and Bones and Greys challenge intellectual processes as well as prompt their audience to consider ethical situations. Perhaps there should be "thought time" after such shows- a period of say 7 minutes wherein the audience may contemplate what they have seen, form an opinion on the social aspects or make goals to further understand a procedure that they saw and may not fully understand. I think we underestimate the nations natural curiosity. Shows like this cannot get such great ratings and numbers merely because of the interchangable relationships that may occur- or perhaps I am expecting or hoping for too idealistically (at least in an educational sense).
MY POINT- it's easy to vege out on the couch and be mindless about what we watch. However, it is far more productive to use such time to educate and exercise your mind.