Television advertising costs more than other forms of media, such as radio, magazine, newspaper and Internet advertising. Quality commercials are expensive to produce. Typical production costs range between $200,000 to more than $1 million for each commercial, writes William Arens in his book "Contemporary Advertising." Airtime costs are equally high, ranging from $200,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second slot, according to Arens. These costs can prevent detailed messages from being delivered and most advertisements end up being brief and fleeting.
PBS, BBC, NASA TV, and the Annenberg channel all have excellent programming. Nova, Planet Earth, and other science and nature documentaries are also intellectually-rich programs. But aside from the obvious choices, there are many shows on which are not only intentionally but incidentally educational, especially for certain individuals. Everyone can probably chime in with their own list of the top ten shows that make us smarter , and everyone's list would be different, so it's safe to say that the educational benefit varies from viewer to viewer (or education is in the eye of the beholder). Even shows intended as pure entertainment might teach certain viewers something worthwhile.