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.