With our basic cable package we don't get much of interest. All the basics are there, but those aren't typically why you watch TV. One of the premium channels that we do get--though nowhere in our package description does it say we should get this--is the Food Network. We watch this more than I care to admit. One of the benefits has been an increase in the quality of our cooking. You can learn a lot by watching.
Alton Brown's Good Eats has always been a favorite. Another show we've gotten into watching has been Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian. She's fun and doesn't annoy me like some of the others. Plus, the show comes on during that part of Saturday/Sunday where we're just getting ready to cook some lunch. It's inspirational.
It's been awhile since I wielded my ability to throw Amazon images in this blog, so here you go: Giada's upcoming book, Everyday Italian.
update Michelle just pointed out that my list of annoying shows pretty much covers every show besides Everyday Italian.