My tv rules have changed throughout the years. My son started watching TV around age 2 (pbs in the early mornings). He pretty much just watched 1-2 hours a day duing the week of PBS for quite sometime, along with an occasional video. Then, at his granparents house they started letting him watch Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon etc (around age 5 I think), and I noticed a HUGE behavior change in him. He wanted EVERYTHING, and nagged and misbehaved. So I limited his tv viewing to videos. I let him watch "junk" videos like Scooby Doo because I found that for my son, as long as there weren't any commercials his behavior didn't change. For us, it was an issue of advertising.....I don't think kids (or adults, for that matter!), should be bombarded the way they are. So anyway, we kept it at videos for a year, and then I allowed him some Disney (they don't really have commercials). Now, at 9, these are his limits: he is allowed to turn on the tv OR the computer (usually chooses computer) for about 1/2 hour in the mornings. He can't watch again until 7pm, when he again has the option of tv or computer unitl bedtime. I know for some, that's alot of tv! BUT, he is only allowed to watch Disney or Discovery. We recently added Discovery even though it has commercials because my son now knows to question advertising. So, after all this rambling (sorry!
: ), what it boils down to is what works for your family.......and be flexible. Also, if you start early educating about advertising/commercials, and how tv isn't "real", your children will grow up to be responsible viewers. And also, my dh and I set a good example by not watching a lot of tv ourselves.