I saw somewhere recently that the AAP recommends ZERO screen time for kids under 2
Not that I agree with them on much (other than maybe that and extedned rear-facing/harnessing in car seats) but I thought it was good to see it coming from a "trusted" source
Anyway, the "problem" with TV (IMO) is that it is a gateway to consumerism, and more importantly, little ones can't differentiate between real life and make believe, so the pretend world of the TV shows can migrate into their play in an unfiltered, misunderstood way, thereby blocking what room they would otherwise have for creativity. Maybe that was poorly said, but basically kids need to learn how to exist in this world in their own way, on their own terms, and in their own time... Television shows (especially those geared towards little ones) give them pre-scripted ideas of how to play, without any room for feedback or time for processing. Their precious little heads just aren't made for that kind of stimulation. We don't see it as adults, because we have the filters and processes with which to interpret and understand it all (and block out or ignore that which we don't like) - but young children don't. A perfect example of this came to me when my son remarked, quite excitedly, about a car on my computer screen. I was checking my email and didn't even see it, but it was in a small advertisement on the sidebar - an advertisement that I had probably been subjected to hundreds of times while checking email, but had never once looked at, because I knew it was an advertisement and I disregarded it. He, on the other hand, like all kids, is a sponge - they see and absorb EVERYTHING!
So anyway, my point is, less/no TV = more time and space for creativity and learning - the important kind of learning in the formative early years - that is, the learning how to "be" and "do". There is plenty of time later for those other experiences, once the filters and comprehension are in place.