I didn't think I could have that kind of a reaction in this kind of a discussion, but you managed to do it. This online miracle has given me a chance to regain my composure and assert the following:
No, television is not a cinema in a box with commercials. No, it was not insignificant. No, the implications behind the emergence of a new media by which information is transmitted is incredibly significant.
You're talking about a phenomenon that, even today, in the age of the internet, allows some huge number of people a singular, consolidated perspective. The volume of people reached is enormous and the message is delivered simultaneously. These are all very important details.
To equate this capacity to inform, simultaneously and in such volume, so many people, with such a one-dimensional triviality is just.... silly, I suppose