I work in the world of theatre. And in that world, a lot of young playwrights look down on television writing. It's not as "pure" an artform as writing plays. People who go to the theatre shouldn't enjoy TV...it's beneath them.
However, you'd be surprised at how many successful playwrights write for TV. And there is some damn good TV out there.
Without a Trace" tonight, for instance. This episode has a black teenage boy and a white teenage girl disappear at the same time. It lays out pretty clearly the vicious cycle of institutional racism. The white girl gets all the media coverage, thus creating more leads for her case, thus forcing FBI resources to focus on her rather than the boy. The scenes between the two mothers are quiet and poignant. And the strife between the head of the department (played by Anthony LaPaglia) and his good friend and colleague (played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste) is fascinating. She tells him, "you were too arrogant to believe that this wouldn't touch you. This touches everyone."
The episode ends with the revelation that one teenager is dead and one is alive. Anthony's character walks up to both mothers to break the news...but you never find out who died.
I think there is real art in television. Not in every show, but it's out there. There...I said it.