Cut the cable.
Acquire a broadcast tv antenna. If you are ambitious you could install a yagi-type antenna on your roof.
It is also possible to just use an inexpensive indoor antenna. You can probably dispense with rabbit ears on the older models as there are few analogue signals available these days. Most of the broadcast programs are digital now and they are picked up by a uhf loop, or one of the more modern flat-panel models.
Connect your antenna cable to the back of the tv and proceed to:
Press the "menu" button on your remote and locate the channel scan tool which will find all of the locally available broadcast tv stations. Even in a modestly-sized metropolitan area you are likely to find upwards of thirty broadcast channels including the major network affiliates. Some stations will provide a stronger signal than others, and you may need to experiment with repositioning your antenna for best reception. Now, go to your computer and proceed to:
Open your computer browser and find the TITANTV site at http://www.titantv.com/. Click the "+" symbol to create a new channel lineup using your local zip code. After creating your custom channel lineup, make a link to the site. That will provide you with a tv schedule for all programs on all broadcast channels in your area.
Some of the listed channels may not be found by your scan. Sometimes, it is possible to adjust you antenna position and do a rescan to pick up additional channels. That's pretty much all there is to getting free tv. You can add another tv or two at no cost beyond the additional receiver, or you can also get tv reception on your computer using a tuner like the little WinTV unit which plugs into a usb port on your computer.
All the major network programs are likely available via broadcast including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS. If you so choose you can still waste a lot of time watching the generally awful network programming. However, your channel lineup also likely includes stations which broadcast a lot of the classic series in a continuous loop from years past which are vastly superior to nearly all the current offerings. For instance, look for "Mash", "Numb3rs". "NYPD Blue", "Night Court", and "Grace Under Fire", as well as many other programs unburdened by the improbable plots and characters of modern programming.