Fresh help served daily

I’ve had a chance to spend some time now with our new programming executive, Greg Brannan. He’s a sharp guy who has some very definite ideas about where to take TechTV. For the most part we’re in agreement, and in the areas where we disagree he’s been careful to listen to my opinion and take it into consideration. I really appreciate that. There’s a noticeably more open feel to TPTB these days, and I think it will lead to a better channel in the long run.
One of the first tasks Greg has set himself is to rationalize our programming schedule. He’s dividing all the shows into three categories: Help and Info, Cool Documentaries, and Outrageous Fun. Call for Help and The Screen Savers are in the first group. Spy School and Robot Wars are in the second group. And Marty’s new show will be in the third.

Starting at the end of next month, each category will get a block of time on the channel. All the shows of a given type will run next to each other. The theory being that it will be easier to find what’s on, and fans of any particular kind of programming will watch longer. In other words, no more tossed salad program schedule.

The Cool Docs block is going to occupy prime time and Outrageous Fun will take late night. The Help block will be in early prime. (All times Eastern.) Greg has reiterated to me the importance of Help to the channel, and will be adding a Saturday and Sunday Help Block to the schedule. It will be “best ofs” at first but we’ve talked about some ideas for new shows that could go there. Some really great ideas, too.

Call for Help will stay where it is for the time being, as will The Screen Savers, but TSS will be losing its same day re-runs, alas. I know that will inconvenience some of you, especially on the West coast, but most people watch the live broadcast and that’s not changing: 7p Eastern/4p Pacific as always. The next morning re-run will also remain on the schedule.

Frankly, the change is not unexpected – after all how many networks re-run their shows the same night? It was always faintly embarrassing to me that TSS re-ran so much. It seemed a little small time.

There is some good news. Greg and I have had very fruitful talks about another weekly, or maybe even daily, all-call Leo show for the Help Block. It will take us a few months to get it going, but I’m very hopeful now that get going it will.

These schedule changes won’t be announced until next month, but TPTB thought it best to let you know sooner than later (see – they really are changing) so they have given me permission to “leak” the info now. As always, we want to hear your feedback, either here, on the Leoville messages boards, or TechTV’s boards. Or email feedback@techtv.com.

And I’d like to know, what’s the best time for you to watch our help shows? Day, night, weekends? Please add your thoughts to the Blog comments or on the message boards. I’ve created a thread here.

87 Replies to “Fresh help served daily”

  1. As a advid vewier of Tech TV I have seen it go
    through many changes over the past three years or
    so.But anyway I think the change will be perty
    cool.Can’t wait to see the new show Leo will be
    doing they coulld call it.Call for Help ver 1.2 the leo verison and I am also looking forward to
    marty’s show I think he is so funny.But anyway I
    am glad too see TSS is staying at its normal time
    that is the best time for me to watch it.Anyway
    good luck with the new programing block take care

  2. As a advid vewier of Tech TV I have seen it go
    through many changes over the past three years or
    so.But anyway I think the change will be perty
    cool.Can’t wait to see the new show Leo will be
    doing they coulld call it.Call for Help ver 1.2 the leo verison and I am also looking forward to
    marty’s show I think he is so funny.But anyway I
    am glad too see TSS is staying at its normal time
    that is the best time for me to watch it.Anyway
    good luck with the new programing block take care

  3. Cable stations like A&E and Discovery often repeat their prime time line up 3 hours later to hit the west coast, why would TTV blatantly cut off all those viewers???? How many people watch TSS, I heard somewhere it is around 77,000 or was it 7,000? Anyone know the numbers of viewers, not households, but actual viewers?

  4. I prefer weekend episodes of TSS which are usually re-runs anyway. Are the eliminating Call For Help re-runs?

  5. Please oh please oh please kill the thunderbirds. It is an embarrassment. more computer related shows please.

  6. Mark another one up for a Tivo user. Doesn’t matter to me in the south, as long as my Tivo catches it.
    Good luck with the new show. I’ll catch every episode.
    -M

  7. Here are my comments Iwhich I sent to the feedback address Leo provided, it’s pretty blunt, but it’s honest.
    *********************
    Hello,
    I recently read Leo Laporte’s blog about the changes taking place at Tech TV and the possibility that there may be new shows in the future featuring Leo…… I think that is great news, I would enjoy seeing any number of new programs with Leo, how about an in depth interview type show (like Book Notes on C-Span, or Bravos’ Inside the Actor’s Studio… but with Leo interiewing top notch movers and shakers in the computer and technology industry, NOT CELEBRITIES); or a call in computer help type show.
    I watch The Screen Savers much less frequently than I used to and I have taken it off my Season Pass on my TiVo. Recently the show has become too entertainment oriented for my tastes and the IQ level of the show has dropped off the map. I watched one show in 11 minutes and realized I wasn’t getting anything useful from the show…. the one chance I had to learn something, the camera operator was so lost trying to find what to shoot on the screen, that the “tip” was over and the viewers at home never saw what was on the screen. Amatuerish. Boring. And not worth the 11 minutes of my time I spent just trying to watch it. Put Leo in a chair with a guest, it’s easy to shoot, I think the cameras can keep up with that, and it’s cheap to produce. And I’d watch it.
    I’ll check the listings for new shows with Leo Laporte and I hope to add them to my Season Pass manager.

  8. I agree with what is being said here, so let me summarize: I need tech on TechTV. The more tech you offer, the more I watch, and the more I tell my friends to watch too. And I’m not alone, there are hundreds of thousands of us out here, looking for resources that meet our needs.
    For your reference…I work in the tech industry, I love all things tech and can’t get enough Tech-related info. I spend lots of money on Tech info and tools – including: when my cable company dropped TechTV, I dropped my cable company and signed on with a satellite company that offered TechTV.

  9. Hundreds of thousands????? The ratings for TTV are 45,000 people and I bet they get better ratings numbers for Marty’s show… which I hope is very successful and pays the bills to keep the stuff on the air that we like!
    (They ran the numbers and the numbers are against us, I’m sorry to say. But I hope they at least throw us a bone and give us some tech on the off peak hours, you know, just to be nice. But they have to start making some money now. Go for it TPTB! Start making some money so we can revel in your altrusim by deeming it “ok” to give us some tech on there some day.)

  10. Yep, hundreds of thousands of us out here making our daily living working with tech. My point is that this is an up-tapped potential audience, one who will not be wooed with the Thunderbirds. We are looking for tech resources, and when we find them we spread the word.

  11. Just when I was about to cancel my subscription to TTV, they seemed to have come through for the viewers. The only suggestion I have is to re-focus TechLive on tech news and stick it somewhere decent.

  12. You know, I think TSS should be a 1.5hr show. You guys are like right under Saturday Night Live on my list, and I think you could do a better show if it was for 1 1/2 hrs.

  13. I agree with many of the people on here… a 1 AM ET repeat would be great. This would allow people on the west coast to have a reasonable time to see the show (10 PM PT), and provide a late night repeat for us East coasters.

  14. I watch the 7:00 PST reruns of TSS. I’d love to watch CFH, but it’s on at noon and I can’t watch. Removing the 7:00 re-run means I won’t be watching. Good-bye TechTV.
    The Help and Info block is the only ONLY reason to watch TechTV. I would prefer to see TSS and CFH be longer shows – 90 to 120 minutes – with more indepth segments.
    I have to ask the question. What is going to be the PST prime time lineup? Anime Unleashed and The Thunderbirds? Ugh.

  15. Hope this means Marty is moving off TSS to his own show. Nothing personal, but he is too crass and opinionated about non-tech stuff for TSS. I watch every TSS live. On East Coast so is not a problem for me. And can’t wait for your new show Leo. You rock bud. Good luck.

  16. I really only get time to watch TechTV in Sask, CANADA at the midnight showing. I wish you guys would keep the late night reruns of “The Screen Savers” and “Call for Help.” I really love those shows and would pay to see those shows kept on a late night rerun.
    I dunno if my post is being heard, but it seems a lot of people like the idea of reruns the same day…enough said!
    P.S. Leo is the bomb in “Call for Help” and “The Screen Savers.”
    Gulu

  17. Leo,
    Please advise the powers that be, Help and Info belongs in the prime time slot. That is the chance many of us have to watch TV. I know that I only watch the 10pm EST run of TSS. I would love to see CFH on in the evening as well. I will be dissappointed and probably not get to see much of TSS under the new schedule. TechTV should be centered on Help and Info not Docs and Fun. The best time slots with the highest potential viewership should go to Help and Info. Just one man’s opinion.
    Thanks for the great work.
    Jeff

  18. I’m glad that you guys at TechTV are getting new ideas. I’m exited to see what Marty’s show is gonna be like especially. I am sort of disappointed that I’ll miss the TSS same-night re-run. Sometimes I’m busy eating when it’s live. Oh well…

  19. That’s too bad there will be no more same night reruns b/c I always manage to catch the late night rerun most often. Oh well! I’m sure you guys will come up with something better. 🙂

  20. Where does TechLive fit into the mix? Its not a Help and Info, Cool Documentaries, or Outrageous Fun.. its tech news. I remember when it was basicaly TechLive all the time. I like the show, and I hope it doesn’t go anywhere.
    On a more happy note, I wonder if Larson will join Marty on his new show from time to time?

  21. My suggestion to him: don’t overthink it, program the channel the way people watch it… and, be *consistent* with the programming. I haven’t seen the channel in quite some time simply because I grew tired of chasing my favorite stuff around the clock.

  22. It sounds great but like everyone else above I would hate to see the 1 AM (CST) show go away. I’m a bit of a workaholic so I don’t get home to catch the first part of TSS all the time and when I do it is time to eat and play with the baby. The 1 AM show was great because I could watch it while doing the late night feeding… plus it was a way for me to secretly turn my son into a fan 😉

  23. I like a lot of the programming ideas, but I am unhappy with TechTV ignoring the west coast. TSS is the best show by far on TechTV and should have a reasonable showtime on west coast. If not 7 pm PST, at least keep the 11 pm PST rebroadcast.

  24. I have to side with the folks who want to see the late night airing stay. I work late sometimes and can’t see the first two airings of TSS. And if you do change anything pleaase get rid of the Thunderbirds. I have never understood how that is a technology show. It would have been in 1910 but not now. Keep up the good work Leo.

  25. Yah,
    I am looking forward to the new shows. I think TechTv is most interesting because of TSS and CFH so more shows like that would be perfect for me. I am looking forwart to Marty’s show also. Does he have a website Leo?
    -Randy
    http://randytown.vze.com

  26. Oh yea. Contrary to what you said in your blog it
    is very common for cable channels who do not have
    east and west coast feeds to run a three hour block and than repeat it for the west coast folks. Networks and big cable channels have east
    and west coast feeds. Making people record at four means that all the west coast people will be
    fast forwarding and missing the revenue generating commercials. Is that smart???

  27. I saw somewhere where TSS was classified as a “Variety Show”. I think that’s an appropriate classification.
    Question to the old timers. I’ve only been watching TechTV for about a year now. Was TSS or another show ever on TechTV that was more like a cooking or home improvement show.
    What I mean is a show that just picks one project, and steps everybody through it. The problem when TSS does things like this (like Yoshi’s disappearing drive from the other night), it always seems way rushed.
    I’d like to see a show that would focus on that type of stuff (mods, upgrades, building things) that wasn’t so rushed!
    Zeb

  28. Hello Leo and TPTB,
    First of all TechTV is probably one of my most watched channels.
    That said. I live on the East Coast, and my work schedule is 5pm – 2am, By the time I catch The Screensavers, I miss the first 20 minutes of the rerun at that time slot, so I watch the show again in the morning, along with CFH (for the second time). Personally I like the fact that the show gets shown again, in case you miss something, and it is just fun. I know that overdoing the reruns seems embarrassing, but you are giving out a lot of information, and providing a service to new (and experienced) computer users, sometimes people’s schedules are different than the norm (mine included). One thing that aggravated me a bit was the fact that Screensavers went down to one hour. (But that is a side note)
    Also, I have a programming suggestion/request. I know that CFH and Screensavers scope is for new computer users, and that is great! I even learn stuff on those shows, so how about a show for more advanced users and techs (like myself). I feel a bit left out. Any chance? Or do I have to wait for pigs to fly?

  29. I’m in the central time zone. I watch the re-run of TSS every weeknight at 9:00PM. If I’m losing that re-run, I’m really depressed about it. It’s basically the only show I watch on weekdays. I?m already paying about a $100 a month for cable. That?s hard to justify for the little amount of shows I watch, so adding something like TiVO is just an additional expense. I’m a really loyal fan, but I may not be able to find an easy solution to this.

  30. I’m in the central time zone. I watch the re-run of TSS every weeknight at 9:00PM. If I’m losing that re-run, I’m really depressed about it. It’s basically the only show I watch on weekdays. I?m already paying about a $100 a month for cable. That?s hard to justify for the little amount of shows I watch, so adding something like TiVO is just an additional expense. I’m a really loyal fan, but I may not be able to find an easy solution to this.

  31. come on…keep at least one of the late night repeats for us west coast viewers. a 10 p.m. PST (1 a.m. EST) re-broadcast would be perfect. it will be hard to shake the feeling that you don’t care about the west coast.
    i love the thought of you doing another all call show too, assuming i will get to see it without leaving work early.

  32. Hi
    I live on the east coast and I often watch the 10:00 show. If you have to work late or take care of the dross of daily living you need a late repeat to catch your screensaver fix.
    So I vote with the west coasters too. You can never have too many showings of TSS!!

  33. I am very excited to hear about changes in the network. I watch all of the time, so I see things three or four times. My suggestions would be to cut down on the thunderbirds and change the format of eye drops. Have a host on the show and be more of a tool for 3d animators, maybe showing one short.
    I love the screen savers, and call for help. But even with the new shows there is repeat in topics. I am very excited for a weekend show schedule. My idea is for a clip show where people call in, and then the host can run a clip from a past show to aid the program, so you don’t have to repeat the same questions over and over.
    Mike Mancuso

  34. Hey Leo I think the new techtv ideas are great i have a couple of ideas. 1) Get rid of anime, thunderbirds, techno games, and max headroom. They are not tech shows except for techno games and that gets boaring real quick. 2) don’t get rid of the re-runs i live in Arizona so we don’t have physcial time changes all of the tv show are either an hour later or earlier. in the summer TSS starts at 4 and in the winter it starts at 5 and sometimes I have school work that prevents me from viewing the live show 3) I think you should have call for help TSS and techlive inn the evening when everyone is at home and they can see the live show. I have a felling that is why i think call for help’s ratings are lower then TSS is because no one is home to watch the show. That is how it is for me. The summer and days off from school are the only times i get to watch Call for help and sometimes i miss TSS because of homework as I have already said. 4) have more live calls on call for help and TSS you guyes uselly have what 2 calls in the beginning and at boot camp you need to have more then that. Same with call for help they have like 3 calls and 1 or 2 e-mails at the end of the show
    Thanks Leo
    LOVE TSS and most all of techtv’s shows
    P.S. don’t forget about the west cost

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