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

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. How stupid ignoring west coast folks. I will be
    sure to leave work early to catch the 4pm show.

  2. Seems like some pretty good things are happening. I like the idea of the 3 categories. Usually, I can catch TSS when live, usually weekends are the best for me, and maybe other students like myself to watch the help shows. Weekdays some students are packed with a lot of homework.

  3. Interesting change of the lineup. Is TechTV considering doing a Night Owl re-run of the schedule?
    Say the three categories run up to midnight. Would the network then re-run the Help, Documentary, and Fun shows at that point?

  4. I don’t think the re-runs of TSS was a bad thing it was a really good thing. Like when i wasn’t able to watch it at 6(my time) i would catch one of the later shows, 9pm and 1am

  5. I think that it’s fair to say that TechLive would be classified as an “Info” show. I too hope it’s not going anywhere.

  6. I think that the TSS rerun at 2am eastern should stay. I’m never home during the 7:00 live broadcast and the 10:00 rebroadcast to watch it. I always catch the 2am showing.

  7. no TSS repeat is terrible for most west coasters! still at work when it’s on live, and already back to work when it repeats the next day. 🙁

  8. I think this new “order” sounds like a great idea. It just seems like chaos with the current schedule. I would still like to see The Screen Savers re-run at 12pm, though. Sometimes I miss the show, and I watch it during my break the next day. That’s just me, though.

  9. Please, whatever you end up doing, Please get rid of the Thunderbirds!!! ;p Otherwise, good ideas. 🙂 But I miss the late night re-runs (west coast time) of TSS and CFH. I think they should try that again.

  10. I guess it’s a good think I have a PVR… I already miss the first showing of TSS every night.

  11. I am certanly sad that there wont be any reruns the same night, normally I am eating dinner when it first airs and I catch it later at night, could be worse…

  12. Just to reiterate, the no re-run change is killing us on the West Coast. Let TPTB know we would like at least one showing after 5pm and before say 11pm pacific time.

  13. Hi Léo,
    Thank you for sharing this information. I like most of the ideas. However, only having one run of The Screen Savers at 4pm PST is really a bad idea. If there is only going to be one run of TSS, then the live show needs to be at 5pm or 6pm PST. TechTV will miss a huge audience with their best show if they only air TSS at 4pm PST.
    The new show ideas are great and to make room for them, TechTV needs to trash “Anime Unleashed” and “Thunderbirds”. After coaching my friends to give TechTV a try, it is really embarassing when they turn on TechTV to watch junk such as Anime and Thunder…just awful…
    I would love to see an all-Leo help show again. The chemistry between you and Pat is awkard at best. Your sytle is entertaining and yet, very informing. I am looking forward to your new show.
    Thanks again for the heads up. I would hate to see TechTV fail because they decided to air their best show at 4pm PST only. There are some people here on the west coast that work; me not being one of them…I was recently laid off… 🙁
    Keep up the wonderful work, Léo.
    – Michael J. Titera
    Fremont, California

  14. I too like the same night reruns of TSS for the same reasons as most people. But, I do have a VCR, so I can live with that change if I have to.
    I think the best idea by far though, is all calls with Léo show!

  15. Sounds like good ideas for TTV. I will miss watching TSS, however, since the only time I can watch is the next day noon re-run at lunch (East coaster). Oh well…

  16. Does Tech TV have ratings for their shows? I assume they do… Can the general public access them?

  17. It makes alot of sense. If you’re happy with the way TPTB are now, I think many are too. Alot of people trust your judgement. But which category does ‘The Thunderbirds’ fall in now?

  18. I is great to hear that TSS is not moving from its program slot, which is 7pm on the east cost. Also, I am glad to hear that the channel is going to try and expand there coverage or maybe I should say shows.
    But, I did not catch or heard about Marty’s new show?
    Also, I like the idea of having some help shows on the weekend. I do not know about you, but it is sometimes hard to catch all the shows during the week. All I can say is, please keep up the good work Tech TV.

  19. Sure, just forget about the west coast. This is part of the reason why I drop techtv from my cable channel line up.

  20. Finally–they listened! I just about jumped out of my chair when I read this.
    The best times for me to watch are 6:00PM-8:00PM. However, 7:00PM-8:00PM is more convenient.

  21. Guys, Leo said “same day reruns”. That wouldn’t affect the noon rerun (since it is the next day and all) so don’t worry about that. At least, I hope so, since that’s the only time I get to catch it (I’m on the east coast, but have a screwed up work schedule). I’m thinking he’s talking about the rerun that’s three hours after the live broadcast. I’ve always thought that was a bad idea as well. It just looks cheap.
    If the overnight broadcast is also not included (technically that IS the next day, after all) then it shouldn’t impact west coast viewers that much.

  22. Yet another reason to live in the Eastern time zone…
    I’d like to see more evening call-in shows. Of course, by ‘evening,’ I mean ‘Eastern time zone evening.’

  23. Leo, if you get the all call show launched I hope it will be like the original “Call for Help”. That’s my all time favorite ZDTV/TechTV show. Just don’t burn yourself out. I’m seem to recall that one of the reasons you left “Call for Help” was that the strain of doing two live shows got to be a bit much.

  24. I find it odd that TechTV is West coast based yet they are making fans in their time zone suffer. If they are catering only to people who are home at that time, fine. But I think if they’re trying to grab a larger demographic the “Help & Info” block, containing the most successful shows on the channel(?) should get prime time slotting.
    BTW, I’m in New Jersey with TiVo so it won’t affect me. It still doesn’t make any sense. Also, I’m looking forward to “Leo Up Late” more than Marty’s show.

  25. TechTV is great and it used to be the channel that my TV was constantly tuned to (even when no one was home) however some of the shows that I can’t stand are now on there more and more. EyeDrops and the Robot Games are just awful. Tech Live, TSS, CFH, Extended Play, Cool Stuff (is that still on) are all great show.
    I don’t know how different the Canadian programming is of techtv but Robot Wars would be so much better than that Robot Games we get. And they should post those T3’s more often and up-to-date on the site.
    Anyway Leo you rock, the CFH with you I just saw today and you were great. Didn’t know Marty was getting his own show that rocks. Yoshi and Kevin should get together and either do a big segment on TSS or maybe a once a week show or something, great talent on those two that isn’t used enough.

  26. Good news about the all call show for you, Leo. But the loss of the 7PM (Pacific timezone) rerun will hurt. Maybe the 11PM rerun could be moved back to 10PM. It sounds like TPTB have forgotten about the west coast viewers.

  27. It just keeps getting worse. Marty gets a show? How much more time can you devote to bad tv? All the good names from ZDTV are gone – Leo. Now we have a bunch of chit chat from people who aren’t even remotely interesting. Last one out, turn out the lights!

  28. *sigh* My only reason for subscribing to digital cable [TSS @ 10EST] will be gone! Hopefully the 2AM rerun will remain. I’ll rarely be able to watch, but at least I know it’s there. I would kill for a show like the old TSS – Leo and Kate were soooooo great together. I really like Pat and everyone else, but it’s just not the same 🙁 The good news here is that there WILL be a show with all calls with Leo. By the way, Leo, you, your knowledge, attitude and your ability to help people, whether they be very knowledgeable of computers, or have no knowledge at all, is AWESOME. (That’s a huge understatement, BTW). You have truly inspired me. Thank you! Anyhow, back on topic, I hope that we late night viewers (both east and west coast) can continue to see the programming that we crave and enjoy so much. Thank Mr. Brannan for listening to you (and us hopefully) — that will eventually lead to the very best network ever!

  29. I’m in the central time zone and never catch the show live at 6pm. I usually don’t get home until just in time to catch the 9pm show. There really needs to be a repeat of TSS by midnight at the latest.
    I’d be more embarassed about the network airing the thunderbirds 6 hours a day than TSS repeating a few times 😀

  30. I must have been snoozing – Martin got his own show. Maybe it’s just me but he hasn’t done a lot on tss lately.
    Guess, he’ll have to do work now that he’s got his own show!

  31. TechTV = pathetic
    ZDTV = best channel there ever was
    Can you guess what I want to happen? Back when it was ZDTV it had tons of cool shows that were at-least computer related. And now we have… Thunderbirds,anime, and eyedrops? Just what the heck are those shows doing on a channel called “TechTV”? I’m sorry but I don’t watch TechTV so I can watch some puppets save the world or watch some scantily clad women save japan (course thats not such a bad thing he-he).
    Now that I got that semi-off topic rant out of the way he-he
    I’m hoping the reason they let Leo leak this information is so they can get a feel for what people think about this new idea. if thats so then I hope they get a major ear full about how the West Coast public dislikes the idea of losing their prime time TSS slot over the east coast.
    I really don’t like the idea of TechTV basically being a east coast channel (without west coast times then thats just what it might as well be). If they are really dead set on this then they should just create a new feed for the west coast.

  32. Leo
    Nice hearing that there are changing, the only problem I see for me is changing the reruns. I already can’t watch CFH regularly since the change to noon pst. So watch cutting the reruns, of-course I am ok if they leave the 11pm pst rerun.
    In regards to other programing I think a weekly newbie linux show would be great. Maybe include MAC, I have just built a Linux machine and have been pulling out my hair trying to use it. I know that there are other people that would probably benefit from that kinda of show.
    Hope that these changes make the channel stronger.

  33. Well, no more Screensavers for me. I live on the West Coast, and am apparently in the minority of those unfortunate souls who has to work unitl 5:00, and who don’t get to keep a T.V. with premium cable at my desk. If I want to watch TSS at all now, I guess, I’ll have to 1) set the VCR to tape channel 3, 2) leave the cable box on and set to record channel 294 (yes, my VCR has VCRGold, but it’s totally unreliable), and make sure to have a tape in there every single day. All this while getting to work on time, and hoping that my wife and kids, who are all home by 4, don’t forget to leave things set up just so! Yeah, right!
    Well, it’s been fun. I guess I’ll start watching when I either get laid off again, or win the lottery.

  34. >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’ll miss the Screensavers 9pm Central rerun as that is the timeslot that my family usually views this program.
    I am glad to hear that Call for Help will air on the weekends. I think that will serve the audience well.
    How about bringing back a program like “The Money Machine”? I miss that show.
    Thanks for listening!
    In Joy! Diana

  35. I never thought running multiple TSS’s was cheesy, in fact I liked it very much. I use my Tivo exclusively, so on one hand, the schedule change does not really affect me (if you don;t have one, folks, get one!), but with a couple of reruns close together, it gave me great flexibility to Tivo something else and still be able to Tivo a later showing or earlier showing of TSS. In other words, if something else I wanted recorded came on at 7, Tivo would grab the 10 show, or vice versa. I hope there remains at least one rerun close in time for that reason.
    A word for the west coast techheads – VCR’s are SO 20th century…. GET A TIVO!!!!

  36. I hope to step on anyone toe here. BUT…………
    Don’t get rid of the TSS repeats. Yes i do live on the west coast. But because of my weird day to day schedule, I always miss the live airing of TSS at 4pm. I regularly watch the 7pm or the 11pm showing of TSS. If in future Tech TV plans to drops the rebroadcast of TSS, I will miss that nights show. It imporant for me to get my daily 1 1 2 hour dose of Tech TV. And TSS is the best subscription for my livelyhood of beening a True Geek. If I actcidenly watch those non-tech Thunderbirds, I transformed into an numbifying dork. Please Leo don’t let the TPTB cancelled the later airing of TSS. Thank,
    Yes i am an True Geek. And i Can program my VCR (in fact every VCR i ever owned i could program it). The problem for me is, my roommate is an hugh sport fan. If he watching (Giants, Sharks or the 49ers) I could watch the reairing of TSS later that night. Right now i Could go out get an PVR, but they are just out of my priced range. I guest i Have to Folk over another $5 buck a mouth for another digital cable box to watch TSS in my bedroom.

  37. I am so happy to hear about the direction the channel is taking. I am even happier to hear you excited again. It sound like you’re enjoying yourself again. 🙂 You’re a great guy and very much a man of the people…. I thank you for that.

  38. If you or your agent can’t negotiate more creative control, I wouldn’t sign another contract. In the beginning the network was fun because it was run by, “amateurs” You’ve done really great by bring in all the suits. Dump your core audience in search of what? Dvorack was the lucky one.

  39. If this schedule gets rid of the re-runs or makes them really late you can say goodbye to me as a viewer.

  40. I think that the “Help and Info” block should be in mid/late evening on the east so that it will be early evening on the west. if you are going to help people you need to do the show when people are home, if they are still at work whats the point. like CFH i love to watch that show but i havn’t been able to because it comes on so early in the day for me on the west

  41. Go out and buy a VCR or a TiVo if you can’t catch a program at a certain time. Time shifting, it’s the way of the future – now. I’m sorry if you can’t afford one or it won’t work for you. As Leo implies, change is inevitable.
    All I ask is to have at least one repeat of CFH and TSS after new shows, the next day is fine with me. You can only record so many shows at a certain time. Prime time conflicts of TSS/TechTV with other network programming are a constant problem, and therefore, timely reruns become a necessity. I’m fairly sure that similar conflicts were one of the reasons TSS was cut from 90 minutes to 60.
    Please try to see that the TiVo schedule for a given time accurately lists what is actually playing on TechTV. So many times I’ve recorded a program only to find something different in its place. I’m not sure who to blame, but any help is appreciated.
    Categorization is fine, as long as it doesn’t stifle creativity for new and unique programs.
    >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.
    That’s great news. I thought TechTV was *always* meant to be a help channel, and I think it still is. I’ve been turned off by the emphasis concentrating on Hollywood-built “geeks,” but I suppose there are people who like it. It all becomes overbearing and is a little shallow for a help channel, IMO.
    Keep up the great work on one of the best television networks anywhere on planet Earth.

  42. Leo,
    Thank you for posting the interesting information regarding programming direction at TechTV. TechTV is really giving the West Coast fans a smack though. You guys either need a West Coast feed, or some severe tweaking of the re-run schedule for TSS. 4 pm is just too early for most people to get home from work and catch TSS, and the morning repeat is similiarly useless to the West Coast. It might have seemed amateurish to you, but sans west coast feed it’s something TechTV really ought to do.
    Just some thoughts,

  43. Anthony, I hear you, man!
    TechTV has to at least keep the 2 A.M. re-run of the Screen Savers when the TechTV lineup makes the big change. That way you’ve got the show on at times when anyone, regardless of what shift they work, can catch the show. It pains me to think I have to get a Tivo or revert back to the “VHS stone age” again. Get rid of the 10 PM airing, that’s fine. After all, the show re-runs only two hours after it airs live (which is where I see Leo’s point about the reruns). But having it air SIX hours later, at 2:00 A.M. Eastern time would get rid of the “small-time” feeling Leo described. Then all are happy, because what would you air at 2AM anyway? The Thunderbirds? Max Headroom? Keep TSS there. And, technically, it would be NOT be a same-day repeat. Because it airs after midnight, hence it is a new day.

  44. Seems like things are finally changing for the better, instead of the downward spiral it has been for a good while now. I think all this news is great to hear..

  45. “get going it will.”
    Who are you, Yoda?!
    Are you still thinking about leaving?

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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

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