Less sexy, more filling

I‘ve been getting a lot of email about the lack of re-runs for The Screen Savers. There’s nothing I can do about it, folks. Management already knows what I think. You need to let them know what you think.
Sign Mike Demers’s online petition and email feedback@techtv.com.

TechTV’s programmers don’t believe help shows like The Screen Savers and Call for Help belong in prime time. I guess we’ve become the public affairs programming of TechTV: the shows they have to do but don’t really like. It’s part of the general sea change at the channel. They tell me it’s necessary as the network matures.

I can understand the need to turn a profit. And supposedly the new sexier, edgier programming is aimed at a younger demographic that’s more appealing to advertisers. It does make me feel like a little bit of an old shoe, however. Well, I’m going to just keep on doing what I do for as long as someone will watch. I may not be edgy, sexy, and youthful, but I do look good in a kilt. Wait a minute. That’s Patrick. Never mind.

154 Replies to “Less sexy, more filling”

  1. I’m part of the younger demographic people that the programmers think that they can lure me in w/ sex and crap…I loved TechTV more when it was a TECH channel…not a sex and cartoon channel.

  2. I just find it hard to believe that CFH and TSS aren’t the bread and butter of Tech TV.
    The constant re-runs of the other stuff sure couldn’t be. And it seems almost all of the “NEW” stuff doesn’t last long.
    Ralph
    http://www.darkstar.us
    (thanks Leo. I sure miss Megan. It would be nice to see Megan & Jessie back together. But I have to admit: I think Sarah is doing very well. I always wondered why she has been in the background for so long while others moved up, and thru TSS)

  3. I used to be able to leave the TV on TECHTV without the worry of the kids watching something harmful. That was until Wired for Sex; just the other night the talk was about adult toys (with a chick demonstrating). Sad.

  4. I signed the petition, thanks for the link Leo. Years ago we had Dish Network and I used to watch TechTV all the time. I loved Screen Savers, Call For Help, Fresh Gear and even TechLive if I was bored during the day. I “worked” for the website for a while in the forums (Mac support). Then we got rid of the dish due to tree problems and no more TechTV. Fast forward about a year later and we now have digital cable (Cablevision iO) so I have TechTV again. Wha happened?!? ScreenSavers is still great when I can catch it for that hour in between wall-to-wall robot wars and anime. It’s unwatchable except from 7-8 pm EST. I may not be a 20 year-old boy but as a 37 year-old woman with 4 computers I probably have more money to buy stuff. What a disappointment.

  5. techtv is turning into sextv. I think what will end up happening is that techtv will lose most of it’s current loyalist, and bring a completely different group of viewers. Then as things evolve one day one of the higher ups will realize that the name techtv doesn’t fit anymore because there ain’t no damn tech on it. Because let’s face it…the current crop of new shows don’t have a hell of a lot of tech in them, with the exception of spy school, and sometimes performance. What is this wired for sex thing? Come on…the only sexual content that really belongs on techtv on a regular basis are segments about/against internet porn, and coverage of booth babes at E3. Maybe I’ll send this paragraph to the people at techtv…since they need direct feedback, I assume. If they’d just check the message boards, they’d see a lot of people have problems with the current state of the channel.

  6. luckily i’m one of those people who learned to program my vcr and have yet to have an issue catching the show… also, it’s rerun at noon and since i don’t bother getting up until noon, i get to wake up to the glory that is leo goodness!
    tell ’em that if they can get patrick to always wear a kilt, they’ll have all the sex appeal on the channel i could possibly ask for.

  7. I signed the petition and sent them an email about my thoughts on all the adult programming on TechTV. Like Judi, I may not be in their target demographic, but I too have multiple computers at home and the money (and desire) to buy tech stuff. I don’t know why management can’t seem to understand that. I record what I want to watch (TSS and CFH) every day on my Tivo and rarely watch TechTV for anything else. I used to keep the channel on all the time but since so much of the programming is no longer of interest to me I have stopped. Let’s hope this at least gets the attention of management before it’s to late.
    Leo, maybe you should send another Laporte report to get a few more signatures on that petition.

  8. This is the kind of thing that you can’t comment on probably Leo, but two things that must be said.
    First: The rumor is that Tech TV is going to be sold off ( http://news.com.com/2009-1088-984352.html?tag=fd_rndm ).
    Second, with that and the sea change you mention, I worry that this special thing that you and your cohorts have created will one day go poof. Like Chris leaving Call for Help, we’ll just log on one day and read that “Leo has terminated his relationship with TechTV.”
    I got digital cable just to see Tech TV and, to me… TechTV/ZDTV’s heart and soul is you Leo.
    I’ll be wishing for the best for you and the rest of the crew there.

  9. Yeah Tech TV gets worse and worse with the thunderbirds, eye drops, now robot wars…. who watches that crap seriously?

  10. i apologize that my eariler comments made siamus sickly! um… maybe just show *me* patrick in a kilt so that it doesn’t bother anybody else. XD
    also, even though i am an anime addict, i still don’t watch the anime on techtv…

  11. HOLY COW! I didn’t know you weren’t sexy! Why didn’t anyone tell me this earlier!
    honestly though, I think TSS and CFH are backbone broadcasts that are should be focused upon at the network.
    E-mail sent to feedback explaining this too!
    Cheers Leo,
    Tim

  12. TechTV should put TSS and CFH back into primetime and rerun the show as is. It’s losing it’s touch. It’s really sad to watch this great network go down the whole. 🙁

  13. ^^^sure you can call him sexy….just don’t make me visuallize him in a kilt…or anything else short or skimpy. Jessica Corbin on the otherhand….

  14. I turn the channel when Martin is on, I never understood why he was on the Screensavers, Scott was funnier. As for the new shows, please. The only one I watch is X-Play. Jessica Corbin is there best move for the demographic they want. Hot, Sassy and Classy.

  15. Yeah. Younger demographic. I’m 15, and hate the programming. I could care less about sex toys and how they relate to technology. I really am tired of the british shows. I’m one of the younger people, and a whole bunch of my younger people friends agree: the new programming sucks and needs to be returned back to normal.
    John

  16. Yeah. Younger demographic. I’m 15, and hate the programming. I could care less about sex toys and how they relate to technology. I really am tired of the british shows. I’m one of the younger people, and a whole bunch of my younger people friends agree: the new programming sucks and needs to be returned back to what it was before
    John

  17. TechTV used to be a much better channel. Now, I just cannot watch it anymore. It’s like management wants the channel to die!

  18. They’ve fired and lost a few of my favorites but the reason I remain a loyal viewer is embodied in the hearts of the people that work there and some kind of unspoken philosophy you seem to go by. Once you take the heart out of a show it becomes a lifeless canned wonder and no amount of prepackaged glitz can capture what you guys do without even trying. Add a later airing of call for help and an earlier one of xplay while you’re at it. I’ve only caught a couple of reruns of xplay and it seems they run the same one over and over.

  19. The Screen Savers Call for Help and Tech Live are the only things decent on the channel all the rest is garbage. Fresh Gear use to be cool but now its trying to be hip with reviews on new music and bands we will never see and long drawn out chatter by Sumi (I hate her). In a half hour show you only get about 3 reviews on new products and technology. Screen Savers now seems rushed with its 1hr time slot and is now unable to do in-depth stories about tech products. The new shows like X play (Adam sux) and dont touch me Morgan Web are to fast paced for me. Slow it down people, give us a better longer review on the game than showing 100 games in 10 sec. I don’t know what they are doing but I see TechTV as an information station for new technology and products. I don’t see it as a Gen X station and if I did there are better channels to view duh MTV, Much Music, FX, TNN soon to be SpikeTV and FOX. TechTV you are losing me as a viewer and if you don’t get your act together I will be gone.
    Its not what lies ahead of you or behind you it what lies within you that makes who you are.
    GET WITH THE PROGRAM TECHTV

  20. I am a avid viewer of CFH and TSS! I don’t fit the profile of the “target” audience as I am retired. (but I do purchase things like Digital cameras, build PCs etc). You would be surprized how many of us old geezers watch CFH and TSS.
    I suspect Tech TV management does not want to know if they have a older affluent audience, because that is not the “politically” correct demographic. The cuurent Tech TV programming content of Tech Live, Fresh Gear is not tech but fluff. Tech TV get back to the basic model – Technical information communication!

  21. “TechTV’s programmers don’t believe help shows like The Screen Savers and Call for Help belong in prime time.”
    I wonder what TPTB have to say when they are asked what shows have kept the network afloat for the last five years? Shows on a network, I might add, that you had to stumble onto by accident because no one in the upper echelon of TTV thought of the simple idea of promoting the network and its shows somewhere other than on TTV. How brilliant is it to promote your programming on your channel and only on your channel?
    With all the money that was wasted on wall to wall broadcasting of the former TechLive and new sets did anyone ever think to buy some ad time out in the big world? How in the world can you expect people to find something like this without promoting it?
    So now what do they say? The need “new sexier, edgier programming… aimed at a younger demographic that’s more appealing to advertisers.” Ha! They belly ache about, cancel, and reposition shows saying the ratings are poor or non existent! Well whose fault is that? Not the poor show that has been short changed and ignored, but the people who fell down on the job not promoting it or the channel. Think for a minute about the BIG money the major networks spend promoting their successful shows, BIG money promoting shows that are already in the top 10! It makes you wonder where the people running the show at TTV have been living, in a box in Siberia perhaps?
    Now, suddenly, they have found the promotion religion and for what? Unscrewed! Man someone should write a book “How Not to Run a Network” and feature TTV!
    Leo I signed the petition a while back and I’ll be firing off a communication to”feedback.” They don’t need sexier, they don’t need edgier, they don’t need younger. What they need is more tech and one executive who knows how to properly promote the gold they already have and have had for the last five years!

  22. Amen! I’m glad that we are not alone in the way we feel! I just signed the petition and sent my mail. I think it’s high time we let TTV know how we feel. I also think this is a great way to do it. If we all express our feelings as one voice we have a better chance of being heard.

  23. Everyday, I find it harder and harder to watch TechTV, aside from Call For Help, the Screen Savers was the only show that was about technology.
    Shall we start with the first major change?
    X-play..sucks. Adding Morgan was a big mistake since she is a terrible TV personality to begin with and that announcer, is extremely annoying. Adam was perfectly fine by himself.
    Second, Chris leaving Call for Help. Don’t get me wrong Leo, i love you on CFH, but Chris had that edge, ihe was exciting and a joy to watch. I understand that it was his decision to leave, but that decision has not helped TechTV.
    Third, these new ‘shows’. Wired for Sex is so incredibly stupid, I have no idea why you are spending money to produce and air it. Just cancel it for gods sake. Anime Unleashed? Please, this is a network entirely devoted to technology and learning about technology. Just because geeks watch TechTV dosn’t mean that those geeks like anime. I can’t stand it.
    Spy school is interesting, I really have no problem with that. or the rest of the shows for that matter.
    Well, that isn’t true. DEAR GOD GET RID OF THE THUNDERBIRDS!!!! There was a reason why the show was cancelled in the 60’s, why bring it back? Again, this goes back to my previous point, this has nothing to do with technology.
    I have yet to see Martin’s new show so I can’t comment.
    Fourth, getting rid of TSS screensavers reruns. Does management understand that this is thier most popular show? For example, I can turn on the food network at any time past 12am and see all the primetime programming again, which is great for someone who has to work late like me. I used to love coming home and having the ability to watch TSS at 10pm est or 2am est. The current timeslot is rediculous, 7pm est, with no reruns until the next day. it’s total BS. Everytime I turn on TechTV I either see Anime or The Thunderbirds. I don’t see why you can’t remove one of these shows from a timeblock and replace it with the screensavers rerun. Its entirely possible.
    TechTV needs more shows about technology. The Screensavers, Fresh Gear and CFH can not carry a network, sure you have techlive, tech of, and future fighting machines, but they aren’t really that enjoyable to watch.
    Do I have any suggestions? Sure I do. Give Patrick and Yoshi a show devoted to hardware. Both Pat and Leo are extremely good with hardware, use thier skills more! Give Brett more airtime for mac tips. The mac community is growing. TechTV does a great job supporting the mac, but the more the better. Maybe a show that covers the technology behind the movies? Tech of.. does it from time to time, and you do air some specials for movies but more can be done.
    Cancel the thunderbirds, and get rid of anime unleashed.
    Well. I think thats about it for my rant. I usually don’t post things like this, but I loved TechTV and I want to start loving it again.
    -Anthony

  24. The Screen Savers, Call For Help, TechLive (Hi Michaela), Fresh Gear (Hi Sumi), and X-Play are THE HEART AND SOUL of TechTV.
    Leo LaPorte and Patrick Norton are the Valves in that heart. If TechTv (SexTv?) keep going the direction they’re headed, they won’t HAVE a target audience. The demographics should speak for themselves, if the execs can understand them. And DEFINATELY let Pat wear the kilt! It makes me sick to see them make him wear pants and let some wrinkled old lady holding a prosthetic sex toy like a monkey at an organ-grinder(google it:).
    Everyone should get in touch with someone they know who watches TechTv and get them to sign this thing and send these gorillas a big, fat, smelly message. WE WANT TECHTV BACK!
    I really wish Ziff-Davis (ZDTV, ZDNet) hadn’t sold out. It was Great then, when I could watch CFH at 6, The ScreenSavers at 7, then Internet Tonight at 8 and then watch it all over again at 9.
    “And that’s the rest of the story… Goodday. ” 🙂
    LEO and PAT ROCK!!!

  25. I think it’s only a mater of time before TechTV changes it’s name to something that doesn’t cast it in just a tech role. Kinda like TNN became TNN became SpikeTV. Obviously the programing direction that they were going in wasn’t paying off viewer wise (Only so many geeks) and therefore lowered their ad revenue. So now they have to try to cut costs and kick up the rate card. They start buying the rights to show these cheap British shows that other networks won’t touch, like the robot shows. Come on, watching someone interview a grade schooler about how the robot his dad built wouldn’t jump isn’t sitilating TV. But they’re cheap and fill a slot. Oh yeah run them over and over again just to make sure everyone see what crap they are.
    Finally someone (who knows nothing about tech but works in advertising says) Let’s start running shows showing women with huge dildoes or showing a woman being done on an orgasm chair. Hey lets move some of these core people from TSS to new shows about video games. Guys on the net think she’s sexy so they’ll watch. Oh and let’s give this guy his own show where he’ll act like a jackass. Geeks loved him on TSS. Maybe they’ll watch.
    I’ve worked in the Media for 20 years (Newspapers) and I’ve seen this happen in two paper towns like SF. In El Paso, TX I worked for the dominate paper. The smaller paper kept losing subscribers and as a result advertising shrank. They spent two years trying to reinvent themselves to attract subscribers. They became a tabloid at one point and started to run graphic photos of murders. In the end their parent company said enough is enough and closed the paper. All the good people from the paper went on their ways to other papers leaving the one paper.
    Right now I assume TechTV is in the near final stages. Not making enough money, trying desperatly to save themselves and hoping for an angel investor.
    Meanwhile Leo, Patrick and anyone else with any character cringes whenever they rewad another staff memo slugged: Changes in programming.
    In the end (and maybe this is best) TechTV will close up shop and people will move on. Until then you can only feel embarrassment for them.
    I used to watch TechTV all the time, even as background noise. Today I don’t watch it at all. Not even TSS. I’m probably not alone in this and unfortunatly for Leo and friends they’re probably seeing a drop in their loyal viewers based on crap they put on now.

  26. Hey Leo, I think the network better realize that it’s the TSS and CFH that made TECHTV what it is, and if not for those two shows, then the network would have gone under a long time ago. I’m in my 20’s and if I want to see sex I’ll turn to MTV, but when I want to see great people with interesting ideas I turn to you guys. Your whole cast on every show that originated on ZDTV, is really talented and very entertaining to watch. So keep up the good work, guys and gals, because as with every other network, the guys in the head office don’t have a clue what the viewer really want.

  27. I thought TSS was the top rated show for TechTV…how can they not put their top rated show in prime time?
    I hate the recent SexTV spin on things too. I also just watched Martin’s new show, I am not really excited. I’ll keep watching and give him a chance but all in all I am a bit disapointed (and I am one of the biggest Martin fans out there).

  28. You are the strength, not only of TSS and CFH, you appear to be the only person with any true gravity there. I liked Chris by the way, but after he left and you took over I felt like I had gone from having a headache to having a pleasurable sensation when I watched it. Do you work under any fear Leo?

  29. Hey Leo, how long did you say your contract was for? They got ride of Chris. Do you think your next?

  30. With 500 channels why does it all have to be targeted at the mainstream, disposable income crowd? Isn’t that the whole point of cable TV – that some TV programs cater to the minority tastes even though they’re not cash cows?
    Besides, TSS does contain a lot of dark humor. It’s very subtle and usually quickly passed-over but there’s been some hilarious moments that I’m sure only the folks behind the lens are catching. Some of Leo’s mispeaks are just gems (“Bilbo from behind” anyone?) It’s just one aspect that keeps me tuning in…
    Anyhow, I’ve watched since the ZDTV days and I think the transition has been positive (though I miss the blockhead.) Let’s hope it stays that way.
    -DD
    ps) As a TiVo viewer I care less about air times but I understand the importance of a PST after-dinner slot.

  31. The only shows I watch on TechTV are Call for Help and Screen Savers.. (Since Chris left I only watch Call for help for Cat though.. mmmmmm Cat) At least that is all I watch up here in Canada. Since we don’t get the cool Thunderbirds eps.. and I guess Canadian Content demands that weird Dave Chaulk guy and the freaky homoerotic ranch place he does the show at.. but anyway.. too much crap on TechTV makes me feel like its going to slowly turn into just another crappy specialty network like G4..
    Classic Screen Savers eps overnight.. Fresh Gear sucks.. I’m sorry.. its terrible Tech Live is barely watchable.. XPlay has Morgan for eye candy.. yeah. ok.. I watch Xplay too.. forgot..
    CFH and SS are 2 Flagship shows with loyal audiences that other networks would sell their souls for.. if they had one.. (damn you ABC for cancelling Sports Night.. and Up yours Scifi for killing MST3k) Why not ram them down our throats like we want instead of making me watch at the few hours a day I am actually doing things..
    ok.. rant much? thats what I get for reading at 7 am..

  32. Leo,
    I have been a loyal fan of your for some time. I was the first person that you answered a question for via Netcam on the launch day of TechTV. IMHO, that was the signal to me of bad things to come. When everything was Ziff Davis…all was cool in my book. The shows were all technology based and the right geeks were in the right shows. I really didn’t like the fact that you left CFH but Chris Pirilo did a fine job and at times I considered it to be just like the old TSS format.
    You were such an inspiration to me that I even started my own tech show for a certain website…..people love it and I LOVE doing it!
    Someone needs to call Paul Allen and give him some advice before all this turns sour.
    We need more tech content. IMHO, shows like Anime Unleashed and The Thunderbirds, along with a couple of others need to go by way of the dinosaur.
    Let me be perfectly clear here…the internet forum community is NO LONGER buzzing with TechTV.
    Someone up above made a GREAT post about Pat and Yoshi having their own show about hardware…I couldn’t agree more. We need more shows like that.
    Let me tell you something Leo…if that were to happen, forums like [H]ardOCP and Anandtech, Speedguide.net, and a host of others would be BUZZING with traffic about your shows. That in itself would be all the advertising TechTV would need. Word of mouth. The power of ten.
    TechTV needs a big kick in the butt before the viewers give it the kick.
    I’m a 33 year old man and I’m very much in touch with the “younger” generation. Heck, I teach all these young kids how to use their computers AND how to have a good time away from the computer.
    Let me finish by saying this…TechTv was best when it had that “underground” feel to it. The PC enthusiast community is what drives this entire industry.
    Thanks Leo for providing the opportunity to rant.;)

  33. Personally, and this is just me talking, but I feel they need to dump Morgan from X-Play. To me, she’s forced and often looks as though she doesn’t know what to do with herself while on-camera. She also doesn’t handle giving interviews well.
    Like I said, that’s just me.
    Sarah annoys me to no end, especially with her “It’s okay to steal someone’s blog design” segment a few weeks back. Yeah, thanks for nothing.
    Martin’s new show was fun, but what does it have to do with Tech? Sure, sure, the Immortality Rings and the pump were amusing, but still.
    TSS, Tech Live and CFH are the shows I watch, along with Fresh Gear. The rest is just so much clutter.

  34. The Food Channel can make it showing cooking shows all day, the BBCA and others make it showing gardening and fix-it shows most of the day, but TechTV can’t make it by showing down-to-earth shows like CFH and Screen Savers that are real, fun, and interesting? What’s with that?
    Somebody at TechTV needs to stop blaming the content and start looking at their own creativity and management ability.

  35. Hey Leo TechTV is still my favortie network to
    watch.And about the only shows that I really enjoy
    watching is TSS,CFH,X-Play and Tech Live.I belive
    the network will get beter and better as the years
    go on and I watched Martin’s new show last night
    and it was just plan funny.Is it me our is he
    useing the TSS set to do his show on.But anyway
    despite what other people say I am a TechTV junkie
    so keep up the good work…………

  36. I can’t believe the management would think these shows do not belong in prime time, when these are the shows that made the network. Are they out of their minds!! Leo I hope they hear what we have to say and come to their senses.
    Keep up the Good Work and Love TSS and CFH!!

  37. Signed the petition but wonder what good it will do. It appears that TechTV desires to become a channel that appeals to no one. Hope Mr. Allen decides to keep TechTV on the air even if it’s just for a tax loss!
    Mr. Allen made his money in the technology industry and it would be advantageous for people interested in tech to have ONE channel devoted to increasing their knowledge of technology without having the very poor ex-BBC shows crammed our collective throats.
    I was hoping and wishing for the repeats of TSS to be extended but it appears that now TechTV will be no more in the immediate future. What a pity for such an innovative network to be discontinued or diluted with such drivel as Anime and Puppets and now adding Sex to augment their ratings. Porn is taking over the Internet and now it appears Porn is the downfall of a fine Tech Network.

  38. Personally I think the station has tried to get too big too fast. The first thing I would do is dump all the British imports. Every time I turn on the channel and hear someone speaking with a British accent I get annoyed and change the channel. I’ve often wondered why TechTV doesn’t do some type of teaching show. It could be in a classroom like setting with TechTv employees playing the parts of a teacher and the students. You could do for example 8 to 12 weeks of shows on one type of programming language. Viewers could go to the website and send in any questions they might have about the previous day’s lesson. The most popular questions could be answered on the following show. After 8 to 12 weeks on one subject you move on to something else.

  39. set up your VCR or DVR or TIVO to record it! Hello, did anyone think about that? Also, TSS is on in Prime time eastern and central 7-8 and 6-7 are prime time

  40. If they are trying to cut costs, I don’t see why removing Screen Savers re-runs will help.
    I mean, what’s cheaper than a pre-produced 1-hour program that you already own?

  41. I read a person’s post from above that stated only 40,000 homes watch TechTV. Bullshit!!!! I know that many that watch on a regular basics right here in my city!!!

  42. TSS,CFH,Tech Live and Xplay are the best shows on the channel, I watch some of the other stuff like Spy School and Thunderbirds mainly because I am British and I always crave British programming living here in the USA. I think the other programs Anime, Wired for sex, robot wars and the like should be ditched. How about classic screensavers and classic call for help, I know I would love to watch the older shows instead of the crap they show in the evenings after tech live.

  43. Yes I sent an e:mail and signed the petition. Hope enough people do the same and just maybe someone will listen and put the re-runs back on. I for one DO NOT like 90% of what is on Tech TV. I want technology NOT sex and other garbage. There are already plenty of places where you can get the sex etc. if that is what you want.

  44. I tried to sign the petition but all I got was “web site not responding”. I hope that’s because it was being swamped with signatures. I’ll try again later.

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