Last Call

afs_call_for_helpYesterday was one of the saddest days of my life. We put Call for Help to bed Wednesday. You’ll see the last episode on Friday, but for those of us who have been making the show for six years a huge and important chunk of our lives is over.
G4 is shopping the show and it’s possible another network will pick it up. I pray someone does. I’ll keep doing it if I have to fly to Sandusky twice a week. Somehow, somewhere, Call for Help has to live on, if only for the folks who have come to depend on the show for their computer help. I know so many moms and grandfathers and kids and just plain folks for whom Call for Help was an introduction to technology. The show helped get so many people on track, and I feel like we’re letting many more down by not doing it any more. Cross your fingers that some network executive somewhere is willing to take a chance on a funky little show that makes such a big difference in people’s lives.

Meanwhile G4 has asked me to keep doing the daily 90-second pre-taped tips on The Screen Savers indefinitely. I said yes, of course. It’s better than nothing, and it will leave me lots of free time to try to find somewhere else to do what I do. Vinnie Longobardo, the VP Programming for G4, also asked me to ask you to stop filling his inbox with mail. I appreciate your efforts but at this point it’s probably useless to keep harassing the poor guy. G4 is going for a different audience and my work is not really part of those plans. I understand that – I even agree with them. It’s time for all of us to move on.

Mostly I’m going to miss the people I work with. It’s going to be so hard to get up in the morning and not see their faces. You never met a nicer, harder working, more committed bunch of people. We loved what we did. And we hate not getting to do it any more.

Some will continue on with G4. I think Roger, Cat, and Ian will move to LA. George is getting his real estate license. Dan will be bagging groceries at the local Stop ‘n’ Shop. I’m not sure what Fawn’s plans are. The studio crew will continue working until July 2 when 535 York gets shut down for good. Then they’ll all go on to other jobs. They’re the best in the business and won’t have any trouble finding work.

We had six good years. That’s more than most TV shows get. And we are very proud of what we did. It’s just hard to let go, especially when the show was starting to click. We’d had our highest ratings ever in March – 500% growth over the same time last year. The December Call-For-Help-a-thon earned us a big article in the New York Times. We had finally made it back into prime time. So close. So close.

I’m not complaining. I have my family, my radio show, and my memories of an amazing little channel where I got to do pretty much whatever I wanted for way too long. I am just so grateful to have had that chance. And I’m even more grateful that so many of you seemed to actually like my work. I’m not giving up. I’m just going to take some time off to say a private good-bye. Then it’s on to the next thing. I’m sure it will be wonderful and fun and all that. But there will never be another TechTV. For all its flaws, it was pretty great, wasn’t it?

Happy Trails!

677 Replies to “Last Call”

  1. LEO LEO LEO~~My Leo, where have you gone??
    Oh, I recall about 2 years ago when my husband and I were in bed…..and there you appeared~ On TV that is. And we have been hooked ever since!
    Thanks for all the positive attitude you shared with others and your jokes. We love you here. Hoping that we will get to tune into you again soon!

  2. I can’t even believe that this is being taken away!!!!!!!!! I have learned so much—–and will miss learning!!! Are they really sure that a gaming channel is a good idea? And no room for Call fo Help?????? I will miss this show so much, sure hope to see it on another channel. GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL.Sadly missed!!!

  3. I can’t even believe that this is being taken away!!!!!!!!! I have learned so much—–and will miss learning!!! Are they really sure that a gaming channel is a good idea? And no room for Call fo Help?????? I will miss this show so much, sure hope to see it on another channel. GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL.Sadly missed!!!

  4. I was working on mainframes at Stanford and Livermore in the 70’s.
    PCs were just starting to come out, but I didn’t think there was a career there, so went into a different field. Twenty years later, I bought a satellite dish and discovered Call For Help and the TSS. Got back up to speed and jumped back into computers for a career. I guess change is inevitable, but I’ll sure miss you. I hope you do get a chance to resurface.

  5. I first saw Leo on zdnet about six years ago when I was traveling. What a treat, too bad my cable company didn’t get it. For the last four years, I’ve had CFH and TSS daily with Dish Network. I realized the shows were so good that I set up my recorder (first VCR, now PVR) so I’d never miss either. If I was going to be gone for a couple days and didn’t have enough space to record other shows, I’d just record CFH/TSS. Lately, TechTV has been putting on some silly and/or sexy shows – seemed like a waste of time, but that didn’t matter to me as long as they kept CFH/TSS. Too bad G4 made a bad decision and dumped CFH.
    I don’t know how cable networks know they have viewers. There used to be the Nielsen ratings, but I don’t know if they cover techtv. I’ve never voted for an idol or a reality show winner, but I regularly entered TechTV contests. I donate to my local NPR and PBS stations, if somebody makes CFH viewer supported I’ll send in my check. Too bad I can’t vote on stupid corporate decisions, some G4 guy gets my vote. Maybe it’s not like stealing money at Enron, but in a way it’s stealing knowledge which may be worse.
    I’m sure Leo will land on his feet – books, radio and TV – hopefully he’ll take advantage of his free time to hang out with his kids this summer.
    I hope Cat and Roger and the other CFH folks don’t get discouraged – this was something worthwhile that you can be proud of.

  6. Leo, I am joining the Guys; I’m really going to miss all of “Y’ALL”, the show,people,segments,stories,calls,the variety of,(Even if I do not own a Mac.) All knowledge is good Knowledge; Mostly I’ll miss the show and your company every Day ! Wish All of You Well , in the new roads you’ll be taking .HAPPY TRAILS .

  7. I’ll always cherish the tape of the ZDTV Pilot show “Help Wanted” from nearly 6 years ago when I was invited to the studios, and to hang with Leo for a day. I’ll also keep the tapes of my C4H appearance and my TSS appearance that occured a year later.
    Those were the happy times, weren’t they?
    Thanks Leo for the three “on-air” trips to ZDTV/TechTV, and thanks for the multiple visits to SF with the gang from the KGO Laporteans Group and the Tech staff from

  8. Hope to see you sometime soon on a new Tech show Leo.
    as for “Moving On” in one way I wish all the 285 staff would have “just said no” to the G4 morons… then what would they have had? Nada. and as you were all “Let Go” the whole crew could have moved on to better stuff….
    I don’t expect the new G4TechTV network to amount to anything more than a Train Wreck…
    at least thats my $0.02 worth

  9. Thanks for the special part of the day you and your crew brought to so many of us. I look foward to your future. It’s bright you know. When one door closes another opens. Platitudes aside, dismay put away, remember; “This too shall pass away” is the one true statement in all living.
    Again, thank you.
    PS: Call Ted Turner

  10. It seems like everytime we welcome you back, you dissapear again. I dont know if I want to watch a channel that doesnt have Leo on. And the 90sec spots on TSS are just a tease. Anyway, I hope that G4 gets their act together and makes the right choice! I will make it a point to download all the episodes from the radio show and listen for the hour that Call for Help was on. GOOD LUCK LEO!

  11. Hi Leo,
    I know that I’m just one of the hundreds of comments on this post alone! I just really wanted to say how much I loved Call for Help. I watched it with my father when I was younger, and we loved it ever since, especially when you hosted it. Hopefully someone will pick up the show and Call for Help can live on! Thanks for all the great memories, and GOOD LUCK!
    I’ll check your blog every day!
    -Codemonkey (AKA: Trevor)

  12. Heyo Leo,
    Call for Help was the show that got me interested in technology, that got me into the world of computers. I’m a huge fan of TSS, and Call for Help and loved you on both the shows. What can I say that already hasn’t been said. Hoping for the best for all the CFH crew, Cat, Fawn, Leo, and everyone on the show. Live on Leo!

  13. I’m sure I speak for many viewers who have watched Call For Help through the years by saying we’ll be honored to put that shared knowledge to good use for decades to come.
    To quote you, Leo: “Remember… it’s not your fault.” I hope you and all of the staff will keep that in mind as TechTV becomes history. But also keep in mind that TechTV will be a part of history not quickly forgotten.
    Thanks for the memories. They’ll serve us well!
    Viva Laporte! =)

  14. Leo
    I am listening to KFI-640 because I will not be watching G4. I fully understand the coorporate communication world since I am a former employee of CBS, Inc of New York. You were the “core” of TechTV and ZDTV before that. I would like you to know that I have used you advice and example in my current profession, teaching. I love the term “personal confuser” when I am solving a problem on our computer system at school. I look foward to the next show technology you host. Good luck Tech guy!

  15. You are all going to be missed VERY much!!
    I was a newbee to the computer world, and learned everything I needed to know about the computer world from watching the shows on Tech TV. All you people there are like family to me.
    I watched your shows every chance I got, and taped some I couldn’t see live.
    I do wish all of you the best of luck, for whatever the future holds for you, and even though you are gone, you will never be forgotten!!
    Take care, have a wonderful life and THANK YOU!!!:)

  16. Good luck Leo and the rest of the clan there on Call for Help. I’m really going to miss that show. Everything I know about computers I owe to you and the crew there. It’s going to be a bit booring afternoons, now. It’s been an enjoyable 6 years that I’ve been watching… And, I hope there is an outside chance that CFH will be picked up by someone there in TV land…
    Here’s to Hopin’ we’ll be seeing you again!!
    Pat Phillips

  17. I´m sorry to hear that Leo, Call for Help really inspired me to define a lot of aspects for a similar show I´m doing with the help of some friends in Mexico City that is broadcast on radio and satellite T.V. simultaniously to the whole country named DOMMO. Doin our show could be impossible without Call for Help and The Screen Savers. We´ll miss you.
    From sometimes Sunny, always polluted Mexico City
    Ricardo Zamora

  18. I didn’t know Call For Help was being canceled until after that episodes Wired World Challenge…needless to say it came as a depressing shock. I’m praying someone picks it up, I need the tips, the fun the Wired World Challenge…I need to win a t-shirt from the quiz. until then I’ll be in morning. I wish they’ld canceled Robot Wars instead, I hate that useless show.

  19. Not again! I can’t believe we are losing you again Leo….
    I am seriously bummed out now…..I wish you and the rest of the crew the best…

  20. Call for Help and TSS helped me accomplish so much, and I am very grateful for your part in that,Leo. Because of you, I learned enough about computers to give me the courage to go back to school and get my Master’s in Educational Technology. From one teacher to another–you are a great teacher, Leo, and you have touched more lives than you know. You inspired me to use technology to help my students. I teach English as a Second Language to middle school students, and you have helped me be a more effective teacher. Thank you.
    I hope to see you again soon. I will be looking for you wherever you land. Again, thank you.

  21. Leo, thanks for hosting a great TV show. It’s unfortunate that the execs at G4 canned the show, but hopefully another network will pick it up so we can all enjoy CFH for another six years. Just so you know, TSS has not been the same without you. Again, thanks for the show Leo. Hope to see you hosting it again on another network very soon.

  22. leo,
    Thanks for all the great info you and the gang gave us week in and week out. I had you religiously tivo’d to make sure not to miss a show. I think its good to kill it now, moving it to LA would kill the funkiness of the characters on the show and the cool SF vibe (can ya tell Im from SF area?) Oh well, another dot.bomb- I hope the show gets picked up, Ive really enjoyed tech tv for many years. Take care and hope to see ya at a Giants game or around town in that orange muscle car
    ~ken g

  23. Leo,
    We’ve been watching your show here in New Zealand for the last year… and loved it! Very sad that it’s been canned and there is now going to be no international broadcast of any of the TechTV shows. We’ve leant heaps from the show and your easy going style and marvelous knowledge has been a joy to watch.
    All the best for the future.

  24. Things aren’t going to be the same without you and without TechTV as I’ve come to know and love it. Good Luck to you and everyone else at TechTV.
    Its a shame things worked out the way they did. I use to watch G4 occasionally, but it just couldn’t hold a candle to TechTV. TechTV offered techies (and non techies) shows that weren’t aimed at 15 year olds. It managed to be mature and fun at the same time, its going to be missed.

  25. Hey folks , the barn door may be open and the horse may be gone but we still have to make our voices heard , even if in the end it does no good . The big brass at G4techtv need to know that all of their present and potential future viewers are ticked and arent going to take this lying down . There definitely is strength in numbers and if everybody that has posted a comment on this site will take 5 minutes and sign the petition thats been started it can speak LARGE volumes . Go to the above address and please sign the petition . We certainly have nothing to lose but but we have every thing to gain . Call for Help FOREVER !

  26. Our local station probably won’t show TSS at any time that I cam watch and from what I have seen of G4 it has everything I don’t want.
    CFH was an honest TV show, something you don’t often find. You will be missed.

  27. hey leo , i never had a chance to call , but i read the web page and watch very very much. Many time i did not need to call for someone else was asking what i need to get done. I was very upset about the show being cut, it was good for the kids in the school , i love that you did the classroom part. You made computer and other tech thing very cool for people.
    Just had to write and tell you THANK YOU FOR THE PAST FEW YEAR AND making my puter safer and better with great ideal.

  28. Best of luck in everything you do, Leo. Hopefully that will include hosting a television show by the name of ‘Call for Help’, but if not, you will be sorely missed by all your fans. i started watching the show back in the zdtv days, and made it one of the few shows on tv (along with TSS) i would watch regularly. my disappointment that you were leaving screen savers was tempered by the fact that you were staying on call for help, but this is unforgivable… hopefully another channel will see what a gem comcast is throwing away, and pick it up quickly. you’d surely have a huge fan base right from the start. keep up the great work, leo! you will be missed!

  29. I’m another fan that you inspired to get my A+ and from there got my Network+, MCSA and CIW-Master certs. You have been an enormous inspiration and I always enjoyed picking up new tidbits on your show(s) and will miss your enthusiasm. I hope that you get to host some sort of computer show again soon, I’ll be watching!
    Your friend,

  30. I have been watching you since the ZDTV days.You and the gang will be missed at my house. You basicly showed me how to use a confuser and what it can do besides gaming. I cant believe they have done this to my favorite show, i watched g4vt and didnt much like the programing. They will be begging for you to come back in about 6 months. So Ill see you then! Enjoy the vacation!

  31. To heck with Vinnie Longobardo. I say keep filling his inbox, letting him know that he has alienated all TechTV Viewers. Leo IS TechTV. G4 canning “Call For Help” is like someone buying CNN and getting rid of the news! Good luck to the cast & crew. I hope things work out.

  32. I was a relatively late-comer to TechTV. Only started watching a couple of years ago after being enlightened and liberated by Directv. Now I am losing one of only a couple of channels that I felt were worthwhile– out of 500 channels on satellite TV. Sad, because I’m a gamer too but do I really need 8-12 different shows about video games? X-Play was enough to fulfill that need. I don’t know, maybe there is a market out there that I’m not aware of but it really seemed like TechTV was starting to come into their own. I particularly enjoyed the news-related shows like TechLive and Fresh Gear. Oh well, I guess that’s why I’m not in the entertainment biz. ;^)

  33. I was a relatively late-comer to TechTV. Only started watching a couple of years ago after being enlightened and liberated by Directv. Now I am losing one of only a couple of channels that I felt were worthwhile– out of 500 channels on satellite TV. Sad, because I’m a gamer too but do I really need 8-12 different shows about video games? X-Play was enough to fulfill that need. I don’t know, maybe there is a market out there that I’m not aware of but it really seemed like TechTV was starting to come into their own. I particularly enjoyed the news-related shows like TechLive and Fresh Gear. Oh well, I guess that’s why I’m not in the entertainment biz. ;^)

  34. I started watching TSS & Leo when TechTV was still ZTV. He will be missed and I don’t know about anyone else but TSS and G4TechTv is a little less without him. In fact so much less that I have more or less given up on watching. Hope he will find a home on some other network so that I will once again have a reason for watching Tv.
    Thanks Leo for the past 6 years of Call for Help and also your very long run on TSS. You are already missed.

  35. I’ve only been watching TechTV (I’m not sure I can ever refer to it as G4 TechTV) for a couple of years now, but it was Leo that made me start watching. It was an episode of TSS that got me hooked and then I became a Call For Help fan, too. I’m sad to see it go, but here’s hoping for the best and that some other network will realize what a gem Call For Help really is. Thanks Leo for all that you’ve done for your fans. We’re all going to miss you.

  36. Hey Leo,
    I’ve learned so much from your show! I’ve found wonderful and great downloads as well as great tweaks for my computer. I enjoy your show very much because of its friendliest and audience interaction. The show is very friendly and helpful to watch and I want to thank you for being there for all the computer help, entertaiment, and friendliness provided by your show.
    Best Wishes!

  37. Hey Leo, I’m from Trinidad and I frequently watched CFH and TSS ever since we received ZDTV some years ago. I must say that your show has taught me a lot despite having been quite proficient at using the computer for years, and that I will severely miss you and your warmness, humour and tech know-how. Thanks for everything!

  38. Leo, I am very sad to hear about the cancelation of Call for Help. My cable provider
    stopped broadcasting TECH TV about 3 weeks ago. I never was able to see your last broadcast. Where will you go, what will you do, anything you want to. I really hope you comeback with another computer show. You made learning fun!


  40. Man Leo….what a drag. Cut down to 90 seconds of Leo Laporte. That’s just not gonna be enough. It really is a dark day for the tech community when an icon such as yourself gets tossed aside for big business. I don’t know if I will continue to watch G4-TechTV or what ever it’s called, but I will give it a chance. I did see that my cable provider didn’t even change the line up in the guide. I guess that’s another part of the marketing engine at work. “Hey lookie here it’s Call for Help” but no, it’s some doofuss hocking some lame kung foo video game. It really makes me sick. I am really gonna miss you. You can be sure that I will be watching if and when you get another show. Please keep us all posted to that effect. Thanks for the memories Leo!!

  41. Leo,I was shocked when I heard the news.I’ve been watching you since ZDTV days and being a Canadian, the only way to watch you was to get a Directv system and in this country it was not legal.I grewup in the days of live tv and every nite you brought me back with your charm & wit. You were Techtv and G4 will lose alot of faithful viewers but G4 doesn’t care. Why don’t you come to Canada and do your show here or produce it as a Independent producer.Thank God for KfI and the internet, see you there, Leo your the best. Gary

  42. Leo,
    I am in shock! You have all tought thisGrandma so much. I bought our first family computer in 96. I had a friend that was dedicated to help me in maintaining the computer. Well three years ago I found Call for Help and now I am the friend that helps new computer owners… that can’t maintain their computers. I owe it all to Call for Help! I just don’t understand? I have turned several friends and neighbors to your show. You are going to be missed. Please take with you the knowledge that you have made a difference in peoples lives. You are going to be missed. I worry that there are more people out there just like me who need a show that cares. And what about the school kids that were enjoying and learning right along with us? Oh my…all of these changes:( I will be a steady reader on your site. Just to get a peek at what you are up too. Bless you Leo and your family!
    Debora In Wahington State

  43. I cant believe that Call for Help is gone 🙁
    I was looking at G4’s lineup. Hey I like games to but there is more to computers then just games. Well I hope Call for Help is picked up by another broadcast company. When it does (and it will) I am soooo there. I use to get up at 6am every morning to watch the show before I went to work. The show was awesome. The people are great and I cant wait to see you all again. Almost feels like losing family
    Your loyal viewer…always

  44. I am going to dearly miss call for help and Leo they have become part of my everyday existence I am in shock but I know this isn’t the last for a program like CFH and Leo look forward to seeing you in the future in whatever happens

  45. Addition to my post: HEY I LOVE YOUR BOOKS – YES I BUY THEM :)!!
    And give them as gifts!
    When you are in Manhattan, on a signing promotion, maybe I can get an autographed copy :)!

  46. It was an overwhelming sadness that took over my weekend when I learned that ‘Call For Help’ had been shut down. I was late to the party. I did not discover this fine show, and The Screen Savers until about 6 months ago. I set my TiVo and recorded it every single day. I watched the reruns on Saturday and Sunday. You see, this show took computing (especially Windows computing) and empowered us — the little guy! Leo, Cat and Roger gave us their very best every day. They were not Gods; they made mistakes, but it was FUN! Soon I no longer felt threatened by XP. I thought I could purchase the right digital camera. Whatever.
    Now all that’s gone and I want to climb under the covers and never come out again! Yes, six years is a long time, but I came so late to the party. I truly ache inside.

  47. I can’t believe I’m not going to be able to watch Leo every day on TV! Don’t get me wrong, I love Screen Savers, but where Screen Savers is for technophiles, Call For Help was for everybody! Leo’s easy, patient manner and great sense of humor made dealing with every computer problem so much easier! Ah, I will surely miss Call for Help!

  48. Thank you Leo & all the people at TechTV. For the past 4 years you guys have been on my tube daily. I would often center my activity around the great programming that was TechTV. I would often watch the shows when it was live, and only to watch it again when it was rerunned.
    For what’s it worth, count me as one of the very many loyal TechTV viewers who can’t stand to see you go. Like it has been mentioned many times before, this is truely a sad day for geeks, and the average computer user.

  49. I’ve been watching CFH only for the last few months. But I quickly learned to Love it and couldn’t wait for the next show. I have a PVR in my cable box and made it a point to record all the shows and at night watched them all. I was entertained and awed by you, Leo, and your cast. It was amazing to me that you knew as much as you did about every aspect of these ‘personal confusers’ and indeed they are confusing. But with your insight you made them a lot more friendly and understandable. CFH was one of the few shows that drew my interest in TechTV in the first place. I will miss your way of educating us on the world of computers. Thank you.

  50. Hi Leo, I couldn’t believe it when I heard you talking about the “last show”. I thought I must have heard wrong! I have been watching you from the beginning using an old 12 foot satellite dish. I can remember seeing the same old commercials over and over again because there were not that many sponsors back then. I was one of your earliest callers with a question about installing an old LS120 drive on a Windows 95 platform. I still have that drive stuck away in a drawer somewhere. I hope that you will keep all of our emails on file and let us know where you wind up. If there is a God in Heaven there will always be a place for Leo Laporte on tv.

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