The New Sofa-Free Call for Help

I’m in the Burbank airport waiting for a 7am flight back home. I’ll have a day with the family (minus the radio show) then it’s off to Toronto tomorrow for our third week of taping – our third month of shows – for the new Call for Help.
MonicaThe new show is going through some changes, which always happens as you work out the kinks. Monica, my wonderful co-host, has decided that she can’t keep up with the grueling schedule. She kept her job in promotions at Rogers/Omni and doing both that and the TV show was just too much for her. She has opted to keep her day job and spend less time on the TV show. We plan to continue to use her from time to time as a field reporter. I know it seems strange to most people that someone would choose a role behind the cameras rather than in front. It’s never easy to know what you want to do in life, and when someone really is clear about that I totally respect their decision. We’ll miss Monica’s happy presence on the set but we’re glad she’s doing what makes her happiest.

Amber MacArthurFortunately our Web Workshop expert, Amber MacArthur, is willing to step up and take the role of co-host. Amber is an experienced TV host who has worked on the CBC, and in San Francisco for KQED. She’s also an accomplished web designer who has been consulting with Microsoft and other companies on usability and design. And she’s a Mac geek. Andy and I are thrilled to have her join the team.

We’re also working on dumping the red couch. That’s one departure that won’t be mourned. I know we all look uncomfortable sitting on those dang couches. We are. We’re looking for something to replace them. My preference is for high stools and a round table – kind of like a café, but we’ll see what the set designers come up with.

Every show is an evolutionary process. And despite the same old name and the same old host, Call for Help really is a new show. I think it’s a great show already, but we’re still perfecting it – and we have a long way to go. I really want to get a Wired World Challenge style game show up and running, for example, but it’s tough with the limited staff available. As the show, and staff, grows, there will be lots of things we can add to make it even better.

Meanwhile, thanks to our Canadian fans for your support. And to my friends in the US, patience. We’re working hard to find a US home for the show. I’ll let you know as soon as we get some idea of where there’s interest. (I think G4 is probably out – they seem to be headed in a totally different direction.) And to my other International friends – we’re not forgetting you. My plans for global domination have received a tiny setback, but I am not giving up. Today Toronto, tomorrow Dubai, and Sydney, and Nassau, and…

12 Replies to “The New Sofa-Free Call for Help”

  1. I too am glad to see that in Australia might finally get to see (at least some) TechTV-related programming back here.
    Good luck with the show.

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  2. The only direction g4 is heading is straight into the gutter. It just hit me, the G in g4 stands for GARBAGE.
    CFH2 is the ONLY show on tv I look forward to. Here’s a show on g4 that they can replace with CFH2: Cinematech – it’s not even a real show, no hosts, no guests, no topics. What a waste of satellite signals.
    Long live TechTV.
    Leo for World President!

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  3. Monica didn’t seem to be comfortable on camera, so it was probably a wise decision on her part to leave.
    Should you ever get the show produced in the States and need some more production help, I’m available; take a look at my resume and demos at http://james.orlowski.com

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  4. The RSS feed of this page was a little funky… there were a lot of formatting issues. Here’s a snippet:
    I’m in the Burbank airport waiting for a 7am flight back home. I’ll have a day with the family (minus the radio show) then it’s off to Toronto tomorrow for our third week of taping – our third month of shows – for the new Call for Help.

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  5. It’s sad to hear Monica will no longer be a regular part of the show, she was a real asset and in the short time the show’s been on she’s become a favorite. I can’t say the same about that horrid red (looks orange to me) furniture however, that definitely needs to be eightysixed in a deep pit somewhere! Glad to hear you’re working on replacing it just don’t replace the idea of that kick-back, comfy area.

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  6. You’re uncomfortable because you have to lean forward to type and move the mouse on the laptops. I solved this problem in my house by attaching a usb optical mouse and a usb keyboard to my laptop and then I can lean back in the couch and relax, yet still use the laptop to work and surf 🙂

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  7. I’ve stopped watching G4 completly. I don’t like it at all. If/when you get back on air in the USA… I’ll be tuning in as a regular again.
    Keep up the good fight.

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  8. Today we hooked up our satellite after a year of no TV (by choice). I had heard that Call For Help was a goner but I was pleasantly surprised to see it on our Canadian feed. CFH and X-Play were the only original shows I liked (and TSS when Leo was on it) so I’m definitely happy. 🙂

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  9. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed you on the Screen Savers and how dissappointed I am that G4 has totally ruined my former favorite cable network, TechTV. Why don’t they just call it the Gaming network or something similar because that is all that it’s now about. Leo and Patrick made the Screen Savers an enjoyable program to watch. I do see a parallel between Kevin Rose and a young Anakin Skywalker (he’s got that Darth Vader vibe working). I guess if you are over the age of 21, then G4 TV doesn’t care about you as a viewer. Again, I’m a big fan and wish you the best (plus I’ll go out and buy the new gadget book).
    Rob in Houston

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  10. I am very glad to see Australia has a place in your plans of world domination. I only just started getting TechTV on cable down here about a month before it “went to a better place.” I loved Call for Help and am a huge fan of yours Leo, if your ever in Australia be sure to come to Adelaide would love to meet you.

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  11. [i]I know it seems strange to most people that someone would choose a role behind the cameras rather than in front.[/i]
    No it’s not. I’m much happier on the technical end of things than on camera. Put me in front of a Final Cut Pro system, a TD board or behind the controls of a camera and I can work magic, put that camera on me and I tend to sit there with a “deer in the headlights” look. Radio, however, I can do.
    -A

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