Ten Years After

I have a plane ticket to Vancouver for this Monday. I was scheduled to fly there to tape Week 44 of The Lab with Leo. Except I’m not. After 645 Canadian episodes of Call for Help and The Lab, Rogers has decided to cancel the show.
It’s a decision I can’t help but agree with.

Our Australian affiliate, the How-To Network, had stopped running the show due to poor ratings. The Canadian ratings haven’t been so hot, either. The slide began a year ago when Amber left the show. The entire staff left in January and I was left the last man standing. I’m not good with slow fades. It’s time to move on.

Rogers is planning to replace it with a daily, live show which is, ironically, what Call for Help used to be, but unless I pack up and move to Canada there’s no way I could host it, so we’ve parted ways amicably. I will always be grateful to them for keeping Call for Help alive these past four years. I have worked with many wonderful Canadians both in front of and behind the camera, many of whom will continue to be friends and partners as I segue into new ventures.

TV, like all performing arts, is full of transitions. It’s graduation day over and over again. You know you’ll see some people again, and you also know that others, many of whom have been close friends, will drift away never to been seen again. It’s sad, but it’s inevitable. Every new beginning is also the beginning of the end. I guess that’s life.

There will be new shows through May; we were producing several months ahead. Repeats of both Call for Help and The Lab will continue indefinitely. Everything comes to an end except re-runs.

Call for Help launched on May 11, 1998. It was cancelled April 2004 and revived by Rogers two months later. Ten years after its birth, four years after its resurrection, and after nearly 2,000 shows, Call for Help is finally over.

Except, it’s not. I’ll talk about the next chapter tomorrow.


This is Call for Help the way it was meant to be – with a handsome young host (hey it was eight years ago!) and guests Martin Sargent and Andy Ihnatko.

178 Replies to “Ten Years After”

  1. I’ve been sort of monitoring leoville to see when you’d make it official, after seeing the Thanks for all the Fish posting on labwithleo.com a little while back. I got a little worried that there might be some fallout after seeing Kate & Matt’s announcement last December that they would be moving back to TO in the new year. So now its official. Too bad.
    Of course I’ll tune in for Twit Live although, I have to tell you Leo, that audio-only podcasts are fantastic for me. I listen to them every day on the bus while going to/from work. I put on my bluetooth headphones, start up my Axim, launch Core Player, start a TWIT podcast, sit back, close my eyes and, before you know it, it’s time to get off & walk to my office/house. It’s actually better than video.

  2. Well, so much for the Canadian phase of your career. Now it is time to do it from home.I have been an avid fan since the early years.
    I listen to all of your podcasts daily while I work out and enjoy them. In fact there are not enough of them to keep me working out as much as I require. Keep up the good work and put CFH on the internet daily. I will be waiting.
    Thanks for everything you are doing.

  3. Leo,
    Words escape me at the moment.. as a long time fan, a long time viewer, and someone that has enjoyed all your tv shows, this news saddens me. The Lab with Leo was a great show. As a canadian, I was honored that you came up to Canada, did a great tv show and though I consider myself a advanced computer user, I would always find out something new, a idea, a tip, whatever it was, it was always from your show. I think that rogers decision is so short sighted, and you will be missed. I will await to see you soon and welcome your new adventures in the Wild of the Net.
    I hope that you will be back on the air someday, and though I will view your podcasts, I will miss the TV times of the past
    Peace..
    A Real Canadian Fan

  4. Well obviously you should have a goodbye vancouver fan meet-up!
    I’m actually typing this while on hold with shaw to cancel my tehctv canada subscription. Your show was the only reason why I hadn’t cancelled it.
    Hey, i’d love to see you turn the format into a weekly vodcast!
    N

  5. I will still enjoy watching Call for Help and The Lab on reruns. Wish you would consider using Mogulus for yor streaming. Soon they will let you upload up to one gig in video files at a time

  6. I loved CFH from when I first saw it early in it’s history. Even though I knew most of the answers to the questions, I loved Leo’s answers and have learned so much about how to answer questions from listening to him do it. But all great things have a beginning and an end. Leo has outlived it and, I think, outgrown it. Looking forward to what’s next!

  7. I’m sad that LAB W/LEO was canceled before anybody in the U.S. could legally watch it – but delighted you’re striking out w/a television show of your own. 🙂

  8. Leo,
    I wish we could have been a part of the show here in the USA but alas we weren’t.
    Now TWITlive will be great!! I am looking forward to watching live and on my way to the office. Now that you (we) will be in control things will be much, much better!!!
    ET aka AlmostaGeek

  9. Sorry to see the show go, Leo. Even though we did not get it here in the states, it was always reassuring you were on TV somewhere.
    Looking forward to TWiT live.
    There are a great many of us who appreciate your talent and dedication to doing what you love.
    BTW – MBW #81 is one of the best shows ever!

  10. Wow. I just started to watch these shows, and was actually enjoying it. Unfortunatly The Techtv channel in Canada is really hard to find, and i was only able to watch the lab with leo like 5 times. I just started liking it and now its cancelled. I also wish Techtv was a little more accessable.

  11. I’m pretty sure the “how to” channel would have very low ratings for all their shows, it’s one of the lesser known channels on the Foxtel platform in Australia.
    Look forward to hearing any of your shows from Tasmania and don’t forget my interview request!

  12. As in any relationship, you deserve to be with people who are smart enough to appreciate you for who you are. Television has always been too dumb for you, and your growing internet audience will always be smart enough to appreciate you and your talents. Long live TWiT live!

  13. All good things must come to and end…I never missed an episode(or tried not to), of both CFH & TSS…I watched an episode or 2 of The Lab on YouTube…I enjoyed it, but missed the good ol’ days of watching live episodes of Call For Help every afternoon. I believe I have mentioned this in other comment posts, that I was on CFH doing a webcam promo for the show…back then, TechTV had people submit short webcam videos saying things like” We’ll be right back with Call For Help”…or whatever show they wanted to mention and it would air before the commercials…I believe I said,”Your watching the man himself, Leo Laporte, right here on Call for help.”..I did say a bit more but that was what they cut it down to…best of luck Sir Leo, with everything else that you do…I have learned a lot from you and keep up the great work!!

  14. Well, maybe it was meant to be. I can remember watching Call for Help as a young teen, man I loved that show. Really got me into technology.
    I’m sure your new Twit venture will be just great and finally bring some of your video content back to the US.

  15. I am sorry to of the end. I enjoyed watch very much.Can’t wait to see whats up next

  16. It’s a crying shame that technology TV isn’t more popular. I get the feeling that the opportunity was hacked off in the prime of its life when commie-cast bought TechTV and we may not see the likes of it again. But thank goodness for high-speed internet and programming with little or no commercial interruption that can be viewed/heard whenever we want. Eventually, you will prove the bean-counters wrong.
    By the way, Leo, did you offer to get a boob job to improve the ratings??? LOL!!!
    May the Tech be with you,
    Mark from MT

  17. I guess its time to cancel G4 again – the only reason I subscribed was because of the The Lab – I’ve enjoyed all of your shows since I first tuned into Call for Help on C-band here in Canada back in 1998.

  18. This is a crying shame. I don’t understand viewing audiences. In this day-and-age of technology and computers, there are very little shows on the subject, and this was the ONLY one that wasn’t just a front for flogging products.
    The thing that really killed this show from the start is that it would never be allowed to broadcast its unbiased message on larger networks that are influenced by commercial interests. At least while it ran, Toronto and Vancouver were beacons of free speech.
    In my opinion, this was the best show on TV. Great topics, host, staff, and guests.
    The nod has to go to Leo for making it interesting and entertaining. All the best in the future.

  19. Like Danie above, I used to watch taped The Screensavers and Call for Help here in Net 25, a local channel here in the Philippines. That was 10 years ago. After I think a year or so, the local channel removed ZD/Tech TV replays in their show list. So I urged my mom to get a cable connection. But to my dismay, our local cable company doesn’t have ZD/Tech TV channel. So I have to follow Leo and the other guys via the web only. Now, I never failed to listen to their podcasts at twit. To all the Canadians and other viewers of this show, I totally understand how you feel as I too lost my favorite show 10 years ago. Thanks to the net, we can still somehow view what we always wanted..
    Leo and the other hosts were such big influence to me to the point that I graduated with a Computer Engineering degree. Now I work as a software engineer.
    Thanks Leo and the other guys! Your the best!! Your memory lives on!

  20. Rogers are idiots and I bet they regret the whole thing when they see TWiT Live 😉

  21. Caesar is dead! Long live Caesar!I think sending a “stretch” to pick up the talent in SF is a v. good idea…. esp. since you will be having boozehounds like Kevin Rose!
    So you’ve been taking cues from Tom Green… I was watching back before he “whipped” the technology into submission. Shouldn’t be too hard to “borrow” what’s working for him (bitgravity? SkypePro?)
    Looking forward to future developments…. In the meantime I hope you don’t mind me watching you eat your lunch!
    -Richard

  22. On demand TV (and audio) is where the world is headed. It’s almost all I watch (and listen to).
    Looking forward to the future.

  23. Never in the field of technology was so much owed by so many to so few. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

  24. I still haven’t gotten over the end of the Screen Savers… surely the best tech show ever on television. I didn’t see much of CFH after it moved to Canada, but still feels like the end of an era. We still have plenty of Leo in plenty of places, but it is sad to see you removed from mainstream television all-together. Looking forward to the next incarnation Leo!

  25. Leo,
    I have been a big fan of yours for a long time. I have watched your tv shows and enjoyed the TWIT Network of Netcasts. I have been in the computer business over 20 years and I still manage to learn something from you.
    Please keep up the good work on all the other projects which you are involved in.

  26. Call for Help was one of the first shows I used to TiVo regularly.
    I think you did so many Call For Helps that they all blend in together. I was proud that twice WinPatrol was featured on Call For Help but in a recent Twit broadcast you acted like you never heard of it?
    http://twit.tv/ww43
    Guess we’re all getting old. 🙂
    Thanks!
    Bill Pytlovany

  27. I keep watching things fade away,But,A rose may dis to bring forth more,so long line twit,,,

  28. Everybody always says that all good things must come to an end but that does not mean that I have to agree. I remember when I could hardly turn on a computer. Now, thanks to Call For Help and The Lab I get calls from neighbors to help them with their computer problems. Leo,I have been a fan of your shows since the ZDNet days and will hope that someday we will see you back on TV. In the meantime, long live TWIT. Your show was the only reason I watched G4TV.Thanks Leo……….. it was a great run.

  29. You kept me company thru a long illness, thru 5 computers (I actually learned something) and then you were gone from Tech TV and I never watched them again. If only I known you might be on the internet-I just got off dial up and now I can do anything. I have your books and was gonna donate them but sat up all night rereading last night. What a crazy way to feed insomnia. Keep on keeping on. I will be here.

  30. Long Live Twit, what a great resource! I listen to episodes at work.
    I loved Call for Help on old Tech TV.
    I did try to catch Call for Help when visiting family in Toronto.
    The problem was my wife’s Uncle did not have it on his
    cable line up. I did get to enjoy episodes on the web..
    Twit is great and I listen to Leo on WMAL in Washington DC (only 3 hours a weekend (boo Hiss)) and at KFI on the web.
    Thanks
    Leo and keep up the good work.

  31. Well, Leo, where to start. I was watching you on the big sattlelite dish years ago. Seemed like it was only you and kathy or katie, can’t remember her name now, all day long and I would watch every minute I could. My brother in law worked for IBm and he would say, “Liz how did you learn that or where did you get that program?” and I would say, I watch Leo every day and then the channel went to gaming and I tried to follow on the internet, but I’m not a young woman anymor and I can’t keep up with what goes on on the internet now a days. I listen to your radio show when I can, but seems like I miss it half the time. I live in Mississippi and we don’t get Canadian TV, but I wish you had another show here in the US, I would surely watch it. I learned so much from watching you and from time to time I visit your webpage just to see where and what you are doing these days. You are like an old friend.
    I am redoing my webpage from top to bottom. Just today I deleted everything on there and started over. I’ve had one up for years, but since it’s genealogy, mostly, I try to keep it simple so folks my age can read and understand where I’m going with it.
    Just one more thing, I hate Windows Vista. I don’t know what Microsoft was thinking. Here I’ve spent money for years for programs and they won’t work on Vista. I had to go back to XP.
    I’ll be looking for you on my TV.
    Liz

  32. Best wishes to you Leo our friend !! Your a great man of inspiration !! You have inspired me through the years and should be very proud of Call For Help and all you and the great staff have accomplished on our computer woesss and other topics. Better things are on the horizon I’m sure for you. One thing in communications I have learned all good broadcasting shows end in time, but you keep the talanted friends, co-workers, and fun memories with you in your heart as you continue into lifes new broadcasting adventures. All my best friend and thank you for everything you do 🙂

  33. Hi, Leo,
    It’s fun watching these two “Call for Help” videos. Man, I have missed watching TechTV these past for years. I retired in September 2001. I watched “Call for Help” and “The Screensavers” every day. I learned so much from you.
    Good luck to you, Leo! See you on the radio!
    Your buddy,
    George Spink
    Los Angeles

  34. Leo I miss the days of tech tv for sure and have missed seeing you in a video oriented show since you haven’t done anything in the states for a while. I truly can’t wait for your new video shows and I know you will truly continue to innovate and revolutionize audio and video on the internet. You have always been a truly incredible inspiration and make me happy to work in the tech industry.

  35. Thanks for your time Leo. I was on the show twice as a call in…thanks for coming up to Canada and being a great American Ambassador. Your welcome back at any time…..

  36. Leo & Team
    All the best for the future. I’m from Sydney. You and your team (and guests) taught me so much about technology in a fun and entertaining way. Not only the basics of how things are done but to give me confidence to “give it a go”.
    Please keep everyone informed about any future shows that may be in the pipeline. I have started visiting all of your other sites.
    I have already phoned Foxtel to voice my disgust at their decision to axe the show!
    Hope to se you soon.
    Regards,
    Bob

  37. Leo I have watched your shows since ZDTV many moons ago. I am close to retirement now and I want you to know that you had a strong infuence on my life. I enjoyed and learned so much from you and your friends, that I went into the IT field as a profession. I am working for the US Post Office as a Computer/Network Tech. I am an avid listener of Security Now on the net.I think the World is a little Poorer from the loss of your shows. The only bright spot is the Podcasts, I hope you can make them until they shovel the last bit of dirt on my coffin.
    GOD BLESS YOU

  38. Hey Leo,Kind of a sad day in a way, but it is just a form of evolution. I owe you alot about what I learned from you and the others on ZDTV Call for Help & on down the line… when one day I stumbled on the that station some years ago. You made it easy to understand and in some strange way, made it fun. That kind of work is a labor of LOVE, and not for everyone. And though it is entertaining to the tech community, it does not fit with the broadcast idea of the masses that sports and reallity shows seem to draw. Not that I agree with that decision at all, but things change, nothing lasts forever but those first shows were classics and I will always remember them as well as the previous posts pointed out. It seems as though computers are starting to disappear into “gadgets”. iphones etc. have been slowly changing the way we comunicate. Before we know it, computers will fade to devices that we will just operate with no need to reboot, or restore, defrag, or upgrade. It will just do it. Which will leave us more time to watch you on TWIT so you can fill us in on those changes.
    Keep up the good work Leo. We’ll keep tuned to you where ever you are. Atleast now I know where to get my Leo fix.
    Even if we are in the minority, we are stronger together.
    Thanks again LEO! God Bless ya!
    Harry L

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