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 feedback@techtv.com.

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.