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!