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Life as a TechTV/G4 Employee

A lot of people ask, “what was it like to work at TechTV and ultimately at G4?”  I have to say, for the most part, the experiences were amazing at both places.  They each had their positives and negatives.  So, I’ve decided to shed a little light on what exactly I did at TechTV and G4.  Basically, this post will explain what my typical work day was like.

As an intern, I worked very typical intern jobs at a television studio.  I got in before anyone did at TechTV, which was generally between 7:00 and 7:30am.  Most of my work was for Megan Morrone.  I did a lot of screen captures from websites, CDs, DVDs, etc.  I remember one screen capture she asked me to do regarding something about NPR and September 11th.  I remember this pretty well because I was so stupid.  This was during the time TSS was using the CFH set while the new set was being built.  She wanted me to capture some video of the sounds of 9/11.  I totally misinterpreted what she wanted and captured all of the horrible, heart wrenching sounds as the trade centers fell, people screaming, etc.  She was looking for more G-rated material like songs dedicated to all the victims, etc.  It was just a stupid intern mistake.  I also want to mention that Megan is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.  She was always good to me and very patient as I made those ‘stupid intern mistakes.’

I was also behind the scenes teleprompting.  Let me tell you how difficult it was to scroll a prompter for Leo and Patrick.  They rarely read it, especially the news section.  There’s definitely a script for them to read but they’re so good and comfortable in front of a camera they don’t even bother.  Truthfully, the only bits they’d read were the teases.  Teases are when a segment ends and the talent says something like “coming up after the break…”  It was necessary they read the teases explicitly because we would have specific video or images that corresponded with the read.

I did tons of odd jobs as well.  One time, I remember traveling to Berkeley with ex-TSS Series Producer, Ken Marquis.  We went to pick up a huge telestrator TV.  I’m sure all you TSS fans remember that giant TV Leo and Pat would use during “The Real Deal.”  Ken and I picked up a U-Haul truck and ventured over to the place to pick it up.  There were a couple problems.  First, it was heavy and second, it was just Ken and I.  Needless to say, Ken threw out his back but we got it in.  Third, the TV was not secure in the truck.  So, like a good starving intern I volunteered to jump in there with the TV.  This is completely illegal, but I insisted.  I was trying everything I possibly could to get a job.  To Ken’s credit, he said no and it wouldn’t affect my chances for a job.  I did it anyways.  There was barely any air in there except for a few holes and it was hot as hell.  So I took my shirt off climbed near the very small air holes so I could breathe.  Luckily, it all went well except for Ken’s back.  I’m sure its fine now.

My typical work day as a Production Assistant (PA) changed dramatically from the intern position.  Now, I was in charge of all the computers on the set for TSS.  I had to maintain and upgrade them on a regular basis.  Anytime you heard audio from a computer I had to run audio lines to the control room.  Also, whenever you saw a full screen of a computer, it was my job to run the video (scan lines) to the control room.  I was in charge of the daily tech setup, as well.  This meant I’d have to acquire info from each of the segment producers to see what they technically needed for the show.  It was never really difficult; there was just a lot to do.  My jobs ranged from getting Megan’s Downloads of the Day set up to setting up Linux boxes for demonstrations.

Another job I was given were the bumps.  I’m sure you all remember these.  They were little Windows, Mac, and Web tips that Megan, Morgan, Sarah, or Jessica would do.  They used to be pre-produced with Megan’s voice over (which Morgan used to produce), but when I took over we decided that doing them live is more interesting.  There were two per show which equaled ten per week.  For just little tips it seems pretty easy but let me tell you, after a year of doing them, the ‘well was starting to get dry!’

My other major job was screening the phone calls.  I probably enjoyed that the most.  There were tons of repeat callers, many of which I still talk to today.  In fact, Ashley, the lovely woman I’m with first called into the show.  That’s how we originally met.  There were definitely some crazies that called me.  Looking back though, I wouldn’t trade it for anything…except for all-call Fridays.  Those were my worst days!  Trying to get ten or more calls lined up, enter them in iNews (our prompter program) and writing teases for each one was so difficult.  Sometimes we’d have dropped callers just because it was so hard to keep up.  Soon after, we’d have interns help field the phone calls to take the burden off me.

After about two months as a PA, CFH needed some help because they lost some employees (sadly due to lay-offs).  So they had me do their tech setup in the mornings until 1:00pm (when the show ended) and then I’d start work at TSS.  This was difficult because I was split between two shows, never went to any production meetings, and ultimately had no idea what was going on with either show.  All I did was set them up.  But I met a lot of amazing people, including my good friend Roger Chang.  Now, a few months after that, Kevin really started to make a name for himself on TSS so he wasn’t able to manage and set up the LAN Party anymore.  I was the next logical choice to administer that.  The perks of being the LAN admin were great!  I got free copies of the games we played, was always challenged setting up remote dedicated servers, and I got to play video games while I worked.  I remember countless lunch breaks where Kevin, Joshua Brentano, Yoshi, and I would play UT2K4 and Halo.  We would even stay after the show and play for hours.  Brentano would NEVER lose, and I mean never…damn it!

My work schedule at G4 didn’t change much.  I was now an Associate Producer (AP), which didn’t really mean anything other than a little bit more of a salary.  I was still the LAN admin and phone screener.  Really, the only difference is that cast members were no longer in charge of tech setup and the bumps were given to another producer.  But there was a change.  The Screen Savers definitely changed into a new show format.  With that new format came a change in the method we produced.  In San Francisco, we produced for geeks.  In Los Angeles, they wanted us to produce for a gamer/geek lifestyle and culture.  The difference, as you’ve all noticed, is very obvious.  No longer were we covering subjects like the Intel 915/925 chipsets.  Now, it ran the gamut of ‘Rock the Vote’ to all the way to TV dinners.  This philosophy change also altered the live calls.

From September 7th on, every A block caller (the beginning of the show to the first commercial) needed to be pre-produced.  Pre-producing live calls was my job.  This meant I needed to troll through the viewer email for good questions (and people with netcams) and set their call up ahead of time.  I had the first two weeks of our calls finished and produced.  ‘Finished and produced’ means that I had products ordered, found freeware/websites as solutions to specific questions, and even found video for more visual elements.  Management, not crew or cast, wanted it this way.  Pre-producing live calls was not for the benefit of Kevin.  He can answer pretty much anything you ask him.  As for other hosts, new or old, I can’t speak for them.  But keep reading for further information regarding the new hosts.  Management didn’t want ‘geeks’ asking questions on our show anymore.  I had to become more judicial with the people we put on our show.  Producing a live call isn’t as bad as it may seem.  They’re still genuine questions from real people.  Since the show was taking on more of an entertainment-value format, it only makes sense to find people who speak eloquently and have not as technical of questions (at least for the A block).  But this is where the problems started.  For five to six years TSS has groomed its audience to be geeks, they encouraged it.  When we moved to L.A. that all changed.  The L.A. TSS changed the format without notifying you, the audience.  Imagine watching the show 24 and the next season they change the format to comedy.  It just wouldn’t work and there would be a huge negative response.  So finding the ‘good’ callers, as they’d refer to them, became increasingly difficult.

After struggling to find better callers for the show, I started to fall behind in my work.  I wasn’t able to be one or two weeks ahead of schedule.  As a side note, it was hard to keep people scheduled because they were either flaky or they just had other plans that came up between when I scheduled them and the day they were scheduled to ask their question.  I fell so far behind in my work that a couple days before I was supposed to leave for a week long field shoot at Disney World, they cancelled me and put Cat Schwartz in there instead.  I was very angry at them and at myself because I was having such a difficult time.  So I decided that the only way I’ll have enough time to produce these live calls was to take one of my responsibilities away.  I asked management to take me off all on-air duties.  That’s why all of a sudden I wasn’t giving out the phone numbers at the top of the show anymore.  Daily on-air duties required me to be in the studio at 2:00pm.  With makeup, wardrobe, pre-show, and lighting, I had no alternative.

To get back on track, even with an extra few hours to work on live calls, the execution of the calls were still suffering.  Getting geeks to ‘come out of their shell’ is very hard.  Rehearsing the question with them ahead of time always helped but as soon as they were on live television it usually went to hell.  Nonetheless, I kept plugging away.  After the next couple weeks of pre-producing the first live caller, I started to get some heat from my Executive Producer, Paul Block.  Even with the callers I found from viewer mail, they still weren’t interesting enough for him.  People get nervous on TV.  Hell, I would get nervous on TV, it’s not easy.  I explained to Paul Block and Joshua Brentano (the new Series Producer) that the demographic we’re using for the live calls isn’t working.  Most of the TSS fans are geeks, they’re introverts.  This is where The Screen Savers as you once knew them changed completely.  I was ordered by Paul Block and Joshua Brentano to generate questions for live callers.  But these weren’t any live callers.  They wanted me to use G4 employees, friends, family, whomever.  Basically, I would think of a question and give that question to a designated caller.  So now, the A block callers were manufactured questions and callers.  I used TSS producer’s friends and family, Peter Green’s assistant (Sr. VP of Programming & Production - this was done with his OK, btw), my girlfriend, and countless other people to create the ruse that these were genuine questions coming from our viewing audience.  At this point my work suffered exponentially because my heart just wasn’t in my job anymore.  The live aspect of the show just died, and I stopped believing in the most unique show on television.  I was called into Paul Block’s office two other times this time I was threatened to lose my job.  Here’s a quote from that meeting, “Dan, if I didn’t like you, I’d fire you right now.”  Was Paul correct in saying that?  Maybe, but I was forced to go against what four years of college told me not to do: lose my ethics.  I fought them every chance I could, I tried my best to uphold the dignity and the ethics of The Screen Savers.  From what I gather, this is why I was part of the lay-offs.

According to my close friends at TSS, “After the lay-offs they tried to pre-produce live calls, then realizing how difficult it would be, went back to real callers with non-technical questions.  The new hosts are having an extremely hard time answering calls on-air.  In fact, they have banned Chi-Lan from taking live phone calls and emails altogether unless it’s something she one hundred percent knows.  Look back at the last five to six episodes, and you will notice she hasn't answered any questions.”

Although my friends still inside can't speak their mind, trust me when I tell you they all want out.  It's not easy for everyone to leave due to contracts they have signed, they are bound to them.

I never intended to make this article a scathing expose on the inner-workings of G4.  If it appears that way, please accept my sincerest apologies.  I tried to balance the G4 and TechTV information as much as possible.  Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m genuinely appreciative of all my experiences at TechTV and G4.  Each job brought its own positives and negatives, and both made me a better person because of them.

UPDATE: Here is a link to Wil Wheaton's reasons for leaving Arena at G4.  I had no prior knowledge of this until today.

Posted by double_d on 12/31/2004 at 07:15 PM in Personal Blog | Permalink


Miss all the folks at the real Screen Savers. Dan, thanks for the scoop.
The absence of quality has now driven TSS off my TIVO. Going back to the print literature for technical information.

Posted by: Ron | January 5, 2005 04:41 PM

I met you, Dan, at a film screening you were taking in with Roger right before you headed to LA. As a loyal TSS, CFH, and TechTV fan, I was curious as all heck then about what was going on after the sale to G4. You were tremendously tight-lipped, but I always remembered that kinda "haunted" look in your eye. Yeah, I know, sounds like a cliche, but there was definitely something in your face that relayed to me that things were going horribly, horribly wrong. After trying to watch how TSS has turned from an intelligent show that filled a unique niche for those of us who have two brain cells to rub together to a bunch of aspiring centerfolds reading teleprompters, I got the idea. Thanks for writing this, because I always wondered about the WHOLE backstory for that look. This took a pair of brass ones to write. Power on, brotha! Thank you, if only because it will finally get my husband (who keeps watching in the desperate hope it will get better) off of Replaying it -- which only keeps G4/TechTV's ratings up (infintesimally, true, but up none the less). Now he is as committed to making that network go away as I am.

Posted by: missmovie | January 5, 2005 12:05 PM

Great story, Dan.

I don't fit the demographic either. I'll be 50 in 4 months and have been in the electronics and computer field for about 30 years. Still I learned a lot from the old ZDTV and TechTV. There is nothing there for me on Comcast 294 anymore. I gave it a chance. My wife was amazed when I one night changed channels during TSS, she'd never seen that happen. It was very clear I was disgusted with the new show and I haven't gone back since.

Good luck with whatever you do.

Posted by: Fred | January 5, 2005 10:59 AM

I'm older than the target demographic, and I've been a techie all of my life. I *still* found an incredible well of information at TechTV. I watched The Screen Savers and Call for Help daily (via PVR). When the announcement was made that TechTV was merging with G4, I had to Google to find out what G4 was, and when I did my heart sank. I guess they thought they could combine a gamer audience with a techie audience and keep them both. Instead they're losing them both, and all the scrambling they're doing is only making it worse. My heart goes out to those (like Dan) who continued to try, only to be shut out/down by management. I applaud this site for giving a voice to the disgruntled, and hope it has some effect, although I'm not holding my breath.

My biggest regret is that I didn't find TSS and CfH sooner. I've got a few of the original show episodes on my PVR, and I watch them now and then just to remind myself that good technical TV used to be done.

Posted by: Fulton Martin | January 5, 2005 06:36 AM

wow everthing everyone has said up there is all
true and agree with it all 110%

and about a new techtv joey the interns site has a lot of
great info about unscrewed and a possible new tech internet channel and every techtv fans should check it out now if u havent allready been there

also i want 2 see a former techtv Employ come out and make a public statement saying something along the lines of "fuck all of the ass holes running g4" and say it in a rude way,NOT NICE

and damit dan get kev and make another broken episode now that u guys have a lot more free time

and remember never forget what g4 did,never stop bitching on blogs(especially the g4 form)and boycott omcast, we can win this war !!!!

Posted by: evan | January 5, 2005 01:03 AM

Talk about business 101 being missed. Listen to your customers! Comcast and G4 are rookie, community college executives at best. I just wish some people had some BALLS to post the real deal. Dan, where are the real details that would be posted on fuckedcompany.com?

I need some executive information.
emails, addresses, habits, mistresses.

come on nerds, lets bring down the house on these idiots!

Posted by: Sean Dough | January 4, 2005 11:45 PM

im very sad. i serioulsy only watched tech tv. the only show i didnt like was robot wars. now, i dont watch tv at all. how can we get rid of G4 and get it back the way it was?! is there any way? SERIOUSLY THIS SUCKS ASS. KEVIN AND DAN WERE GREAT AND I MISS LEO, that new blonde kid sucks ass, all the shows suck. i miss martin seargent, what the FUCK is up with all these new wiggers on there? screaming and waving their hands around, they look like they are about to steal something, i want NERDS on tv thats why i watched this channel because im a NERD now theres nowhere else to go. what the fuck should we do kevin? please god let this nightmare end.

Posted by: larry | January 4, 2005 10:27 PM

I live with my mom. In my town, we get cablevision (io), so I could watch TechTV and enjoy the ONLY shows i watch (I hate everything else on tv), TSS and Unscrewed.

My dad lives in Woodbridge, NJ...with comcast. So I had G4 there. And G4, by itself is a good station, as far as doing what it's for. It's a game station. So when the merger came, I was pissed needless to say.

I wasn't exaggerating, I didnt watch TV, except for those 2 shows.

But what is this? everything's changing. I didn't think TOO much of it. Then the show completly changes, and there's no more Kevin and Alex.

On Kevin's site he said basically...don't watch it looking for the same show. Look at it as a new show.

I tried, didn't work. It sucks.

And canning Unscrewed..horrible.

They stole our station, fired out favorite people, killed our favorite shows, and now they have no views. Good job G4, you fuck faces.

Posted by: Dan Enden | January 4, 2005 10:09 PM

I also quit watching this channel at all shortly after it became G4. I occasionally pop it on to see if it's improved at all. I started watching screen savers when Leo has hosting, and thought of it as my favorite show. It changed a lot. . .and suddenly dropped to the worse. What has happened to this channel? Unscrewed is still good however (is it still on the air?)

Good luck to everyone that leaves! If you end up on the air (or helping out even) somewhere with the entertainment quality TechTV once had, please let us know!

Posted by: Skybase | January 4, 2005 09:44 PM

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust no one watches G4 anymore and now they are fucked! They went and they changed one of our favorite shows, now it is just fluff and just fucking blows!

Well I will have to say that I discovered TSS and TechTV back a few years and I watched TSS and CFH all the time, I learned so much about computers and was always up on the lastest and greatest tech, and the flow of of the show back then was great, every one seemed to get along and work well together and they knew what they were talking about. Now the show is so painful to watch. Kevin Rose and Sarah look so unhappy, and Kevin P and that women he hosts with have personalities of wet sponges and look uncomfortable and unhappy as well, like they didn't even want to be there. I am seriously thinking about asking my calbe company to get rid of G4 all together and ironicly my cable company is Comcast. I think we all should boycott that shitty ass channel and demand that our cable comapnies get rid of it as I am sure none of us want to pay for crap.

Thanks Dan for letting us know what was going on at G4 and I am glad you stood up for your ethics as it seems not many people have them anymore. I sware all of us fans could run a network better than the brass at G4, to bad us geeks and gamers (sometimes one in the same) could not get together and start a new network bringing back the great TSS and CFH of old and make better shows for geeks and gamers a network where geeeks and gamers are treated as eaquals and with respect, where all the employees are knowlegable and treated with dignity and respect.

Posted by: Jarrod | January 4, 2005 09:20 PM

Well, I was in the middle of a move starting on Thanksgiving, when everything seemed fine. Imagine my shock when I watch TSS the first week of the new year to see that everything had changed. AGAIN.

I've never written an email to the show. No Call. But I watch the show every day and enjoyed it throughly. You and Yoshi will be especially missed. I can't imagine that there will be another show the likes of TechTV's and ZDTV's The Screen Savers. It's a shame.

I wish you and yours the best of luck in the new year. I know you will find something (in the way of a job) better than what you had. Although it may not be as much fun (g).

Take Care,

Posted by: Conrad | January 4, 2005 08:28 PM

Hey man, No one blames you. I know you know that, corporate companies will be corporate companies, and I have watched the show all the way up until the lay-offs. You have sparked an elivated love for computers and technology inside of me. This has led to me pursuing my dream of becoming a White Hat hacker. I'm going to YTI for cyber security. I hope you get a job soon, make some more broken videos. Either way, I hope you have fun, Throw down a couple of forties for us all.

Posted by: Stripwire | January 4, 2005 08:08 PM

I just feel so sorry for those still left {behind} - Kevin and Sarah - they must be miserable.

Posted by: Duke | January 4, 2005 06:49 PM

Me and my 55 year old mother stopped watching when G4 hit, i've been doing puters since 1983, and she is a newbie, but now that its turned into a video game advertisement channel, we no longer watch. Sorry you left, but im glad you stuck to your guns.

Posted by: Droog | January 4, 2005 05:20 PM

Hi Dan,

I miss all of TSS cast- I had started watching when Leo & Pat were the main hosts. That show was what gave me the insight & confidence to build my first system & later to start my own business.

I have to comment that what is happening to G4 cannot possibly just be about "jerks" who are making poor decisions- no, it has to be far more sinister than that.

That station is being intentionally run into the ground- I'd have to guess as a tax write-off or such.

Only my two cents, but it's a strong feeling I have,


Posted by: Tracy | January 4, 2005 04:56 PM

Dan, Honestly I feel your pain... I was hooked on "The Screen Savers" I was tivo-ing most of the episodes then suddenly it sucked... there was no longer cool segments and fun content, it became painful to watch...

I still catch the show from time to time but only to see if kevin can throw in some cool tips before the ear peice tells him to stick to the prompt..

Danny you should go all out with thebroken.org and see if you can become popular enough to get signed by the big boys. you'd be the first show to take off from the internet to your big screen!

Posted by: Mark Hillis | January 4, 2005 03:38 PM

I was a huge fan of TSS and would watch it everyday, watching the repeats if I missed the live shows. Everyone on TSS really made me feel better everyday.

I stoped watching two episodes into the latest set of hosts. I sadly just could not take it anymore, its too painfull to watch.

Thank you for all you and the other crew members of TSS have done, I hope to see you all in some other better formats.

Posted by: Oz Spade | January 4, 2005 02:27 PM

we shouldnt sulk danny boy, I hate the show as much as you do, but whats done is done, theres nothing anyone can do about it. Its lame how this sort of thing can happen, but going on and on about it on your website isn't going to make a damn thing change.

Posted by: phil b | January 4, 2005 02:22 PM

Peter Hammersly ruined TechTV. Paul Allen let him. Paul Block is a chump. He's friends with Alan Thicke, for christ's sake. Those fuckwits turned the whole network into a T&A channel. I quit CFH. Glad I did, too. G4TechTV is television like Stuff Magazine is literature. WTF kind of name for a network is that anyway?

Posted by: OG Ninja | January 4, 2005 02:03 PM

Dan you are a cool guy. You are also funny. When the old TSS was on, I remembered the fun times Leo & Patrick had with you. And also when you had the LAN Parties, they always had a funny name for you. I am a Mac person for the longest time until I started seeing CFH and TSS. That time, for the Mac, there were very little games out and the PC had them all. It was you guys that instead of me buying a PC from Dell or HP, you gave me the knoledge to make my own PC and even my own Mac G4. Those were the good days of TSS. But , not anymore, the show stinks now. I do not watch is anymore because G4 transformed it from a learning show on how to make your computer better ( PC or Mac ) to a show that
absolutly stinks. I wish there was another channel that will start and pic the show up.

Take care Dan.

Posted by: Larry | January 4, 2005 12:07 PM

Thanks for the great read.

I think I started watching TechTV in their first month or so. Have been too busy to watch lately. Didn't find out about the change until I ran into Cat in LA a few weeks ago.

Sad. Very sad. Scripted calls? That's unacceptable.

Maybe G4 will tank. That would be fitting.

Posted by: Phil | January 4, 2005 07:44 AM

I haven't watched any G4 since the first couple of weeks of the merger/takeover. It seeems to me that the producers/owners are out of touch - I think maybe they are all to hip. Maybe they should try to see a demographic beyond such a narrow little stronghold of their own minds - TechTV was much more inclusive of geeks of all levels and locations (east, north, south). I'm certain that somebody will realize the great potential of a TechTV format in the increasingly gadget oriented world and develop another great and profitable network.

Posted by: Hank Good | January 4, 2005 07:18 AM

Keep your head up. don't let the man get you down

Posted by: mushroom | January 4, 2005 07:08 AM

Like many I've watched the show since the ZDTV days and it's interesting to hear what was really going on behind the scenes.

Posted by: Jim | January 4, 2005 01:20 AM

Excellent, bravo! Very nicely stated. I don't know what G4 was aiming for when they bought TechTV but they scored bulls-eye shots into their foot, leg, heart, brain. Brain? Nevermind. They were sitting on a goldmine of loyal tech fans thirsty for knowledge. Now the fans know more than the hosts. Perhaps the small time TV business is like the small time radio business. Lots of work, jerks, low pay and few benefits unless you are the owner.

Posted by: redhat | January 3, 2005 11:59 PM

I got so more gmail accounts, just email me why you want one.(chuckfoo42@gmail.com)

Posted by: chuckfoo | January 3, 2005 11:56 PM

ffs, "TSS" had musical guests last month! musical guests!!

Posted by: cd_RW | January 3, 2005 10:31 PM

I have been in IT for over 20 years. I really liked Tech TV and watched it religiously. When the Abomination the causes Desolation occurred (the Merger between Tech TV and G4) I said I would give it a try. I have……It Bites. And I as well as every tech I know at the University as well as all of the students have turned it off. The only and I mean the only thing I watch is one of the game shows with Adam and Morgan. That’s it. As far as I can concerned the channel could disappear tomorrow and I would not care. ANDI HATE UNSCREWED!!!!!

Posted by: NAJohnson | January 3, 2005 07:06 PM

I have been in IT for over 20 years. I really liked Tech TV and watched it religiously. When the Abomination the causes Desolation occurred (the Merger between Tech TV and G4) I said I would give it a try. I have……It Bites. And I as well as every tech I know at the University as well as all of the students have turned it off. The only and I mean the only thing I watch is one of the game shows with Adam and Morgan. That’s it. As far as I can concerned the channel could disappear tomorrow and I would not care. ANS I HATE UNSCREWED!!!!!

Posted by: N.A.Johnson | January 3, 2005 07:05 PM

Well...G4 Screwed up...i am a heavy gamer..i remember when i first found out about TSS...i stated to think i wasalone..until i saw TSS...i thought..wow...i didnt know about that! and i kept learning about stuff that i was touched on..(google searches)...now...its all for show..I dont watch G4 any more..i had a special reminder on my PC to let me know when TSS came on.. now i hit the ignore button...G4 is loosing viewers...RAPIDLY...TechTV is starting to realize that this merge was a bad idea...good luck to you dan... and all who were laid off....man..now i'm totaly Po'd...Freinds Dont let Freind's watch G4....***This opinion is not nessisarily the opinion of this site...

Posted by: Nick Jones | January 3, 2005 07:01 PM

I love you so much more now Dan.

Since I love the people:

To whoever gets these be sure to email me


Posted by: chuckfoo | January 3, 2005 06:46 PM

techTV and the screensavers made it cool to be a geek. finally a show that we could watch, that was made for us. all those characters made it fun. we looked forward to seeing them.

but all things must pass. thanks for a peek at what was going on behind the camera. enjoy'd your perspective. good luck with your future endeavors.

Posted by: sgecko | January 3, 2005 06:19 PM


Just another pissed off fan rant. You know that there are a ton of people out in tvland that are pissed as hell about this while thing. I was so happy to hear that techtv was merging with g4 bec my area didn't get tss, or cfh. Well now we all see that g4 was the techtv killer. G4 should rot in hell!!!!! I loved zdtv, and was still happy with techtv but I gave up when they got this new Kevin. He is awful. I hope someday you, kevin, Pat, and Leo get together and make a new channel. Oh, Sara, Yosh, and Alex can come with also. Thus ends my love for techtv. :(

Posted by: Brian Markowitz | January 3, 2005 06:00 PM

What are Leo and Pat doing right now? I hate this new Screen Savers.

Posted by: DeathMXtreme | January 3, 2005 05:52 PM


Great article! The quality of this article shows how well you can write. I wasn't sure about your on air reading abilities, but now I understand why you might trip over a few words. Everything in your article fits perfectly with what it looked like from the view of the audience. Now, if we can only find out what happend with Yoshi.

Posted by: Peter | January 3, 2005 05:31 PM


I read your post like a Bill Clinton expose'. The new Screen Savers is horrid. They are even making the new guy make fun of himself due to everyone disliking him..

Good Luck,

Posted by: rsmccain | January 3, 2005 05:17 PM


The show really sucks now. I read your post like a Bill Clinton expose'.


Posted by: rsmccain | January 3, 2005 05:15 PM


This blog of yours was an excellent read. I have been watching the screensavers since the ZDnet days. Honestly, I looked forward to watching TSS everyday! I could not even begin to explain all of the things that I have learned from watching you and everyone else from the old TSS. Not only was TSS a way for me to learn new things but it was also my daily update in the technology world.

I cannot begin to comprehend how anyone with any business sense at all within the front office of G4 could take the shows that that allowed TechTv to grow into a popular television network and totally change their format. Geeks made the TechTv what it was! X-Play was there to give us our fill on the gaming world, but it was ultimately about the geeks! It would truely be a shame if TechTv had any idea what G4 planned on doing to their shows prior to the merger.

Posted by: Chris | January 3, 2005 04:40 PM

The new screen savers SUCKS!!! I don't even watch it anymore. It was funny when Alex was there, but then they changed again and have that New loser Kevin on there and that squinty eyed chi lan what ever her name is the show just went to hell. They need to fire the new producers since there losing the viewing audiance, rehire the old cast, and put TSS back the way it was.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2005 03:52 PM

The new screen savers SUCKS!!! I don't even watch it anymore. It was funny when Alex was there, but then they changed again and have that New loser Kevin on there and that squinty eyed chi lan what ever her name is the show just went to hell. They need to fire the new producers since there losing the viewing audiance, rehire the old cast, and put TSS back the way it was.

Posted by: Jeff | January 3, 2005 03:47 PM

I'm a television Writer-Producer. Like alot of folks, I can see the wisdom in a TechTV/G4 merger; bring the geek and gaming audiences together for a sweet demographic overlap.

Should have worked in competent hands.

The problem is that G4 doesn't seem to care about either the geeks or the gamers. If they did, they would create the sad product that was G4 and that is now G4-TechTV.

Complain directly to your Cable Ops and your Satellite companies. Tell them to get rid of the new hybrid channel, because it is wasting your bandwith. A percentage of every cable bill you pay is going to G4. Do you really want to pay for this crap?

Posted by: Gary | January 3, 2005 03:05 PM

I swear to god one of the screen savers guys came back the one time on air and looked wasted. People on the show had the "wtf are we suppose to do" look on their face. Was the older gentleman, I think Leo. anyway I always wondered about it.

Posted by: Ben | January 3, 2005 02:40 PM

I liked the screen savers until the new network got a hold of it. Now I don't even care to watch any show on that network and I'm going to get my friends to tell Time Warner to dump it on our local cable system!

Posted by: David M | January 3, 2005 01:49 PM

The old Screensavers was like a part of the family..They all (Patrick,Yoshi,Kevin,Sarah,CAT,and even Leo) had great personalities and we looked forward to seeing them!Remember Kate Botello? And the news anchors..? They were beautiful...I wish someone would start a web site tribute to the old screen savers. It would be very popular. I would even donate moneys to see the old cast reunited if Paul Allen started a show or channel!
I think Ryan Cane had a great idea...!
You can see the disapointment on Kevins face on camera, It's quite plane...Kevin Pierra even stated on camera he has never openned a computer..! "COME ON" Who the hell put him on as host..?He deosn't know any thing and has no personality, and it's obvious Chi Lan is trying way to hard. I agree with George B. and Mindy and S Winters!
Somebody please start a Tribute site...

Posted by: Troy | January 3, 2005 12:54 PM

Is Chi-Lan dating Brendan Moran?

Posted by: johny1 | January 3, 2005 11:47 AM

Dan... thanks for setting the story straight! Takes guts to go with ethics some times.

Who they heck is running this gig?? No matter - they'll be out of a job soon enough.

Let's get Kevin and Sarah outa these contracts and get on with another Show - heck do it all online! I'd pay to have a daily tech update like the old TSS!

Thanks guys for all you've done! It was an awesome ride...

Posted by: ice | January 3, 2005 11:16 AM

you gotta read this and then dig it. http://www.digg.com/technology/The_reason_why_Kevin_rose_of_The_Screen_Savers_stepped_down.

Posted by: bob | January 3, 2005 11:01 AM

Wow, Dan. Great article. My boyfriend and I suspected something was up after the move to L.A. Everything just seemed too scripted and forced. We used to watch TSS to learn new things, and find out about the latest 'bleeding edge' technology. Once the show moved to L.A. we were often insulted by how dumbed-down everything was. We found ourselves sitting there rolling our eyes. The old TSS *NEVER* talked down to their fans/callers. Not so, the L.A. TSS. The information was not interesting, the tone was often sub-intellectual at best, and the mood was that of a frat party. Suddenly, it felt like TSS was becoming a show for 14 year old boys. With the old TSS, we never had to shudder because suddenly we were seeing more of Sarah's skin than necessary. It's a shame when a network feels that they have to 'sex a girl up' in order for the fans to take her seriously when talking about technology. C'mon, you *CAN* have a female host who is wholesome and smart without having to cater to the lowest common denominator.
My boyfriend and I are both what I would call intermediate/expert computer users, and we work for an up and coming technology company, and we used to look to TSS as a tool to keep us up to date on the latest day to day trends in technology that we might miss out on because we work full time. That ended once TSS moved to LA. No longer could we come in to work and pitch new ideas to Product Development based on something cool we had seen on TSS. Instead, we found ourselves fast-forwarding past entire bits. But, we stuck it out until the layoffs. Once that happened, we watched one episode. It was so bad, we haven't watched since. We now obtain episodes of Call for Help from (unnamed sources) and watch that for our tech fix. While it is fun, it doesn't compare to the old TSS, especially the chemistry between the hosts. We miss not only you & your on-air coworkers, but the brilliant minds we were able to tap into, such as Robert Heron. It was like taking a tech crash course everyday, but wanting to go to class!
The original TSS will be sorely missed in our household. The new eps are not even worth the bandwidth to download.
Thanks for the great article and insight on your time at Tech TV. May you have good luck in all your future endeavors.

Posted by: Gina | January 3, 2005 10:44 AM

We all agree with you Dan...We mis the old TSS and Patrick. I wish there was something we could do. I don't even watch it any more!

Posted by: Troy | January 3, 2005 10:06 AM

Wow G4techtv sucks making up there own calls, what bitches.

need a gmail account
post in my comments

Posted by: Nate | January 3, 2005 09:58 AM

I admire you for making ethical decisions. You really rock, Dan.

Posted by: Lynn | January 3, 2005 09:31 AM

I'm actively trying to get the cable company I work for to drop G4. Which the other techs and I wanted and found out was crap. We love tech tv... or use too...

I know we were in trouble as soon as the G4 representive came in to talk to our company and started trying to push "pringles" on us as the gamers chip because it was less greasey. He also didn't know anything about videogames. Two big no no's.

I'm sorry to hear about all the problems, I thought Tech TV was going to be big. At least now it leaves room for a real Tech TV channel to come up and take over.

I'm in

Posted by: Ben | January 3, 2005 09:25 AM

I thought it was only me, but after reading these posts, it's appears that most agree that the new TSS is unwatchable. TSS used to be a "must watch," but once Leo and Patrick left and G4 started messing with the show, I can't watch it anymore. I really feel sorry for Kevin and Sarah. They used to add a lot of substance to the show. Now they (like everyone else on the show) have been relegated to doing fluff. TSS RIP!

techTV also used to be a great channel - lots of interesting and informative content. Now, as much a I like video games, I can only watch so much of this. I don't know where G4 is heading, but on this course, I don't think they'll be around very long.

Good luck Dan

Posted by: Don | January 3, 2005 08:50 AM

G4 is the MTV of tech/gaming. Except no one watches.

Posted by: MarkA | January 3, 2005 08:32 AM

Thanks Dan for keeping the "Fans" in the loop a little anyway.
I see Leo, LOVE THE MAN BUT, has sold out and went back to g4puke tv in Canada.

You would think that the left overs disgruntled, and all the other tech geeks out there could get together and pitch a new network for geeks that could again find a rich benefactor from say GOOGLE MAYBE THIS TIME...Instead of MS (they probably sold the network to G4 to get back at all the cuts on Windows security holes on the air!!!)


Posted by: Brian | January 3, 2005 07:16 AM








Posted by: DARKWINGDUCK | January 3, 2005 06:40 AM






Posted by: DARKWINGDUCK | January 3, 2005 06:36 AM

Dear Dan,

I am really sorry about what happened at G4. Before the merger everyone at "TheScreenSavers" and "CallForHelp" did a great job.

But after the merger you could see things just start going down hill. Now "TheScreenSavers" doesn't have any information value at all.

After Leo and Pat left the show I thought the best choices for the hosts would have been Kevin and Sarah. Then G4 hired Alex and he did a good job once you got used to him.

But then G4 went and dumped almost everyone and just made the show a bunch of fluff peices with no value. Not even entertainment value.

I don't watch the G4 network any more and I hope some day some one will start a new tech network that deal with real tech issues.

Well thanks for letting me put my two cents worth in. Catch you later.

Posted by: Chuck Baker | January 3, 2005 02:28 AM

Hey Dan,

I doubt you'll get this far down into the comments, but I just wanted to say, thanks for writing such a great post. I have to admit, when I saw there was no more Pat on the show, I bailed too. I happened to see one or two episodes between now and then (i managed to see the one with mix master mike, and thought WTF) and knew I wasn't missing much.

The only show I can stand watching now is XPlay and even that is starting to slip.

Anyways, thanks for all your hard work on TSS and good luck, if you are still living in L.A. and wanna grab a bite, let me know, i feel like its the least I can do.

Posted by: MikeK | January 3, 2005 02:20 AM

Wow dude, I sure hope G4 doesn't try to sue the crap out of you over this thing. You sure stirred up some shit. Right on, Foo! Ya did the right thing. I really admire your integrity. It was awesome that Kevin backed your story up on his blog, too. You'll get thru this, & go on to do important work. Good luck, Dan!

Posted by: George B. | January 3, 2005 01:20 AM

Hey Dan
I just wanted to say that I’m sorry things turned out the way they did. I know a lot of people are saying the something on here but I just wanted to say that yes I have stopped watching the Screen Savers the only reason I stayed, When you guys moved to LA is because on was because I Tivoed fast forward though the bad parts. Even though Alex grew on me a bit but anyway I just wanted to thank you really thank you for still making your blog and giving your fans, all of us info one the cool stuff you see in tech and the web and not letting the community that was started with Kate and Leo die.

What I have to say is who needs TV networks and corporations we have the net and with great things like the broken, bit torrent, and Dan Huard (FOO), Kevin, Sara,
and hey I think if you gave us a way to help you keep this site and you showing us stuff and the broken alive like a donations or Google ads or something all of us would help you I mean you don’t have to do this alone

Posted by: Jacob | January 3, 2005 01:17 AM

Now that really pathetic that G4 would have go to such lengths to use their own staff and friends and famlies to call into TSS, Let along to watch the network. G4 Media does not know the meaning of the word ethics.

Posted by: siouxmoux | January 3, 2005 01:15 AM

When the merger was first made public I was fairly ambivalent. I watched TSS and Call for Help when I could. I'm a Leo fan. I was discussing it that weekend with one of my friends he got a tinge in his voice and said "Everything G4 touches goes to sh|t." After that it bugged me, then I watched it and well it again a month ago. I couldn't stand it. It felt 'wrong'. It didn't have the warm, friendly and learning environment that it used to.

Thanks Dan
As the many people before have said, and the many after, we support you.

Posted by: SWinters | January 3, 2005 12:24 AM

Yo! 'Sup, Foo? I'd been Tivoing every episode and having my own little TSS marathon every couple of weekends while the girlfriend was away. Then, I noticed one day that Tivo's scheduling had screwed up, and I'd missed a few weeks. When I had it recovered and Tivo'd some new episodes, I was shocked to see that Alex was gone (the kid kinda grew on me), and they're were a couple of new folks who didn't seem to know dick. The great "Yoshi" also seemed to have disappeared. Then, there was no sign of of Dan Foo. Something didn't smell right.

The show now sucks (what's with having live bands on the show?), and it's just another sign of big corporation taking something good and turning it into a pile of crap, because they only see dollar signs attached to it, and have no idea what made the show interesting and great with such a large following to begin with. They've screwed with the format and feel of the show, how can they still call it "The Screen Savers"?

You and Kevin should take TheBroken and bring on the other ex-TSS'ers with guest shots (bring on Patrick and Leo), have some commercial sponsors, and turn it into your own weekly web show. You've got the know-how.

Hope to see you guys somewhere in the near future!

Posted by: Aaron | January 2, 2005 11:05 PM

As a long time (and former) fan of TSS, this article was a very interesting read. With it, I've finally given up hope (albeit there wasn't much left) in the show. I'm looking forward to scopetech.net and I hope to see some more of thebroken soon!

Keep doing what you're doing and thanks for sticking something out there for all of us old fans that have been alienated by G4.

Posted by: Skip | January 2, 2005 10:05 PM

Thanks for affirming everything my friends and I thought was happening. Makes sense with the calls too. The first call after the layoffs was, "Where do I buy a video card?". My friends and I just laughed at the stupidity of the question. But, while we laughed, we knew the great TSS was no more.

I feel bad for Kevin and Sarah for having to suffer through the new format. Maybe you're actually lucky to be laid off...

Also, since the new format, I've canceled my digital cable. I'm not a gamer and there's no way I can justify digital cable since the only channels I watched were G4TechTV and IFC. It was even hard for me to justifiy it when you first moved to LA. It just didn't feel the same or have the same appeal.

Also also I saw recently saw an old San Fran TSS episode on a ATA flight. Totally bummed me out. It just showed how good the show was...

I wish you luck with your adventures!

ps. So, is your girlfriend the girl from "hotty-ville"? :) That was a funny episode.

-A *nix Admin in Redmond

Posted by: Jason | January 2, 2005 09:45 PM

Dan, first of all you did the right thing.
I now understand why I haven't had any urge to watch the TSS. I now understand why TSS does not interest me anymore. I wish you the best for the future.
You were my favorite host of TSS!

Posted by: Kevin Azofeifa | January 2, 2005 09:41 PM

Screw em. You and Leo and Patrick and Kevin and Sarah and everyone else that made zdtv/techtv great absolutely rock, u guys are the best.

Posted by: MonEl | January 2, 2005 09:12 PM

Tried to watch tss again, new guy & china doll are useless. I did like it when KR threw the coffee on new guy (punk). Wish you the best dan, Miss the lan parties, lets
start a net tv tech show direct online.

Posted by: NEIL | January 2, 2005 09:00 PM

Well, G4 has comletely screwed things up. There is no doubt about that. G4 folks: you have blown it!!! I too have been inspired to cancel my digital cable tier - there is no need for it. TSS, as it was, was helpful, informative, even useful. Guess what - I want to know about the latest chipset, not the soft drink with the most caffine. I want to know how to mod my TIVO and build a PC into my couch, not how to choose TV Dinners. I miss the folks like Leo and Patrick - you know, the ones who could spell DOS and know the difference between a PC and ... well, anything else. It is a crying shame that TSS Staffmembers are NOT ALLOWED to answer technical questions.

I'll stop ranting now. I used to enjoy TSS. Now, the last time I watched it, I was sickened.

Posted by: Randy | January 2, 2005 08:38 PM

Thank you for sharing with us most of which we had suspected was happening. We have watched TSS from the beginning & haven't watched since soon after G4 changed the whole thing & took the Tech out of it,etc. :(
Read your post, Wil's & Kevin's. Gheez! Not really a surprise however. Good luck to everyone!

Posted by: Barb | January 2, 2005 08:09 PM

Dan good luck after TSS. I watched the show all the time up until G4 took over. Kevin is the only host left that knows anything about computers.

Posted by: Keith | January 2, 2005 08:00 PM

Yo Dan,

You've been Slashdotted! :o) Well, I'm a long time watcher of TSS and TechTV. Pat and Leo are long gone now and the latest tryouts... Kevin Pierera and Chi-Lan?! WTF!! I'd rather have Kevin Rose and Megan Morrone do the show alone than have these two fumble their way thru the hour. When they made Kevin Rose a front runner I thought... cool. Kevin knows some interesting stuff! I totally see now the "direction" the show is going... I knew when they had Spyder from Powerman 5000 on the show that something was dangerously amiss at the Circle K. Thanks for putting some validity on my own questions. Is G4 trying to be MTV or something? What's next? Is Snoop Dogg going to show us how to install Linux on his Sidekick??!!

Gonna miss ya on the show ya big geek!! ;o)

Posted by: MLM430047 | January 2, 2005 06:38 PM

Good luck Dan and thanks for your insight. I too will miss TechTV as it was before G4 ruined it.

Posted by: Jason | January 2, 2005 06:35 PM

Awesome article. If you read Wil Wheatons post at slashdot, G4 is full of assholes. TSS is dead to me. I can't believe that G4 (no way I am going to call it G4TechTV since everything to do with TechTV is essentially gone) has the gall to keep calling it The Screen Savers. I currently get G4 with a bundle of digital channels. Since I no longer watch anyting on G4, I'll be dropping that bundle of digital channels. My cable company can thank G4 for the loss of revenue.

Posted by: Mousky | January 2, 2005 06:29 PM

Thanks for sharing, Dan. TSS was my favorite show and ...in fact shortly after the merge, I canceled my cable. I wish there was something else us fans could do.

Btw, I am a gamer/reviewer and I can tell you one thing: Those G4 hosts are complete n00bs. Are game companies paying them? -'cause aside from X-play, they act like it.

Posted by: Matthew | January 2, 2005 06:07 PM

So the guy who call TSS for advice regarding videogames his girlfriend would enjoy was a fake? Aaaaaaaaarg! When I saw this episode I was thinking WTF!

Posted by: pHr3d | January 2, 2005 06:01 PM

I had no idea the format of TSS had even changed until my game squad was invited to be on the show recently. I was shocked. Being a former network admin the once think I loved about going to someone's house with cable was the opportunity to watch (and learn) from SS. Now I just feel insulted that I wasted my hour of time.

Posted by: Katscratch | January 2, 2005 05:59 PM

If anyone has anymore gmail invites, could you send me one at magicche@umich.edu?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: magicchex | January 2, 2005 05:00 PM

Yeah! I gave up on Tech TV also. It turned into a loser network with it's aquistion by G4! Oh for the old days with TSS, Call for Help, Fresh Gear, etc. Martin Short needs to find a new line of work though.

Posted by: Scott | January 2, 2005 04:36 PM

I hate G4 so much, so very, very much. They tarnish the name of a gamer (such as I, for I am a hardcore gamer, literally.) I must thank you for shedding the truth on G4TT.... I mean, G4 shit.

Posted by: Chronoteeth | January 2, 2005 04:01 PM

That was a really interesting read. Looks like G4 is not all that it's cracked up to be. Thank you for posting this.

Posted by: MP Money | January 2, 2005 03:58 PM

I gotta say...what's with Brentano???
I mean, he came from the old TechTv days to the new G$ and it seems like he's going right along with their thinking! I know he's a "gamer" but you'd think he'd have some Morals! What happened to him?

Posted by: NoPrillo | January 2, 2005 03:30 PM

I gotta say...what's with Brentano???
I mean, he came from the old TechTv days to the new G$ and it seems like he's going right along with their thinking! I know he's a "gamer" but you'd think he'd have some Morals! What happened to him?

Posted by: NoPrillo | January 2, 2005 03:27 PM

sorry here's the link: http://knokoutned.blogspot.com/

(free gmail)

Posted by: Knokout Ned | January 2, 2005 03:23 PM


Check out my blog
(free gmail invites)

Posted by: Knokout Ned | January 2, 2005 03:22 PM

Hi Dan.

I hope you keep up on your blog comments. I've been trying to get a hold of you for a while.

I'm sorry to hear about you leaving TSS/G4 but I'm glad to hear you came out all right in the end.

Please drop me a line when you have the chance. You still need to come out and check out my warehouse.

Sellam Ismail
Vintage Computer Festival

Posted by: Sellam Ismail | January 2, 2005 03:18 PM

Wouldn't it be nice if the producers and people running G4 would just spend some actual time online, reading blogs like yours, and seeing what they are doing to their fan base. It's as if they didn't do any research or rationalizing before they started making changes to the network.

Posted by: Mindy | January 2, 2005 12:35 PM

just wanted to add dan. that i am glad you didn't sell out your ethics to those buricratic suits. for you are the man. and maybe if kr and sarah decide to leave you all could figure out a way to revive the old screen savers on some other network. for after all you did your best in a losing battle there but you still have your ethics and intergrity.

Posted by: black cat | January 2, 2005 12:23 PM

I think you should have the right to some money from G4 for uprooting you from San Francisco to LA and then only to fire you. I stoped watching the show as well and g4 all together lately and I watched it a few days ago just because it was the only thing on and Kevin Rose didnt seem to be his tv self.

Posted by: Ken | January 2, 2005 12:21 PM

Its very sad what G4 has done to poor Tech TV.
I started watching TechTV when I was eleven. And I watched it all day long. I watched it becaues I could actually *learn* from it.
Not learn about some new style of pron or what the most Explicit video game of the year was. I watched so I could learn about what the newest iPod could do, to see Yoshi carve a large block of foam into a really nice case, watch Leo say say something really intellectual. But now, its just ruined. I loved TechTV and now I don't even watch it, because I know I'm gonna hear another unintellegent remark about Jannet Jackson or see that one idiot, whom I cannot even think of the name of, talk about why METAL GEAR SOLID 54 : Potato Peelers of Destiny sucks worse than his mother. :| ( not adam or morgan, they are semi-cool still )

Posted by: Kyle Pointer | January 2, 2005 12:16 PM

I agree, I used to like TSS much better when Leo and Patrick were on the show...They had lots of industry insight...espically trends and great advice on what is worth buying and what is basically crap.

Channel 354 used to be my favorite channel on DirecTV...now...It sucks.

I mess TechLive...they always had some neat stuff...espically becky worly doing some strange things. I never cared much for Chris Leary...thought he was just some muscle head...He used to stutter too much on air and looked kinda empty.

Also, what happend to making Fresh Gear fresh...like its been 1 year and I haven't seen any new episodes...Hello, I'm a Geek...I like Gadgets!!

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Coward | January 2, 2005 11:26 AM

Mmm. Donuts . . .

Posted by: Homer Simpson | January 2, 2005 10:44 AM

Dan, you have summed up many of my thoughts in your entry. Down with g4 and TTV deserves to be back.
The shallow MTV style broadcasting sucks total *ss.
There is no intulectualism left in the show.
Geeks r labeled as stereotypical and the wisdom of leo and pat have been desecrated. no more photoshop tips. no more tech knowledge to share. no more info to learn or use in the real world. no quality broadcasting and no interest has sustained andyone throughout and after the merge. half the shows dont air. and the rest suck...

eventhough its been stated, we have no more shows telling us how to mod, fix, or buy sweet gadgets, tell the difference between certain viruses, and was the staple of our very geekdom, we have to deal with tony talermno or whatever his name is and people who dont know the difference from their face and ass

with the exception of whats left of TSS and xplay, icons is the only good show on g4, and its not even like xplay or tss could have had info on the topics covered in icons. COME ON!!! how long must we suffer with that horrible host of filter, and how long must we have to deal with this crap stealing air time on our beloved network. i used to watch TTV all day, everyday. it was the first thing i turned on.... now,its the last

i was excited about the merge, i admit that, but after almost half a year after, i can say i would punch myself int he face then.

f*ck g4 and i wish the merge never happened

Posted by: zoe | January 2, 2005 10:36 AM

Thanks Dan! It is interesting to learn what goes into producing a show. Any timeline on when we can expect your new site?

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Nick | January 2, 2005 10:34 AM


I know I'm not adding anything new to other postings but thank you for sharing that with us. It was obvious watching you guys on the "new & improved" TSS that you guys did not have your heart in it and now we know why. I know that you wanted your site to be about tech but I think you satisfied your fans with a few of your postings on "life with TechTV/G4". Hopefully everyone will be appeased by this and you can go back to the tech stuff with your new site. It's been good closure for me and I can't wait to see what you have in line for 2005. Keep it up Foo.


BTW: Must be odd to have people you don't even know write to you as though they do. Thanks for listening.

Posted by: Tim | January 2, 2005 10:12 AM




Posted by: Neverly | January 2, 2005 10:09 AM

Interesting. I worked for a company that was a vendor for Tech Tv. Before I left I remember hearing about the G4 merger and that G4 want to replace much of the talent with younger trendier people. There were secret meetings between my former company and G4 to plan the move to LA before the guys in San Francisco were told about it. One of my co-workers who was present at the meeting told my of the coming change because he knew I was a fan of TSS.

Was a fan.

Posted by: David | January 2, 2005 09:56 AM

Is better for you Dan. I really feel bad for Sarah and Kevin, they should not renew the contract with G4. I hope G4 it will go down soon, they deserve it.
Keep up the good work Dan!

PS: I have 6 Gmail invitations, if there are any people in need...

Posted by: Cris | January 2, 2005 09:54 AM

Wow Dan, thanks for sharing another inside and personal account of what really occurred behinds the scenes. I think its means something to the fans of the original TSS, at least it does to me, to see how uncontrollable it was after the merger and that there were people fighting to keep the ethics and soul of the show alive. Well, thanks for trying and good luck in 2005.

Posted by: Jeremy | January 2, 2005 09:49 AM

Just a quick Link.
In case you haven’t seen this, Leo’s response to Dan’s Slashdotted article:


Posted by: Stephen Sizemore | January 2, 2005 09:36 AM

I pretty much stopped watching anything on G4/TechTV ages ago when it was clear it was just G4. After sitting in the audience in May (glad I had the chance), it really opened up my eyes to what was happening. I was there when Leo had finished taping the last Call for Help he was in. You could tell he was upset over the changes.

This past Quakecon I talked to Cat for a bit too about things. She also has some not so friendly thoughts about the changes. You know something is bad when most of your star employees are unhappy. Change normally makes some unhappy, but it tends to go away quickly. When it sticks around for months, the change was probably a bad idea.

I can't say I was too pleased with the shift in attitude on things either. The new co-host in LA (the first one, not sure if he was changed out) wasn't all that great. It showed that they wanted to change the style, when he just stuck to the typical gamer anti-Mac position and smashed the G4 tower on air. Guess it was appropriate it was a G4, shame it wasn't the network he was smashing.

Dan, at least you can say you were part of something unique once upon a time. Now, get out there and find another job that will test your skills.

Posted by: Tom C. | January 2, 2005 09:31 AM

Man, this is some good information.. I really needed this and the article by Wil to put the pieces together although I already knew the puzzle after it was put together. CRAP. The entire station has gone down the friggin tubes, its a bunhc of crap compared to what it once was.

Thanks for the article Dan, and thanks for all the fish.

Posted by: John | January 2, 2005 09:19 AM

im not sure if any of you know this but there are rumors that microsoft migh buy TTV and attempt to bring back all the staff and return the network to it's roots but this is only rumor so i dont know it is true

i hope it is

Posted by: greg | January 2, 2005 08:21 AM

Thanks for the enlightening article. It was obvious something was going on, I'm glad you could clear it up for us. I watched the ScreenSavers religiously every night at 7:00 and DVRed it when I wasn't home. Now I never watch it. The new hosts know NOTHING about tech.

Posted by: Jerky | January 2, 2005 08:18 AM


Posted by: Eagle.007 | January 2, 2005 08:01 AM

u talk to much

Posted by: Alex | January 2, 2005 07:55 AM

I loved TechTV! With all the old shows! I new G4 was going to ruin the the channel for me, and it did. I used to watch TTS and TechTV from when I came home till about 10pm, on and off.I never missed TSS, now I never watch it.

Posted by: Jon Doe | January 2, 2005 07:34 AM

Prior to the merge I was a faithful viewer. Unfortuntately they really screwed it up. Thanks for the insight.

Posted by: Dean | January 2, 2005 07:17 AM

With everything you just told us shows that the Original TSS and the "New" TSS were never going to be alike. At least thats what I felt. Hearing all the information, finally allows me to put together loose strings.

I love hearing your storys at G4 and Tech TV and I hope you keep writing more of them since...at least for me..allows me to see why a great show has gone down hill. (I hate saying that since Kevin and Sarah still work there...)

Keep posting!!

Posted by: Ellen | January 2, 2005 06:41 AM

Thanks for the inside information, Dan. We all kinda suspected what was going on anyway. I hope you and the others that G4 screwed have a lot of success in whatever you choose to do. Y'all were like family around this house. Good luck.

TSS is dead and gone. May it rest in peace. It was fun while it lasted.

Posted by: Mike | January 2, 2005 06:17 AM

When I heard that TechTV was merging with G4 I got excited since I hadn't been able to watch TSS or any TTV show for that matter since I switched from satellite to cable, and G4 was carried by my cable provider. Well, needless to say, I was dissapointed by the changes on TSS. It used to be a show I admired and was excited to watch where anything was fair game and could always count on learning something new.

The new show is just boring. I happened to catch a little of it the other day and I have to say the new hosts they have sound like they're just reading the teleprompter. Do they have any useful knowledge if it isn't on a screen in front of them? The only part of the show I could enjoy was when Kevin fielded an (what seemed to be) impromptu question and got a little technical. I can only equate this with the change in format for c|Net Central all those years ago. That show went downhill too. Did no one learn a lesson there?

I really just want to say how all the old timers are missed: Pat, Leo, and the rest that were part of that team...and I really mean the TTV team since you all really did work together to make it a friendly channel to watch. You guys had something unique that now appears to be gone forever.

Posted by: Jamie | January 2, 2005 05:46 AM


Dan Your The Man!

Rock Out With Your Cock Out! (and slap G4 executives a little)



Posted by: Olly | January 2, 2005 04:49 AM

You did a good thing Dan by posting this.
After the original show sold out to new owners, I stopped watching. The new format really sucked. I did peek in from time to time to see if things got better, they didn't. I stopped watching completely. I never even watch the station, TSS was the only good show on. I hope one day I get to see you and kevin on your own show, on a different network. I am sure you can talk Kevin and Sara into it. But whatever you do, at least you don't have to put up with all the garbage at TSS.
-Michael P., New York

-Jesus, the only begotten son of the one true God.-
-Believe and enter into the joy of the Lord-

Posted by: Michael P. | January 2, 2005 04:10 AM

Thanks for the insight into what's been going on Dan. I only caught TSS since the middle of last year and it shortly went to G4 after that. I've been very curious about the staff switches. I mean, Patrick and (to a lesser extent) Leo were great and could handle any technical thing threw at them. It was the reason why I watched the show along with the synergy the rest of the cast had. Watching them working with you was great, seeing Yoshi's latest hacks was well, priceless. Then all of a sudden as it seems, Patrick and Leo were gone. Alex was in. Yoshi was MIA. Then you vanished and Alex was replaced with a couple of cute girls and Kevin P. shows up. Kevin P. elevated his "watch how I hack the planet" rigor and well, everything seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket. Now (through this blog) I find the reasons why Will left Arena. Not surprising and he showed great restraint. I continue to wonder at things like why did they replace a fairly adequate female host with a perky blonde one on CFH? Anyways, unfortunately there isn't a geek network out there so G4, with all it's flaws, is still the closest I have to nerd TV so I'll stick with it. At least I know some of the stupid things going on behind the scenes and wish you and yours all the best.

Posted by: Bil Simser | January 2, 2005 03:52 AM

Im a canadian Teen who just loves everything geeky. When I heard that TechTV was merging with another channel I was fairly optimistic. I even thought it was ok that G4 was a gamming channel. But when I started loosing my favorite Hosts, like Dan (of course), Yoshi (I miss the modding), Patrick ( the kilt) and of course Leo, even Alex (a really funny guy) I started loosing interest.

I turned on the show one day to find that the whole show had gone to hell. I wanted mac tips, and Linux(I wanted to get into it and now can't find out a thing), Most of all I wanted the Antics of the People I'd grown to love.

Thank you Dan for bringing this out. It does shed alot of light on whats happening. I really do wish that G4 would learn not to change a good thing. Its just not a good way to reward Viewers who watch what they love, by changing things for the next generation. I am the next generation and I liked things the way they were. Come back TSS( the good one) your much missed.

Posted by: Avi | January 2, 2005 03:38 AM


Posted by: mSt | January 2, 2005 03:02 AM

Everybody has pretty much said everything I had to say, but I still feel the need to show my support. I hadn't seen much comment about the horrible demise of TechTV up to now, so I thought maybe I was in too small of a group to matter.

TechTV came to my city's cable system sometime during late 2000 or early 2001 - I immediately discovered TSS, set it up to record on my Replay, and didn't miss a show, not one, until late 2004. I really felt closely connected with the whole thing. Where else could you get linux news, hardware building demos, and interviews and how-to's with big-name tech people you'd never otherwise see or hear?

My favorite moment was probably when Steve Wozniak spelled out "Free Kevin" by driving around San Fran with a GPS tracker. Honestly, that's priceless. :)

My least favorite moment was when it went back to being a 1 hour show after having been 1.5 hours for a while.

Like some others, I keep thinking Leo will put together a new version of the show and you guys will all pop up on PBS or a cable news network somewhere. But I know the truth is that it was a very unique thing, and you usually can never go back. What a shame. Comcast will be a swear word in my house for some time to come.

Good luck, Dan. I hope to see all your names on other great media projects in the future.

Posted by: bam | January 2, 2005 02:57 AM

TSS went downhill when it went to G4 - I stopped watching entirely, which really bummed me out as it was a great show with Kate and Leo and up until recently with Leo and Patrick (and Megan, Dan, and the rest of the "cast"). Good job calling it like you see it, Dan. Always stand your ground and don't foresake your principles!

Posted by: Scott Wainner | January 2, 2005 02:43 AM

I also used to watch TECHTV, never the G4 flavor. And also, I would leave the TV on TechTV all day, (well, from about 10am until early evening, around 6ish) watching TSS, CFH, X-Play (Morgan... drooooooooool... oops, sorry, lol) etc. When I heard of the layoffs, I never watched again... period. I had no interest in a TSS without Leo and crowd, I didn't care what the hell they called it now, or who the hell owned it. And to echo everyone else, if you and Leo, Patrick, etc. could get together, perhaps there is a tech-head out there with money (surely there is at least one, and bad Karma to the first one that says "Bill Gates") that could give you guys at least ONE show again. Of course you couldn't call it TSS, but maybe something with the same initials, that would be funny as hell. A poke in the eye of G4, without getting in trouble. Well, sorry for the long rant, I just found this site tonight from Slashdot. And again, as most here, I learned extreme amounts from all of the TechTV shows. I can build my own computers now, whereas when I started watching the shows, I barely could BUY a computer, lol.

Take care and best of luck to you and all the crew.

Posted by: Frank | January 2, 2005 02:17 AM

G4 SUCKS ASS!!! And the harder they try to get more people to watch, the more they drive them away....DIE G4 DIE!!!!!

We WILL have the last laugh!!


Posted by: Mario | January 2, 2005 02:00 AM

Apparently we have the same name, anyways nice to know some of the stuff that goes on in g4techtv. I was annoyed when g4 took over, the lineup on the channel has turned to utter crap with shows about games and such. Along with the decline of tss. Great that you've been released from the show in some ways eh?

Posted by: Dan | January 2, 2005 01:41 AM

I started watching TSS in 2001 and really enjoyed it, in fact I used to have techTV setup as my default cable box channel (much to the chagrin of my wife). When the G4/TechTV merger happened I found myself a new default channel and moved on after a few weeks. The shows were starting to lose the appeal they once held for me, and I never could put my finger on it.

Thank you Dan for spelling out some of the changes that happened behind the scenes, My condolences regarding your job but I'm certain you'll do great in whatever you move on to.

PS I look forward to more of "The broken" it's been ages .

Posted by: radhaz | January 2, 2005 01:30 AM

I agree 100% you guys

TSS used to be the my only non-internet source for computers. There's just something about seeing the stuff on tv that makes it so much more enjoyable than seeing it in stills on the internet. Hope you understand what I mean

I miss you old TSS, now I wish G4 would hurry up and rot in hell, so some newer/wiser team can pick up the remains and start a real technology network

Posted by: Chris | January 2, 2005 01:23 AM

1. Build a loyal base of viewers.
2. Change the format of a niche channel to have broader appear. (Like Bloomberg TV doing a soft-core Martha Stewart docudrama.)
3. ?????
4. Profit!!!

Posted by: Big Business | January 2, 2005 01:10 AM

ahh i remember teh good ol' days of tss with leo and pat ( i even remember the days wtih leo and kate on zdtv)

i guess theres no room for a good geek show in this fucked up ignorant capatilistic world.


Posted by: gn0me | January 2, 2005 12:39 AM


Posted by: dforge | January 2, 2005 12:38 AM


Posted by: dforge | January 2, 2005 12:37 AM


Posted by: dforge | January 2, 2005 12:37 AM

I can't say that I am shcoked by your revalations, Dan, but I am truly saddened by the utter VOID of PC/Tech shows on TV in general. I am an old school geek Apple IIe/C64 on through every flavor of IBM compatible. I have watched just about EVERY Tech show that has aired on cable/sat. I found TechTV to be decent but G4 always seemed like Xtra or ET for the gaming set. I understand the public at large thinks only kids care about PC/Video Games. But the reason we have 2 whole generations of PC illerates is that TV has not enbraced either PC or video games on their terms. ALL the show talk DOWN to their viewers so not to alienate the NOOBs watching. But TV is the best medium to use to educate the masses. I remember a time when USA/SCIFI, CNN, TLC, Discovery and PBS ALL had Technology shows, some more tehcie than others but a good broad spectrum of programs showcase current and future technology. Is it any wonder that this Xmas thousands of middle-aged men spent Millions of dollar on elctronics based on the advice of guys in blue shirts and khakis. There are very few sources outside the net for a layman to learn about and embrace technology. If you intimidated by technology or PCs the last place you're going to go to learn more about it is the net. TV is the easy medium to reach the masses the surest path for educating. I am upset that the only beacon of Technology on TV is a teenie Gen X/Y that makes no attempt embrace the population at large but every attempt to sell out like a crack whore. I'm sorry for the rant but I've so many small shows with loyal followings get crushed or "Re-invented" by the mainstream media I needed to vent.

Posted by: Rick | January 2, 2005 12:24 AM

G4 just plain sucks.

I took the show off of my TiVO list the day they did the Nintendo DS show, then heard about the layoffs. I wish the old ZDTV TSS cast could start a new show with Kevin & Sarah. And Dan of course. I have heard rumors that Microsoft is planning on starting a channel, hopefully that doesn't mean Linux and Mac OS are off topic :)

Free Kevin & Sarah! Perhaps Kevin can take a tip from "king of queens" and expose his chest hair on the set!

Posted by: James | January 1, 2005 11:32 PM

Dan ..
Thanks for the enlightenment. I'm Canadian, spent another $2.00 a month to get tech tv, loved the show, with leo and patrick et al dispensing good advice from real callers. I always figured you as an awkward relative of somebody, trying to get the hang of talking on tv .. it's good to hear of all you had to do - it justifiers you in my boiks. We now have Leo here in Canada, and his CFH sjhow is great, albeit going through some growing pains. I mourn the loss ot TSS as a legitimate show. That show was why i decided to spend the extra money. Kevin is good, but not good enough ..just too young and inexperienced ..I wish him well, though ..he's incredibly bright. Sarah, on the other hand, seems to have resorted to low-cut blowses and overly "cutesy" comment before commercial ..it's just SAD, the whole thing. Patrick ..if you see this, I commend you for bailing ... even rats will desert a sinking ship ..good luck to all of you. Dan ..move to Canada, and do yourself a favour, man.

Posted by: Rick | January 1, 2005 11:23 PM

Dan you act surprised, I have firend who works at FOX and I asked way back what it ment when G4 bought Tech tv.

He told me and I quote, "More likly to kill the compentation."

G4 is struggling due to poor mangement and he didn't expect anything new from them after the purchuse.

Posted by: Eric | January 1, 2005 11:11 PM

What took me so long to find this site ... I dunno, but Dan, I feel for 'ya.

I agree with all here ... it'll never be the same again ... the show has been g4'd to death. I went to the Screensavers website the other day to visit the forum, and decided to make a comment as such. Please visit my post ("now-locked") at ... http://forums.g4techtv.com/messageview.cfm?catid=59&threadid=322587

For simply making a comment about the show, stating my humble opinion, my string was locked ... stopping everyone there from even discussing the issue ... wow thats sad! They won't even let us speak our minds ... heaven forbid we talk about the show that the Screensavers forum is named for.

Like other posters in here, I live in Canada, where we are blessed with "Call for Help" with Leo ... I am seriously considering making my statement with my wallet, and discontinuing the channel ... the only reason I still keep TechTV alive in my home is Leo ... thats not very good value.

Good luck Dan, I'm sure you'll do fine (and all the other ex-screensavers).

I have a lot of respect for Kevin, his public-persona, his knowledge and his computer-savy ... I can only hope he is able to continue to "swallow his pride" for his paycheque.


Posted by: Jim | January 1, 2005 11:08 PM

I have one question...
What is G4s plan, just to see how quikly they can go out of business, because they are doing a damn good job at. Some people just need to stop fucking up shit (pardon thy french). If it wasn't for TechTV and TSS I would not know nearly know what I know now and be behind the tech world, possibly not have gotten jobs that I have gotten too. If G4 just wants people to be illiterate and dumb when it comes to technology and computers they should dragged out to the middle of the street and shot, that is heart less and should be taken drastic measures. I wish there was something we TSS and TechTV freinds, family, and fans can do. We really need to stop sitting down like gease and take action but right now we are just letting it happen and "hope" it gets better. I wish I could just grab this Paul guy by the collar and tell him to get the "real" TSS back on, fuck this new shit. This is gay, and making me very fustrated, time for a ciggeratte!

Posted by: Ryan Perkins | January 1, 2005 11:01 PM

I stopped watching when Patrick was gone. I've watched TSS since the old days with Kate and Leo on ZDTV. It worked perfectly. CFH was for newbies and TSS was for the more hardcore geeks. It started going downhill when they got rid of the basement set and tried to be all "hip". G4TechTV has become QVC for "tech".

Posted by: Yoblad | January 1, 2005 11:00 PM

someone help tss get back on track, they need a better writer or go back to the old writer
please if there is a god
we need are old screensavers back please

sign mad at the new screen savers

Posted by: tony | January 1, 2005 10:54 PM

i miss the old techtv :( Thanks for sharing your experiences working at techtv and G4.

Posted by: John | January 1, 2005 10:29 PM

It's like we've got our own little digital Tsunami goin' on right now - thanks Dan! Nothing quite like watching Comcast reeling in realtime...

Posted by: Wyrmwood | January 1, 2005 10:27 PM

Thanks Dan for the details. When I started watching CFH and later TSS in the TechTV days I really knew very little about computers. I soon became very attatched to these shows and their hosts. I went from a know-nothing to someone looking for a career in computers. I was around 10 when I started watching, and my family had a Dell with a Pentium 100MHz. I remember my first 'venture' into the case, and how I learned so much. Now I am 17, and am searching for a suitable computer related college. Now I look back on my life and realize that TSS and CFH totally changed my whole life (for the better as I see it). I stopped watching the show as soon as G4 bought out TechTV, and I feel very let-down by the new shows.
Anyway, good luck to all those laid off (you are the true winners)! Thanks for my new life in computers!!!!

Posted by: Mike | January 1, 2005 10:18 PM

You know. I watched G4/TTv once, for most of the day.

All of the shows sucked, except one, and that show was X-Play.

Seriously, who do they think they're appealing to? Serious geeks won't watch since it's stupid, and average viewers won't watch since it's a "gaming" channel.

Posted by: Alex | January 1, 2005 10:15 PM

Originally posted on wrong topic. Oooops...

I bet Kevin wants out too! The show is just plain cheesy and un-authentic now. Now the have fake hood rat thugs claiming to "represent" the hard-core sports gaming crowd and wannabe urban-ish super model chicks who don't know jack about technology or even care to learn. What a joke! I'm from L.A. aka La-La Land so I have a pretty good idea of what's fake and what isn't. What G4TechTV has done to the old TechTv is just plain stupid. It's like a girl who you used to know and like just the way she was now tells you that her stardom-induced newly pumped up breasts, contact lenses, capped teeth, hair extensions, and butt plugs are all real when in your gut something just doesn't feel right. You might hit it for awhile, but then you'll just move on... (yeah right, bad example)

You guys should all get together (the old crew with Leo, Patrick, Yoshi, and everyone else who's down), get some funding, and set up a distrubited channel online similar to what is going on at: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66127,00.html
Hook it up bit torrent broadcast style or something (easier said than done???).

You and Kevin had the right idea with http://www.thebroken.org. Now you just need some financing and for all us so-called geeks to lend a helping hand...

Posted by: Curt | January 1, 2005 10:13 PM

Hey Dan

You were one of the lucky ones, at least you are not forced to stay on the sinking ship. Thanks for the inside view, it was pretty apparent as a viewer things were not great, you could just feel it.

I quit watching after the 3rd LA show, it was just dreadfull, Brentano and Block should have their heads searched for Brain activity, because they were heading in the wrong direction with the show. Girls who know nothing about Tech, hosts with no clue, it was a mess and is worse.

I miss you on TV and Roger, and the old gang, I hope something works out for all of you so that we can enjoy a real Tech show again

Thanks Dan, great site, and thanks for the hard work at writing

Posted by: John | January 1, 2005 10:08 PM

Yeesh, first the outing of the HR mess that Electronic Arts is and now further insight into the cripling of TechTV- 2004 was the banner year of folks finding out exactly what the suspected all along. I am sorry you had to go through the bad things Dan and hope you have left for 'greener pastures' so to speak.

Despite G4's nastyness as a whole I ask people to remember that there is still some decent people working there. I was one of the winners for their E3 contest they had right before the big buy-out/merger and the employees who took care of me were awesome considering the apparent lazyness of G4 at the event.

I was harassed often at E3 over the merger (the t-shirt G4 gave me and my badge betrayed my 'credentials' for the show), and that was very disheartening as people said I was killing their beloved TechTV. Well they were right but aiming arrows at the small fries such as myself, someone who didn't even work for either company, will just get you nowhere.

Sorry if that got ranty, take care everyone. =)

Posted by: Sara | January 1, 2005 10:03 PM

It's really a shame that a great show that HAD a following and success was killed by this merger. I've watch the show now and it's not horrible but it's not as good as it was. They should get all the original people and put them on the Discovery channel as a new show. I liked Leo. I liked Patrick. I even liked Kate. Now it's flashy but fake. Kate wasn't the oracle that some of the other people on the show were but you could tell she was learning. Megan was really cute. Comcast sucks for killing my favorite channel.

Posted by: Chris Kukowski | January 1, 2005 09:56 PM

i wish i could cancel g4, but in canada we still get mr.laporte on call for help... he is amazing. its such a shame what has happened to tech tv, i wish there was something that could be done about it.

Posted by: simon | January 1, 2005 09:53 PM

there's a major difference between techtv(pre-merger) and G4. techtv was made by geeks for geeks. it wasnt overproduced and had a friendly personal feel to it. u could tell the ppl working on the shows enjoyed their work. whereas g4 is overproduced and hacky, full of tryhards using forced lingo to look like they know what their talking about. made by "suits" for consumers.

Posted by: Paul | January 1, 2005 09:31 PM

I work in corporate video as a PA currently, and the jobs that they had you doing, (i.e.-running cable) is all handled by 'higher ups', I can run cable to/from prompter, laptops, cameras, whatever, but even if I wanted to, they wouldn't let me. I do get to run mic cables sometimes though. Pretty useless comment, I know. But..uh..yea.

Posted by: David | January 1, 2005 09:23 PM

Hmm.. here in Australia Foxtel cancelled the G4/TechTV channel at the turn of the year - At first I was upset about this .. now that I read your story ... well I am no longer upset about this =).

You did good. Stay, definitely stay, with your convictions, there are too many arseholes in world as is.

Posted by: Jon | January 1, 2005 09:15 PM


Thanks for the info. I was in the studio audience in early June 04. We met the entire crew minus the great "Leo". You guys were awesome. When I heard that G4 bought out TechTV I felt like I lost A dear loved one. Best wishes to you and the rest of the former TechTv alumni. TSS is only there in name now, dam I feel depressed...... Why must executives always F^&K with a good recipe?


Posted by: Matt | January 1, 2005 09:11 PM

Dan, Your blog post is nothing BUT the TRUTH. I have watched "Call For Help, and The Screen Savers" since they came on the air with ZDTV, and then on to TechTV. Since G4 , The Screen savers has become a VERY lame show. All of what you are saying about the LA TSS is very evident. Good luck to you, Thank you for standing up for people like us "geeks". Best of luck, and may God Bless.

Posted by: xing | January 1, 2005 09:04 PM

Happy New Year Dan
Apology or not, I interpreted it as an expose, especially after you linked Wheaton's journal on SlashDot. Either way, you're now famous among the geeks and nerds for this article.

As a tech-savvy wannabe and a gamer, I'm part of the target audience. I want to learn about TECH on g4TECHtv, not about asian pop culture (nothing against the asians or chi-lan), and I DEFINITELY do not want to watch other people play games (unless it's national HALO finals or norm of PC Gamer getting pwned by Fatal1ty). If I need game-related shit, CGW, PCG, and even frickin gamespy.com are good enough. G4 could have retained some decency, but after reading Wheaton's article, I realized they had none in the first place.

Thanks for this article, and best of luck to you, 'Bobby,' Pat, Alex, and Sarah for '05.

Posted by: Sam | January 1, 2005 09:04 PM

First off let me say thank you Dan. I mean it is sad to see you go from tv and all, but for the newtork to just get rid of the geek audience like that is just sad.

Now I never had TechTv until august of 2003 (My cable did not carry that or many other channels). So my parents got a satallite dish. When I started watching Tech Tv, expecially CFH and TSS, I learned something. Yeah before I thought my personal confuser was just used for typing papers, gaming (just you can game on it, nothing about the hardware used for it) and using the internet. Thanks to you guys, I learned what is inside the PC, how to build one, how to do all sorts of stuff. I learned so much about the PC and started to like it so much, I wanted a computer science major in college (I will be a freshman in college in the fall)thanks to you guys. Even after the merger I was still learning stuff with Kevin and Alex. Now with the new tss, it is just sad. Yeah what I learn now has no importance to nothing, all they show is about movies and such, which I rarely watch.

Also I would like to say that TSS and CFH were more important to me than gaming. I am a huge hardcore gamer, and I would make sure I don't miss a TSS or CFH episode. Now with the new TSS, I don't even care anymore. Also the problem with G4 is that all they do there is glorify x-box and sports games, while other games like star ocean till the end of time don't even get noticed. If you wanted to make a channel for gaming, have it appeal to every gamer, not just for the casual gamers. So they abonded me there and with my tech.

So I hope somebody makes a new tech show like TSS and I hope you are on there because you are a awesome guy. I would like to thank you for your contributions to what was once one of the greatest shows ever, and thanks for telling us the truth about G4.

Posted by: Josh | January 1, 2005 08:59 PM

Thanks Dan! I felt guilty about not watching TSS as much after the G4 switch. (I couldn't just leave the TV on TechTV all day anymore.)

I'm sort of relieved that I'm not missing much. This is a perfect example of corporate culture not "getting it".

Say hi to all the cool folks I remember: Leo, Pat, Kevin, Yoshi, Morgan, Chris & Stephanie!

Posted by: AnonCoward | January 1, 2005 08:43 PM

G4 are a bunch of tools, that's pretty well-known in the game industry. Gamers don't need to watch that junk, they're all online anyway. What is the business case here? That management team should never work again.

Posted by: Rick | January 1, 2005 08:27 PM

I tuned out of TechTV a long time ago. It was once a favorite, but I started noticing changes in formats and got sick of it.

It's a pity a once great station went to crap. I feel sorry for the ex and current employees of what seems to be an evil place.

Posted by: Darryl | January 1, 2005 08:26 PM

wow...i'll just echo what everyone else has said. i've been watching TSS for years now. ever since the beginning. (i still miss kate botello) it's really sad to see this show go downhill as much as fast as it did. i feel really bad for kevin and sarah. it's gotta suck for them being stuck there. i don't have a clue what target audience the producers/managers are looking for, but i really don't think they have a clue either. i've always gone along with the old saying of, 'if it's not broken, don't fix it.' i just sat here painfully through 2 tivo'd episodes of TSS. i feel like i'm watching something produced from PBS with hosts acting as bad as someone starring on walker, texas ranger. no...that's way too much credit. yeh, i'm crying over the proverbial spilled milk i guess, but i just really want the old TSS back and intact. guess that's never happening. well, good luck to you all.

Posted by: Mark | January 1, 2005 08:14 PM

As someone who used to love TechTV and ScreenSavers, I salute you!
G4 should be put back in garbage where it belongs.

Posted by: Pluto | January 1, 2005 08:14 PM

Hey Dan, this post is probably the best blog post I've read since I can remember. I've always wanted to know how the show worked behind the scenes of my once favourite show. This is my #1 favourite blog, all your posts have been great. Way to go.

Posted by: Treymac | January 1, 2005 08:13 PM

I watched TechTV back when it was ZDTV on C-Band Satellite and hadn't hit the major cable carriers yet. I was a bit wary after they changed to TechTV but I soon figured out it was still the same good shows. I also used to enjoy TSS a lot.

I really wish that G4 never had bought them out. They managed to turn a great network with interesting shows to pointless drivel and destroy a website full of interesting and useful articles into an non-navigable mess.

Posted by: MikeMSD | January 1, 2005 08:05 PM

thanks to all those who have tried to keep TSS the way it was. Dan, Patrick, Leo, Kevin, Yoshi, and the rest, thanks soo much for what you did, We all miss you guys very much !!!

Posted by: Adam | January 1, 2005 07:50 PM

Damm, sorry to hear all this. I didn't even know you left. cuz i tuned out along ago. Hope things go good for you in the new year still.

Patrick, Leo, Megan, Red hair girl i miss you all.

Posted by: Giovanni | January 1, 2005 07:48 PM

hey Dan! I would just like to say that I was a very loyal watcher of TSS, now with these new hosts....wow it's terrible!!! I really miss Leo and Pat!

I did like Kevin and Alex, I think they did allright, but they too are gone, and well....it's sucks now!

Posted by: Ult | January 1, 2005 07:40 PM

Thanks Dan for shining some light on the G4/YechTv merger, i was never a great fan of G4, but an addict to TSS, G4 ruined it and i have to agree, Dan you are the man.

Posted by: Dan | January 1, 2005 07:39 PM

Good read, but very irresponsible of you to say this: "Although my friends still inside can't speak their mind, trust me when I tell you they all want out."

Posted by: RB | January 1, 2005 07:38 PM

Dan just told G4 that "his 4-4 makes sho' all they kids don't grow"

Posted by: JosefBud | January 1, 2005 07:30 PM

Dan, thanks for writing this. Its too bad that G4 has ruined the Screen Savers. It is so different now from the TechTV version that I can't stand watching it. I hope things work out well for you and the other TechTV people.

Posted by: Mike W. | January 1, 2005 07:23 PM

This article really expalins why the show went to crap.
Thanks for telling us all!

Posted by: Jacob | January 1, 2005 07:23 PM

I hope this means a new release of the Broken Soon.

Posted by: Ryan | January 1, 2005 07:18 PM

Thanks for this very informative expose' about the inner sanctum of GR/TechTV! Not even 60 Minutes could have druged up all the facts that have been presented here!

If we all want to see the Screen Savers back like it used to be, then it is now time to rally to G4! If they do not listen, then it is time to boycott it entirely, (not a hard thing for all of us to do!) The whole G4/TechTV merger and change has been the worst thing to happen since Coca cola came out with new coke back in 1985!

Thanks Dan for this informative article, and congradulations for being slashdotted!

Posted by: Clint Hall | January 1, 2005 07:17 PM

As an ol' TSS fan, I'll just add to this long list of thanks for your article. I hadn't watched TTV since the layoffs, and have not watched G4 at all. Shame on Block and Brentano especially for their mis-judgement (that point was the last straw for me as a fan). I miss the original TSS and there will never be a show like it again. Good luck to you and all your friends. You're a bright bunch.

Posted by: JenH | January 1, 2005 07:12 PM

The faked "Netcam Network" calls are different from what Comcast was/is doing. One they started doing real calls, they discovered a system that worked. To go back to faking them is a real step backwards. The network is no longer starting out, and it's not right to the community which helps make up the network if they start faking calls.

This was an excellent article, Dan. Keep it up. Good luck with everything.

Posted by: Brian | January 1, 2005 07:11 PM


Thanks for the excellent article. it confirms what I suspected about the quality of the show after the move. I like your blog more than I like TSS nowadays.

Keep up the posts!

- Gavin

Posted by: Gavin | January 1, 2005 07:06 PM

Sorry to hear what the true fans have known for quite some time now. I can't even watch any more. The only reason I bought a Tivo was to record the screensavers. Now I Tivo Fox News. Miss the old screensavers very much!

Posted by: Mike Lilley | January 1, 2005 07:06 PM

So how are these fake calls you speak of any different from the fake netcam calls upon which ZDTV depended back in the early days? I remember many "Netcam Network" calls which were actually coming from the ZDTV cube farm with employees posing as the callers. It's TV. You do what you have to do to get the shot.

If you are smart, you'd leave your ethics out of TV, because TV will eat and eat your ethics until you have none left to feed it, and then it eats you.

Posted by: gatlingmaster | January 1, 2005 07:02 PM

Give me a break. You had a job that tens of thousands of viewers desire. You blew it. You sucked anyway. So does Rose. TSS went to the toilet after Leo and Patrick left.
Comcast sucks.

Posted by: give me a break | January 1, 2005 07:02 PM

Good story, Dan. Leo wrote a great post and looks like he's offering you a job if you want to go to Canada. It's colllld and snowy, but the people there are friendly. I've been there several times. And you are young. So the big move might be just the right thing to do. And I'm sure the new CFH would benefit from you.

Posted by: Bobtech | January 1, 2005 07:01 PM

I miss the old TechTV too :( - Pat, Leo, Yoshi & Kevin used to do such geeky stuff (liquid nitrogen on overclocked processor) and now its a bunch of garbage about gaming. I guess the most geekiest show on T.V. nowadays is call for help. Leo in Toronto kicks ass, i wanna go watch them live. anyways good job dan, nice report.

Posted by: jon | January 1, 2005 07:01 PM

was wondering what was up with the show..once they put those two new re-re's from g4 on TSS, the show has been downhill since..goodbye technical to dorky like the rest of the g4 channel now...I feel bad for sarah and Kevin...
while even it took a little getting used to a non-technical annoying guy on TSS, he was much much better than the two dumbasses who host the show now..i watched maybe one or two episodes and thats about it..i can't stomach it..i go there for tech stuff and that show is less than up to snuff/technical than CFH ever was.

Posted by: kb | January 1, 2005 06:56 PM

Round everyone up, find a rich investor (or group of investors) and start your own channel. Problem solved.

Posted by: Zergo | January 1, 2005 06:47 PM

They lost 3 very faithful viewers in this household. In Canada we still get Leo on Call for Help thank god.
Good Luck in your future Dan

Posted by: Doug Woods | January 1, 2005 06:29 PM

Hi Dan,

Great article and thank you.

I am so sorry to hear about all this. You certainly deserved better treatment. We were so saddened by the network's decision to sell out to G4.

We still have a signed print of Kate and Leo. That's how far we go back with TSS.

And we enjoyed it right up to the end of TechTV as we knew it....prior to G4/TechTV.

Please don't think we didn't see what was going on. We saw it right away and knew you all were not responsible for these change. We are geeks too and it was very obvious.

We wish you all the best in all you do. May you finally find a company to work for that will appreciate you for your talents and your ethics.

Posted by: LilBambi | January 1, 2005 06:25 PM

I think you should get a few of the former tech TV cast/crew and create a web format similar to the old TSS. I pretty sure that you charge for the content and many people would pay. I sure would. Good luck on your future endeavors.

Posted by: Daniel | January 1, 2005 06:14 PM

I miss the old TSS, Leo and Pat were respectable. These new hosts are clowns. Good luck in all you decide to do Dan.

Posted by: Brian | January 1, 2005 06:10 PM

Yes very true. Dan you are the man! After Leo, Patrick and Yoshi your the only one I miss on TSS,

Posted by: Luigi | January 1, 2005 06:05 PM

Had watched TSS since the early days with Kate and Leo. When G4 took over I turned it off and havent watched any of their programs. I have also told all my friends, whom I used to urge to tune in to avoid this slop.

Posted by: Ken | January 1, 2005 06:05 PM

Thanks for the article Dan. It was really hard to lose "my" network to G4 and watch the layoffs and changes. It makes it a whole lot easier knowing the people who were laid off are now much better off getting away from gWhore.

Kudos to you and Wil for telling it like it is. Hope you have a fantastic '05!

Posted by: Rob | January 1, 2005 06:00 PM


Enjoyed your tell-all scoops on a phenom I missed, mostly due to retiring
from the Tech industry in the 1997, and now coming back to it. I linked to
Megan Morrone's site, and then to the Leo's site, both of which are very
well done. Thanks for the leads to other's great works, and good luck on finding
a job.



Posted by: SeaFORTH for OSX | January 1, 2005 05:59 PM

From what I saw, the writing was on the wall when I read the details of the "merger". It was a pure real-estate deal. G4 was in something like 7-8 million homes at the time (all the Comcast supplied homes plus a few other CableCo's) and TechTV was in 41 million homes, overlapping about 5-6 million homes, so a true gain of 35 million homes. It was all about a bigger footprint for distribution of content. It's quite obvious now they didn't care one bit about the core of TechTV's crowd. I'm actually suprised they even went through the motions of trying to migrate TSS to the new channel and new demographic. Better to have just ended it in SF, and have a nice big "Good-Bye Party" than to drag people down to LA and have them go through 6 months of mental masturbation of jumping through figurative rings of fire that were the suit's unethical, lame, no-clue, "drive product" mentality, dumb-it-down, waste-of-oxygen thought patterns.
TSS truly lives no more.
Patrick Norton, if you read this... know that you made the right choice not hopping on the G4TechTV express train to suckville. Sounds like the suits would have ripped your ethics right out of you, make you watch in horror as they had their way with it, then bring them a washcloth, clean them up with it, then go make them a sandwich and wake them up in 3 hours so they can watch the Lakers game.
Truly sad that the TSS I remember fondly is gone.

Posted by: Wayne | January 1, 2005 05:55 PM

Thanks so much for writing and posting this article. What a shame. I haven't watched any of the G4 programming since the sale and move to LA. I do miss Tech-TV!

Posted by: Richard | January 1, 2005 05:47 PM

What's the difference between the "old" ScreenSavers and the "new" ScreenSavers? I learned stuff on *every* show.

I don't mean little Windows hacks or tweaky stuff, I mean honest-to-goodness, cutting edge geek stuff. It was the only place in TV-dom to find the cool, the interesting, the open source, the hacking and much more.

It's all gone now. My wife (one of the least techie humans on the planet) even loved the old show. We'd often pause the TiVO so I could explain to her what something meant and why it was important.


Posted by: Steve | January 1, 2005 05:44 PM

Good expose. They should rename you Dan Fuck'em Huard. It sounds like the new TSS is rigged as like a lame'o gameshow. Stupid calls for dumb hosts.

I still can't believe that G4 spent 300 million to buy out a better channel only to trash all of the shows in hopes that little kids would tune in to watch lamers talk about game info that is already all over the Internet.

the good ole days:

Posted by: G4_is_crap | January 1, 2005 05:39 PM

Dan is the man

Posted by: Josh | January 1, 2005 05:35 PM

Thanks for shedding some light on what's happening over there Dan. I've really been wondering.
I rolled with the changes for years with TSS because it was still valuable to me. I missed Patrick's knowledge a lot, but got a lot out of Kevin. I even rolled with the change to LA...even came to like Alex. Curled my lip as Cat Schwartz shilled us how Disney works (who cares).

But this new change is the end of it for me...and it's a real shame. So sad every network needs to 'expand' every show assuming that people who have followed it for years will hang in there as they start bringing in 'stars' from the WB to talk about a game they like or something like that.
It's sort of like having a weird tasting soda pop that a certain amount of people people really enjoy...but you want to be Coke. So you start messing with it, pissing off the people you could count on, and are left with a crappy Coke knockoff that no one enjoys...and you go out of business. Real simple.

It's just such a damn shame to me. So many great little free pieces of software that I use and enjoy everyday are because of TSS. I'm not a gamer, so didn't really care about the new ATI blah blah blah...but so many of the other geeky segments were just excellent.

Always a sad day to have to go in and program out of your TiVo something you onced really enjoyed every single day...but I did it when I hit another segment with that nitwit Chi Lan girl. If I want to watch newbies flounder I'll go to Best Buy and watch people ask the clerks questions about Macs vs PCs.

Goo luck Dan! I think you're just getting the jump on all those other people who will be looking for jobs in the next year over there.

Posted by: Andy | January 1, 2005 05:27 PM

Nice article, too bad there wasn't more inside dope on red hot, hot, hot Morgan...Yow!

Posted by: Joe Shlomo | January 1, 2005 05:25 PM


That was a really well written an insightful article. I'm looking forward to more great content both on this site, and thebroken.org.

Ever think of doing a podcast of thebroken.org or this site?


Posted by: Stephen Sizemore | January 1, 2005 05:21 PM

Dan, I too am one of those that wondered what you were doing there. (Btw, Oasis does rock.) I have been watching the shows since the very early days. If it weren't for the shows, I would never have learned HTML or even wanted to. You and the staff brought fire to man and awoke the geek hidden within us all. I used to send people to their televisions to watch the show when they asked me where I learned everything that I know about computer technology. Now the search is on since someone has decided to snuff the flames. I have held out hope that they'd sneak in some actual information on the show but I've now decided that I have to move on. Both TSS and Call For Help should have been picked up by PBS or made for manditory broadcast in schools. You have given me great memories and an education. Thank you.

Posted by: Martin | January 1, 2005 05:19 PM

Oh, and I forgot to say Happy New Years!!

Posted by: KingSting | January 1, 2005 05:16 PM

Excellent article you've written Dan. I just wish you the best of luck and keep up the good work in whatever you do. You should come back up to NorCal so you can visit Salam and see more of his cool OLD OLD electronics and stuff. He has an awesome collection, and I'm sure he'd appreciate your visit.

Hell, maybe you should surprise him and just show up! :P You could help him find his TSS tapes he lost from the show when he appeared back in SF. :)

Posted by: KingSting | January 1, 2005 05:15 PM

Discovered TSS just before G4. Best of luck to all of you Tech TV guys. Things will work out for you and all your old friends if you just keep plugging away!!!

Happy New year!


Posted by: Bill | January 1, 2005 05:13 PM

That was a thoughful and meaningful article. It has really changed my view of TSS, before and after. Keep up the good work, Dan! I'm sure it will pay off soon.

Posted by: edder | January 1, 2005 05:12 PM

That was a thoughful and meaningful article. It has really changed my view of TSS, before and after. Keep up the good work, Dan! I'm sure it will pay off soon.

Posted by: edder | January 1, 2005 05:11 PM

This is a very thoughtful and meaningful article. It's really changed my view on TSS, before and after. Keep up the good work! It will really pay off.

Posted by: edder | January 1, 2005 05:09 PM

Thanks for this article Dan. Good to see that you're not holding a grudge, complaining about how they treated all of you... but moving on.

Thumbs up.


Posted by: Jaymoon | January 1, 2005 05:06 PM

the whole callers not being geeks thing really stings if they didn't want geeks why did they get involved with techtv? Geek Pride! they took away the one thing we could enjoy its like the golf channel merging with the food channel and showing food during whats supposed to be a golf tournament

Posted by: John | January 1, 2005 05:01 PM


Posted by: mSt | January 1, 2005 05:00 PM

Looks like it was definitely and experience. Seems to me, you take to this website thing rather well though. Keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy the articles.

Posted by: ITOAO | January 1, 2005 04:51 PM

The original Tech/TV channel rocked. My TV used to be on that channel a good part of the day. G4 has pretty much destroyed a good thing. I miss the old TSS


Posted by: jim | January 1, 2005 04:48 PM

The only reason i still watch the channel is for Leo's new Call For Help. Leo's new format is so much more interesting than this new TSS. I'm not sure if people in the US get the new Call for Help, but in its in Canada, and its great.

Thanks for everything Dan

Posted by: Sam | January 1, 2005 04:45 PM

Thank you so much for the insight! It is now more clear than ever that G4 is run by incompetants. Very likely the channel will collapse this year, as has been widely predicted. It's such a shame that TechTV got swallowed up by this monster. Dan, you'll soon have a new opportunity come your way, don't despair. Continue to live by your principles, & you'll go far. I look forward to following your success on this blog!

Posted by: George B. | January 1, 2005 04:44 PM

This just brings back the memories I had of watching ZDTV and TechTV. I just long for the old days, I guess.

As for the whole geek thing and G4 not wanting it to be aimed toward geeks, I just wanna say that when I used to watch TSS and Call for Help, I wanted to be a geek. So I loved it when they used terms I didn't know because I could just find out somehow and feel like I was one of them. Oh well, some things just change...hopefully one day, shows like how they used to be will return.

Posted by: clutch | January 1, 2005 04:43 PM

This is good stuff to get out in the open.

Recently, I applied for a job with G4/Tech, but if they call me back I'll tell them I'm uninterested.

I was figuring that it'd be one of those dream job type of situations, being a geeky type of network, much like ESPN would be the dream job for a sports buff, but thanks for showing me that I'd probably be as disgusted with that network as I am with the one I work at right now. (they fake things at the one i work at too, and have a lot of shady practices to say the least).

Very insightful stuff, especially for someone else in the industry, thanks a lot.

Posted by: Dave | January 1, 2005 04:40 PM

I stuck with the new TSS for a couple weeks, but, as you know, it just sucks. G4 did a great job of killing everything that was good about TechTV. I hope things work out for you.

Posted by: Mark | January 1, 2005 04:25 PM

I've been watching TechTV since the ZDTV days, from when I was 12. I first got into Gamespot TV with Adam and some other girl, then into TSS with Leo and Kate. TSS opened my eyes to the world of technology and really helped me keep track of it. What angers me the greatest is the sheer ignorance of the G4 crew. Seriously, if I knew what it took to start a channel that is somewhat reminicent of TechTV, I would do it in a flash. Now as a 17 year old, I cringe whenever I see those 2 idiots talking about games. As an avid gamer, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in G4. XPlay was ok, AN ENTIRE CHANNEL is overkill. Bigtime. CinemaTech? CHEAT??! Seriously, let's cut the crap. Enough is enough.

Posted by: Sam | January 1, 2005 04:25 PM

Ah, sou.

The truth comes out.

Posted by: phoenix | January 1, 2005 04:17 PM

Thanks, Dan! It's fun to relive those golden days. I remember when you and Ken got that TV - Ken was bitching about it for days. I had no idea you were working so hard all that time though. Belated thanks for that.

I'm glad you exposed G4's staged calls. That's just appalling. It reflects the change, though, from a journalistic show (where such things are forbidden) into an entertainment show (where anything goes). Paul Block was always trying to push the show toward entertainment; Pat and I were always pushing the other way. We felt strongly that we had to earn the audience's trust, and lying to them about things like that was absolutely wrong. Paul won the battle, but lost the war. He got fired, and I'm still doing TV. Ethically.

I know you'll be doing TV soon, too. Let me know if you ever want to move to Canada!


Posted by: Leo Laporte | January 1, 2005 04:15 PM

I applaud your courage. I know the entertainment industry is not know for being the pinnacle of moral standards but that level of unethical and downright misleading of viewers is not acceptable.

Posted by: Kevin Blanchard | January 1, 2005 04:05 PM

Wow. That was very informative and I'll miss the original format. It's amazing that they would think that the changes that they made would be an "improvement." The original format to me was as good as the GEEK links on fazed.net. Ah well say la vi'

Posted by: adam | January 1, 2005 04:03 PM

I enjoyed you on techtv for along time, hope you can find a new show of the same format. Maybe the old gang at TSS can come back together one day and shove it up G4's !@@#$.

Posted by: Mickel | January 1, 2005 03:59 PM

Dan, many thanks for this article.
It was more beneficial to me than you may ever know.

Long-Story Short: I want to work with the TechTV crew.
If any of you guys ever make another show, I would be forever grateful if you would let me know.


It is being rumored that Microsoft's Paul Allen will start a channel called MSTechTV and attempt to hire all the previous hosts that have been on TechTV.
It is planned this new channel will start airing in Quarter 3 of 2005.

Have you anything regarding this?

Years ago I had been told of ZDTV/TechTV and it wasn't until August of 2004, when I moved to Florida to study Film Production, that I got to see it for the first time.

I instantly fell in love with the channel, hosts, and format.
You all had such an honest, friendly, familial atmostphere at TechTV and I wanted nothing more than an opportunity to work with you all.

As graduation neared, TechTV was my primary target. I did the same thing as you, went to the employment page, and was met with the same wall.

I began researching the company and learned of the merger. I decided it best to see how it panned out before moving cross-country. The network seemed to be running on auto-pilot.

Graduation came around and I managed to score an internship and a PA gig so I put G4TechTV on the back burner.

After dealing with some of the most "LA" producers I will ever meet and reading various articles, I was afraid what what G4 may have done to TechTV.

After reading these articles, many thanks and congratulations to you everyone from TechTV.

Posted by: James Owens | January 1, 2005 03:59 PM

Thanks for the honest and detailed article about your past career. It answered many questions I had; like why you suddenly didn't appear on camera. I really miss the old ZDTV/TTV format of the show. I could have even dealt with the first LA version with Alex. The latest rendition is just too much out there for me to handle. I have stopped watching. I hope that is what G4 wanted... I watched for the geel factor, I could care less about the game and entertainment factor. Besides, there are PLENTY of gaming shows on that network for the people that want to watch. Anyway, best of luck to you! I hope to see you on TV again soon!

Posted by: Bryan | January 1, 2005 03:50 PM

Ugh.... I had been recording and watching many shows from the once ZDTV channel until G4 took over. I have stopped recording any of them since then.

Dan, you guys rocked back in the day... Leo, Pat, Kevin, Yoshi.... so on, so on..... It was a like a geek prono at times ya know. Now it is just a b rated flick that should never be watched again..

Take it easy bro and gl in all that you do!

Posted by: Savik | January 1, 2005 03:49 PM

Great read for someone that liked TechTV before the merger. I would have pinged this blog entry from mine, but you have pings disabled here. Here's what I wrote, if you want to take a look:


Posted by: Joe Siegler | January 1, 2005 03:47 PM

Heya Foo...
Great read my friend. I gotta say, that took some guts and I think I can say for everyone, GREAT JOB. Maybe now you can put some closure on this.

Although I truly feel for all of you that got the shaft from G4, I can't help but feel that it was a blessing in disguise.

Now I'm just concerned about Kev & Sarah. I KNOW they want out. It shows. Hopefully something will come their way and they can get out of those contracts.

Take Care, Keep in touch, Give Wil my best and..
Keep On Slingin!!

Posted by: Spider-Man | January 1, 2005 03:46 PM

Look @ this forum...

Posted by: J.Swift | January 1, 2005 03:29 PM

Dan Will you be at CES in las vegas this coming up week.

Posted by: Ryan Kane | January 1, 2005 03:27 PM

Good post Dan. I miss the way TSS was. By the way, if anyone would like ot put some heat on the jerks running G4, here is the address for the CEO of Comcast.

Brian L. Roberts
Comcast Corporation
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-2148

Be sure to mention all those lost advertising revenues since you don't watch the network anymore.

Posted by: MikeW | January 1, 2005 03:27 PM

It was a good 6 years of ZD and TTV. G4 is just as worthless as local channels.


Posted by: Burke | January 1, 2005 03:27 PM

My bad - case=24 - so 288 bottles o' beer... And great blog entry bro.

Posted by: Wyrmwood | January 1, 2005 03:24 PM

Now for the conspiracy angle: Given TechTV and TSS's brutal honesty regarding Microsoft's shortcomings and Microsoft's large investment in Comcast one wonders if sleaze balls at both companies hatched the deal as a form of damage control. The result of this conspiracy: G4/Comcast eliminates a competitor clearly beating it in the marketplace while Microsoft gets the credible news reporting on TechTV/TSS watered down and eventually eliminated altogether. I make my living developing software based on Microsoft platforms and happen to know that TechTV/TSS's criticism was right on the mark. Couple this with the fact that TechTV was able to get this information out to a large audience of consumer-level techie alphas (as opposed to merely industry insiders where Microsoft's weaknesses are well known) and you have a recipe for disaster as far as Microsoft's self-interest is concerned.

Visit my blog for my full report on this sad state of affairs:


Posted by: William Wise | January 1, 2005 03:24 PM

Hey Dan --

Thanks for the candid comments. G4 reminds me a bit of Sprint in a sense -- management has no clue of what users want -- instead, they just care about $ and greed. So, unfortunately the solution involves layoffs, which ironically makes things worse. I can definitely relate.

I took all TSS shows off of my Tivo after the layoffs because the quality declined by many orders of magnitude. Never again will I or many of my associstes watch G4 TechTV. Best of luck with your future endeavors -- sounds like with your experiences gained at TechTV's expense, you'll be able to help their competitors gain a leg up, similar to what I have done and will be doing with 8 other telecoms, including Verizon Wireless, SBC, Vodaphone, Teleglobe and four other smaller international carriers.

What goes around comes around.

Posted by: Booga | January 1, 2005 03:23 PM

This one time at Band Camp... Ok Dan, I don't have a ZD or Comcast budget, but here's a public promise: Get Broken #4 up by January 20th, 2005, and I'll send you guys 12 cases of any kind of beer you want. Seriously. 144 Bottles of beer...


Posted by: Wyrmwood | January 1, 2005 03:22 PM

The network went kablammo for me when they fired Chris Pirillo. TSS had started going to the dogs before G4. LONG before G4. The day they had Martin interviewing the first celebrity ont he show was the beginning of the end. Then they cut the show to an hour. I stopped watching regularly then. Then the network dumped Pirillo and I dumped my subscription as I could see where things were going.

Very sad. Tech TV was fantastic. The content of this article, particularly how crap G4 were to work for doesn't surprise me in the least.

Posted by: Steve | January 1, 2005 03:22 PM

The only reason to watch TSS these days is for Kevin's attempts to get fired. At least I assume that's what he's doing. Like the day when a "live" call fell through and he suggested Chi Lan take a random live call. Or when he did a segment with no real purpose other than to cover the sucky Kevin in a foul smelling liquid.

Posted by: Sean | January 1, 2005 03:15 PM

Channels like G4 are created to justify a $75 "basic" cable tv charge. Comcast churns out shit and still makes a profit...congratulations, you're not watching it but you're paying for it anyway!

Posted by: UncleChuck | January 1, 2005 03:11 PM


I have just as much respect for you as I now as I do for Leo. It takes a lot of guts to speak the truth and to come up from all the weight G4 hit you with by getting rid of you. This was a huge mistake and you were a vital piece of the show just as Leo and Pat were back a year ago when Tech TV still was my number 1 show.

I just wish Kevin and Sarah would also stand up just like you. I know they've been silent, due to the fear of loosing their jobs, but after what I've read today from your article and the article by Wil Wheaton, there is only so much a person can take before the crap G4 threw at you two will destroy what they love to do. I agree with the majority of people in beliving G4 will be dead by the end of 2005 at this rate and I hope the network does NOT bring Kevin and Sarah down with them.

I am very glad you started the site and I will follow it religiously. I'm also very inspired to start making a website, such as yours, in the near future. But as you know, as another CSU CompSci major, school bears a lot of work on it's own, so only time will tell.

I don't know if you will ever read this, but I hope the message gets to you one way or another. Please continue posting the tech news, info, links, etc.. that Tech TV once occupied in my life. Great job man!

Posted by: Matt | January 1, 2005 02:55 PM

We used to get TSS here in Israel about a month or two after the episode originaly aired in the states, we havnt gotten any new episodes since the G4/TechTV merge, but ive heard so much bad things about all the shows i loved that I don't feel like I lost anything....

Posted by: Leav | January 1, 2005 02:40 PM

One thing I've wondered since the move to LA - has Sarah been pressured to "slut it up" a bit?

Maybe its just the move to SoCal and the culture there, but it sure seems like she's changed her wardrobe and makeup to be quite a bit more provocative than she'd ever shown before.

Posted by: Mike | January 1, 2005 02:39 PM

great article, revealed a lot of info im sure all suspected for awile now, also sort of explains the disappearance of the live audience, geeks dont like the show=many boos? i dont know either way it was a great read

Posted by: Zack | January 1, 2005 02:33 PM


I have to admit that I'm one who didn't appreciate all that you did on TSS. All I saw was a cute guy trying to read the teleprompter and often getting tongue-tied. Still, I knew there had to be more to what you did than simply what was seen on-screen. I am so glad to know now how much you really did contribute to the show because your off-screen work contributed greatly to what we viewers enjoyed on-screen.

Good luck to you, Dan, in all of your endeavors. I'm sure you have a bright future ahead of you.

- Jeffrey -

Posted by: Jeffrey | January 1, 2005 02:29 PM

I got yo back Foo!

Posted by: david deluxe from bakersfield, ca 93305 | January 1, 2005 02:29 PM

Dan, I had a suspicion that G4 was fabricating the calls on tss.
Thanks for exp[osing them.

Posted by: Steve | January 1, 2005 02:27 PM

The real turkey this holiday season are G4/Comcast executives & producers. May 2005 be filled with layoffs and cancellations.

Posted by: bubba z. | January 1, 2005 02:23 PM

Thank you for your honesty Dan. I've watched most of the TSS segments that could be streamed, like like Kevin's Dark-tips and Sarah's Download of the Day, for a year now. I havn't seen a full TSS epsiode, I live in Denmark (Whitch is over 10.000 kilometers away from SF and LA) so I'll never have the option :P, I too see that the merge with G4 really turned out really bad.

Here in Denmark almost every TV channel sucks big time (In fact a little more that G4 does, seems impossible but it's actually true), it's plain boring and there ain't any soul put into it, so I've been very happy watching the 5 - 10 minute streamings of TSS segments, for example the 5 UGM8.0 segmens really taught me a lot picking the right parts to form a good computer. I've learned a lot from TSS, I found a way to download the streaming videos of things like Kevin's Xbox Hacking segments, I think I've watched them over a 100 times, and yet they still seem interresting. Not has TSS helped improve my computer skills, but also my english skills.

I think we all want TSS back to the way it was a year and a half ago, the new TSS is misery all the way. Even the jokes that fly around in the shows aren't good anymore (I tell ya I can laugh of some of Leo's jokes for like an hour of something like that :P ). But hey maybe someday we will have our old TSS back, only the future can tell.

Hey Dan, keep your honesty the way it truly is, never let others change the person you truly are, and stick to your own ethics.

Posted by: Troels | January 1, 2005 02:20 PM

I bought (and hacked) my Tivo so that I would never lose an episode - now my Tivo probably has 300 GB of crap saved up and I never use it.


Best of luck Dan.

Posted by: David | January 1, 2005 02:20 PM

Thanks Dan - Like so many have already said here, I've also deleted TSS from my TiVo and skip the G4 channel altogether. What a waste. Your honesty and insights are appreciated. I'd love to see you and others from the "old" TSS get together and start your own show. What's left out there for us geeks?

Good luck in all you do and happy new year!

Posted by: Shelly | January 1, 2005 02:19 PM

So, so sad. I truly loved the original TSS. It was the only reason I kept digital cable as long as I did. Once TechTV became G4/TechTV they totally screwed it up. Having a failing enterprise like G4 purchase TechTV was like a drowning man dragging his partner down with him. Just an awful shame all around. Another fine example of corporate group think combined with big budget backing giving true meaning to the word SUCK.

Posted by: William Wise | January 1, 2005 02:10 PM

When I was in Iraq we used to download the TSS from the USENET as soon as a new ep posted. It was one of the few thing we had to look forward to other than going home. On behalf of the Marine IT tech geeks at MCB Blue Diamond / Ar Ramadi thanks.

Posted by: Joe | January 1, 2005 02:10 PM

time to say good by to TSS and G4 techTV
nice job on making slash dot

Posted by: Tom | January 1, 2005 02:03 PM

The funny thing about this is that G4 is supposedly for gamers. I don't know a single gamer that can stand watching the network. Most of my friends have been playing since the NES days (we're in the 20s now) and we all agree that pretty much everything on there is crap. XPlay is the only thing keeping the network alive at this point and that happens to be the only show untouched from the TechTV days.

Posted by: a | January 1, 2005 01:59 PM

tss used to be so great back in the days when leo and patrick were hosting. ever since they were bought by comcast the show is just going more and more downhill every day.

i thought they had a chance at reviving it with alex and kevin as hosts, who i thought were pretty good, the new hosts are unwatchable.

it's only a matter of time until the channel completely tanks and is gone. tss will be gone in 3 more months is my prediction.

it's a real shame cause it was my favorite show.

g4 have you ever heard of the expression "if it's not broken don't fix it?" i hope the bastards over there lose a lot of money for their arrogant mistakes.

Posted by: sean | January 1, 2005 01:57 PM

Prior to the merger, The Screen Savers was my favorite show on Television. It was informative and fun to watch. After the merger it seems to have turned into a dumbed down show with an MTV edge. I have since removed it from my Tivo's season pass.
I really do miss the days of Pat and Leo. Why change a show that has been working so well? Why bring in such a failed channel as G4 and totally destroy what was once a great channel? The people were great and the content was great. I really miss techlive as well. Oh well. Enough ranting. Good luck in whatever you choose to do Dan.

Posted by: Jason | January 1, 2005 01:56 PM

Thanks for you honesty. We kind of knew that G4 was going down hill. I also liked to watch TechTV CFH, TSS, Fresh Gear. X-Play and others. The shows inspired me to go get A+, Network+ and MCP cerified maybe I will some day finish and be MSCA cerififed too. Since the put G4 on digital I haven't seen it but I always keep up with the show thought the message boards and the newsletter. Thank you Dan for what you have done over the years.

Posted by: Sherrie | January 1, 2005 01:50 PM

It's interesting to hear what's go on behind the screen and to see how clearly one could see it's effect without knowing the decisions.

When I first started watching the show it was Leo and Pat and got a lot out of it and respected the talent and knowledge both men had. When Leo left and Kevin replaced him there was a big shift, but it was still two smart guys, with Kevin, the kid, being balanced by well by Pat. The time it took me to watch the show on ReplayTV was about 40 minutes.

The move to LA without Pat brought on Alex, or "joke boy" as I called him. He seemed to know what he was talking about but could have benefited by turning him down a notch or two, nevertheless he was growing on me. My time to view the show dropped to around 30 minutes.

Then the big shakeup. All of a sudden there were two talking heads, neither of which demonstrated they knew anything aboout tech (doesn't mean they didn't, just that the audience wasn't informed about their backgrounds in any way). Time spend watching the show dropped to 15 to 20 minutes, and most of that skipping ahead looking for something of interest.

At this time I noticed the show wasn't going to be about tech anymore, but movies and games, lot's of games. As a non-gamer (have never placed a single one) with better source of movie information, the show ceased to be of interest. The day the promo for the next show contained "...and on tomorrow's show, Sarah has a review of the new movie ..." I not only deleted the show from the ReplayTV record list, I deleted G4/TechTV from the satellite channel menu as well.

Good luck Dan in your future endeavors. As someone else that got out of television after a major change in policy and philosophy, I know the transistion to other things can be difficult, but it's rewarding to have had the experiences that come in the field,

Posted by: Alan | January 1, 2005 01:50 PM

TechTV was my favorite channel and I watched TSS a daily. I had been wondering what the hell was happening over the last month or so.. Wondering where everbody went. Why the show lost its live audience, 75% of the hosts and just plain sux'd.. G'luck Dan and to the rest of your TechTV crew I really enjoyed your show over the last yeah or so.

Posted by: Shawn | January 1, 2005 01:43 PM


I had a feeling that G4TechTV was going downhill when I saw that CFH was cancelled. For a few months, G4TechTV was pulled(?) off of my cable provider. Now that G4TechTV has returned, I long for the days when I wasn't able to see it.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do now.

Posted by: Bryan | January 1, 2005 01:40 PM

I used to watch TSS as time permitted (and I tried to catch the show as often as I could), but when G4 bought it, I couldn't stand to watch even 1 show through it's entirety.

Posted by: Justin | January 1, 2005 01:40 PM

It's hard to add much that hasn't already been said by others here - but I just had to chime in. When TechTV first got started, I was so excited. I've been a self-proclaimed "hard core computer geek" since I first got my hands on a Timex/Sinclair 1000 in the 80's. It's probably the only reason I went ahead and ordered satellite TV, really, since I'm not a big TV watcher.

Just the idea that there really were finally enough of us "computer geeks" out there to justify a whole TV station catering to us was very self-validating. As computers have gone from "obscure hobby" to "mainstream" - it makes me happy I stuck with them through good times and bad, and still make a living working with them today.

When I heard about the G4 merger, I thought "Uh-oh... the whole thing's gonna go right down the tubes, and fast!" Unfortunately, seems I was exactly right. I tried to watch this G4 channel a few times, and always end up turning it off after 10 or 15 minutes. It's all so fake and largely comes off as a giant infomercial for game console makers and their software suppliers.

Whether the TV producers and execs realize it or not, there's a strong market out there for a station that cuts through all the B.S. and gives people the technical facts on PCs. I do on-site PC service/consulting for a living, and at least 1 in 3 of my customers are folks with some real interest in knowing more about their computer. (Heck, many will sit down next to me and watch intently as I spend over an hour running virus scanners/spyware removers and update patchers on their PC - just so they can learn a little more about what really went wrong on their machine.) Most of these people have practically NO interest in a bunch of reviews of console video games.

Posted by: Tom W | January 1, 2005 01:39 PM

Oh. THIS is what happened to TSS -- I thought Microsoft bought TechTV, and changed the format to be more about "shiny things" and the informercial format.
What is that line again about never attributing to malice what can be explained by incompetence?

Posted by: Scooter | January 1, 2005 01:32 PM

Really sad to hear the direction the show is going in. I haven't been able to watch it much since they merged with G4, and now i've completely taken it off of my TiVo season pass list. In all honesty Dan, at first I didn't really care for you, but you grew on me as time went on. Sorry to hear you got laid off, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Posted by: Dan | January 1, 2005 01:29 PM

G4 not only screwed up TSS but the whole network, sad. I watched on the dish network top 120. When the big sellout happened to TSS and CFH it also happened to the IFC channel. I dropped the top 120 and now just have basic service. I hope G4 dies.

I'd like to see an article on why tecTV had to sell to G4. Anybody

Posted by: Tom | January 1, 2005 01:20 PM

When I saw Kevin demonstrate how to make beer on TSS the other day I decided that I would never watch another TSS. This ices it. :(

Posted by: brian | January 1, 2005 01:20 PM

maybe G4 will fall under the weight of its own hubris and something new and better will take its place. I can't imagine a tech/geek channel with such a well defined demographic could lose money. Though the old TechTV / ZDNet shows were so professionally produced, maybe they cost too much money. When I watch G4 I feel like I'm watching Jaclyn Smith Kmart brand TV, there's just a slightly plastic quality to them, even though I like some of the G4 on air talent. The TechTV shows on the other hand seemed like they were produced by real-live actual adults, that really understood their audience. The Alex/Kevin TSS was a blast to watch, though, and I miss that show as well.

Posted by: Doug Z | January 1, 2005 01:20 PM

I've been watching TSS from the days of ZDTV. These changes have been for the worse. The show has gotten to the point that I can no longer watch it.

You rock!

Posted by: Eric | January 1, 2005 01:01 PM

"I have a friend that works at G4. Say the entire network feels they are sinking. Turns out The Screen Savers is also changing it's name in Feb. The writting is on the wall, it's only a number of months."

Sounds like a good way to get out of some contracts if you ask me...

Posted by: Matt | January 1, 2005 12:55 PM

Interesting article. I am not surprised G4 made TSS compromise their journalist integrity. I stopped watching TSS once G4 took over; it was torture to see what they were doing to it. I had always felt TSS wasn't geeky enough, and they were forcing it in the opposite direction. Good luck.

Posted by: Dominic | January 1, 2005 12:48 PM

And here I thought I was the only hating the direction of G4. I attributed it to my age (over 50). Figured G4 was going for the grunge video gamers. Glad to see I have lots of company. Dan, I've been in broadcasting over 30 years now and lived through several management changes. First, never believe anything they (management) say. They'll tell you there will be no changes made. Bullhockey! Secondly, stick to your guns. I'm proud you held your ethics. That's rare today, and it also tells me you'll end us just fine.

Posted by: Bear | January 1, 2005 12:48 PM

I have stoped watching the TSS show because it is not the same show anymore. The new format sucks and needs to be trashed. The reason people watched TSS is because it was a real tech/geek show! Now TSS has turned into a pre scripted show that does not ask any real tech questions anymore! Thanks to the people who made the TSS show great before it was taken over by G4!

Posted by: Kyle | January 1, 2005 12:45 PM

Because of TSS, I know what a video card is. And I laughed.

Thx DANn

Posted by: Hodder | January 1, 2005 12:43 PM

Great article... I wish that all of you former TSS people would get together again. I know it would be difficult, but maybe you could shop around for another network to carry your show. Hell, I would even watch you all on PBS (Right after Mr. Roger's Neighborhood ;)! Good luck and Happy New Year!

Posted by: Kyle | January 1, 2005 12:38 PM

Love the stories. Keep updated.

Posted by: Stefan | January 1, 2005 12:28 PM

It is sad to see G4 kill a great show. Dan you were awesome in the nook. I allways looked forward to hearing your new silly name that every one made up for you. That was great. I had the pleasure of speaking to you on the phone one time and you got my call answered. It was the one on how to find wireless router signals. Patrick and Leo were great. They really seemed to have a lot of fun discussing my question. It was some of the funnest live call answering ive heard from Patrick and Leo. You and Yoshi and the old tss are missed.

Posted by: gilbert king | January 1, 2005 12:22 PM

I hope your "liberation" from G4 has opened new doors for you Dan, and I hope you don't stop influencing the technology scene on primetime. I guess I can speak for all of us when I suggest that you and some members (or former members) of TechTv form your own Program on another network channel that would be more open to your original plan of action. Spiketv is a slim possibility, along with even the SciFi Channel (maybe?) Whatever you decide to do next in your future, all of us fans are behind you 100%.

The Best of Luck,

Posted by: Nick Volant | January 1, 2005 12:22 PM


TSS was one of the most-watched shows on satellite here on The Dominican Republic by the geek culture. Now though, nobody talks anymore about it, it's sad, I haven't watched it in ages ever since the switch became apparent with the quality of the show.

This is what happens when you get "management" who does not understand the vision of a program and simply want to play the "demographics and numbers" game so that they feel they're important and doing something for their salaries. Why ruin something that was already good? Had I been a G4 exec in charge of TSS, I'd instead expand the show and give them more freedom to experiment with new things and keep the hell out of their way as much as possible.

Posted by: Dominican guy | January 1, 2005 12:18 PM

You forgot to tell everyone how the people at TechTV backstab one another and gossip and spread rumors like high schoolers. So sad that people in their 20s and 30s still act like they're 16.

Posted by: TTVisdead | January 1, 2005 12:10 PM

Now, Patrick and the old gang that could have come to LA look like a freakin genuis! We need some millionaire to buy a place and rebuild a new TechTV. I wouldnt care if they played infomercials for 18 hours a day. As long as they had true Tech stuff for a few hours.

Posted by: TwistedX | January 1, 2005 12:06 PM

Excellent blog entry, although I never saw the show on digital/sat as I'm in Ireland
I have downloaded alot of eps and it was extremely sad to see the show going down hill :(
I watched about 3-4 shows after the layoffs when kevin was thrown to the sidelines and it just wasn't interesting anymore so I stopped watching it.
Sad to see a good show crash and burn due to bad decisions...

Posted by: Martin Bishop | January 1, 2005 12:02 PM

I loved TSS before it went to G4, now it sux. I also noticed Sarah has changed a lot too. Hope Kevin and Sarah can get out soon.

Would be great to get you guys together to do a show on your own.

Posted by: Joe | January 1, 2005 11:59 AM

TSS was a great Show before G4 took over.. G4 is evil and all they care about is what is considered "popular"

I do not understand how you can have an entire channel dedicated to games... how the heck can you have differentiation in your shows?

Posted by: Jeremy | January 1, 2005 11:59 AM

Dan, Thank you so much for clearing this up. I respect your honesty, and believe me I know what its like to get fired by a company for sticking to what you believe in.

Posted by: Rye Seronie | January 1, 2005 11:59 AM

Awesome entry. After the G4 takeover, I stopped watching TSS and hardly ever watch any of the other show any more. Now I know why everything went down hill. Thanks.

Posted by: Scott | January 1, 2005 11:56 AM

Thank you for setting down in words what I felt was happening to my favorite TV channel/shows. I learned a lot from the show while you were doing the good work. Thanks, and much success in the future. You deserve it.

Posted by: Rudey | January 1, 2005 11:55 AM


Thank you for the insight into why TSS has failed recently. Since G4 toook over the major tone of the network seems to have shifted to gamers. I preferred it when it was more technically focused and it seems that the show is now a waste of the talent of the few people left from the original show. I had begun to lose confidence in Kevin's technical abilities but I can see now that it is due to the low-level questions (i.e. Grandmothers who use the computer for web surfing and email only) and the forced elimination of real technical questions. Are the management afraid that, if they have a truly technical show they will lose their (G4's, not Tech TV's) core, gaming, audience? Since the take over I have all but completely stopped watching G4 due to the dramatic change in focus. If we are lucky someone will either convince G4 to create a real techinical show or someone will start a new network to fill the void left by G4's abandonment of the tecnical members of Tech TV's original audience.

Good Luck in the future.

Posted by: Michael | January 1, 2005 11:48 AM

Great story, thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: Flesh | January 1, 2005 11:47 AM

I should also mention I stopped watching TSS about 3 shows into LA. I couldn't take it anymore. Seriously there was a time when I'd RECORD and watch the shows (the first time TTV took away the 11p re-feed of TSS) but now I don't even bother.


Posted by: Adam | January 1, 2005 11:46 AM

Hi, I'm Slashdot editor and all around hypocrit Michael Sims. I would simply like to take this opportunity to publically announce that my idea of freedom of speech includes censorship when I personally deem it appropriate. If I disagree with what you post on Slashdot, I will use my power to remove your posts and handicap your user account. I also like fondling little Mexican boys.

Posted by: Michael Sims | January 1, 2005 11:44 AM

Damn.. I didn't know it was that bad in there.


Posted by: Adam | January 1, 2005 11:42 AM

Man, G4 sucks ass.

Posted by: Jesse | January 1, 2005 11:38 AM

Now if only those calls about aimsniff ("that program to see other people's IMs) were filtered out. Very few of the people who's contacted me about it who found out from TechTV were legitimate network people. Most were 12-16 year old boys who thought it would allow them to read anyone on the internet's IMs. Which is just plain stupid.


Posted by: Eric Betts | January 1, 2005 11:32 AM

Dan, great blog entry... I never knew you had this much depth to you because of how they played you on the air... G4 sucks :)

Posted by: Dan (From Leoville) | January 1, 2005 11:28 AM

Love reading your blog. Probably the only one i read regularly. Important things you're saying here.

Posted by: Vlad | January 1, 2005 11:28 AM

Dan -

I thought your on-air presence added a comic relief element. You were the grungy nerd in the corner just like our LAN Manager at the medium sized company I work for.

I wish you well in the new year, and hope you find another place to settle into that is even more incredible than your previous gig!

All -

Once they pulled the G4 people into the TSS forefront, I knew the show was assimilated.

I still turn there occasionally for a minute or two to see Kevin and Sara.

Posted by: baronz | January 1, 2005 11:25 AM

Dan - That's really sad that TSS went to hell like it did. Keeping true to purpose is not something that Television is well equiped to do. It's too easy to aim at apealing to the "hip" crowd for ratings or other gain. While geeks may be fewer in numbers and certainly aren't as outspoken on the phone, they still represent a significant group of individuals that demands some entertainment. I do hope that someone can revive TSS back to a more geek friendly format. My guess though is that it may take another independant production group to make it happen on a different channel.

Posted by: Greg Moore | January 1, 2005 11:25 AM

Thanks for trying to keep TSS real.

Posted by: Sam Krupa | January 1, 2005 11:24 AM

Sounds familiar man. I have been in a similar situation:


The quest for popularity sometimes causes managment to look beyond the ethical issues and do things that, when exposed, look very silly.

Best of luck to you man. You will survive and be better because you're no longer part of something that goes against your soul.


Posted by: Paul Ferris | January 1, 2005 11:21 AM

Thanks for explaining what happened and why you suddenly vanished from the show...

Keep your integrity.. it will pay off someday ... at least you can sleep at night..

thanks for being honest ... and give my sympathy to your other friends still at G4.. At least I know "why" now..

People respect honesty .. we respect you for being honest with us.. the fans..

Posted by: Just Eric | January 1, 2005 11:19 AM

Yo man, Happy New Year. Get with Kevin asap and do another broken.org video release, will ya? :)

Posted by: bahgheera | January 1, 2005 11:16 AM

Thanks for writing this all up. It's really interesting to see how much work went behind the "live" calls. I noticed that all the questions seemed rehearsed and that the hosts had the websites all ready and such. I just didn't realize that they were quite that pre-planned. I'm glad you fought to keep following your ethnics. It's probably better that you're not working there anymore.

Posted by: Arlber | January 1, 2005 11:11 AM

Wow man great write up, really enjoyed the behind the scenes peak at what you used to do. I know its been beaten to death but hearing how the format changed and the process just confirms what everyone has said all along. I remember watching TechTV or even ZDTV and wishing that one day I could move back to SF where I am from and work on TSS or that show, I couldn't think of anything better. Now I could be offered a job on the New TSS and I wouldn't care, it lost what made it cool for me, and it will never be the same. Happy New Year though lol, best of luck to you in 2005.

Posted by: Ryan | January 1, 2005 11:07 AM

Great insider view, man. I'd be interested to know if G4 made you guys sign any kind of crazy non-comp clause when they layed you off. It would be awesome to see a more reputable network pick up the old crew, even if it wasn't called The Screensavers.

Posted by: Skysurfer | January 1, 2005 10:35 AM

excellent article, dan. thanks for taking the time to clear up some of the seriously-demented issues that show is experiencing.

Posted by: Lance | January 1, 2005 10:12 AM

I can see "The Screen Savers" show going to hell in a hand basket! I could see that comming when G4 "layed off" Patrick and Leo.

Posted by: Trevor Somers | January 1, 2005 10:07 AM

Dubba D,

That cleared up a lot for us fans that still care. It's appreciated.

I don't expect G4 in its current format to last. Not even the 12 year old gamers can like most of the crap programming shown.

Ah well. Leo will find a way to bring it all back.

Posted by: Happy Bobby | January 1, 2005 09:58 AM

Happy New Year Foo. Thanks for the insight. Sounds like you were really backed into a corner and put between a rock and a hard place. I did my best to "try" and continue to watch TSS, but I can't...it's not the same, and now I know why. I'm sorry bud, but I know you will move on to bigger and better things. Fu&@ them. I just hope Kevin, Sarah, and the rest can get out before it is too late...

Posted by: HankPotter | January 1, 2005 09:47 AM






Posted by: IraqManiac26508 | January 1, 2005 09:30 AM

Thanks for the insider view, Dan. I started watching TSS back in the Leo & Kate days just randomly because my husband seemed to like the show. After a while I realized that I could watch it for pure entertainment value & eventually discovered that I was learning stuff. I built my own computer w/o any problems because of the show. The way TSS is now, I could do a better job hosting & answering live calls (which is sad but true). TechTV used to be the chanel we mainly watched. At least X-Play is still funny.
Hopefully 2005 will be much better for you!

Posted by: the NINja | January 1, 2005 09:25 AM

Thank you for telling us the truth about the screen suxors Dan the man i guess i have to watch call for help 2.0 for my tech

Posted by: c4hfan | January 1, 2005 09:23 AM

Thanks for the article. I really miss the old TSS and CFH . They were my favorite shows I would record them on my dish PVR and watch them everyday. G4 sucks the new TSS sucks and the new host really sucks.

Posted by: Isolino | January 1, 2005 09:17 AM

Great post Dan, looking forward to your future articles.

Posted by: TWS | January 1, 2005 09:14 AM

Man this really sucks for TSS.... and probably the rest of TechTV too soon... Also people, please stope dissing the current cast members. As you cant tell they don't decide anything, its all the comcast suits.

Posted by: Harry | January 1, 2005 09:13 AM

Where can I get an old school Screensavers t-shirt?

Posted by: Kevin_P sucks! | January 1, 2005 08:31 AM

Happy year ahead Dan. A few good things you got from your old job is good friends and a awesome girl. That must of pissed you off when Cat Schwartz did the Disney spot. You would have been much better in it. The new guys in your nook chair sooo suck you brought a lot of character to the nook.

Posted by: Frank | January 1, 2005 08:22 AM

Foo Rocks!!

Posted by: Kevin | January 1, 2005 08:08 AM

Great article. All the things you mentioned I have noticed. Even my wife, who used to tolerate my watching TSS has mentioned how terrible the show has become. Good luck, and keep up with the superb writing.

Posted by: Ken | January 1, 2005 07:58 AM

Dan, Thanks for all the great insight.

Posted by: Andrew Perrin | January 1, 2005 07:57 AM

Dan, thanks for the details of what we all could only see from the outside. TechTV Canada is lucky to still have Leo LaPorte in some form with their version on Call For Help but we here have lost any vestige of what was a great show in Screen Savers and a great network in TechTV. For me the begining of the end was when Dvorak's Silicon Spin ended. Screen Savers pacified the need brilliantly until the move to LA. My geek family watched the first two weeks and then dropped it all together. On reflection, I guess Patrick Norton deciding not to relocate was the best move he ever made...if he ever really had the choice. I can't see Patrick dealing very well with the change in focus that the show took. It would've been messy. I like Kevin, but he always seemed as if he was being dragged along by the show instead of steering it like Leo and Patrick. I was convinced of this when he seemed delighted with his reduced role in the newest Screen Savers. Dan, you have always beenthe one who most represented the rest of us. You seemed equally thrilled and at the same time awed by your opportunity to participate in what was once a great show. You will return and so will some vestige of what we all loved about TechTV. It probably won't be an entire network but perhaps a dedicated show on an established cable network that will give all of you the chance to shine again. So what if it's on the Discovery Channel or SpikeTV...we will find you.

Posted by: Rob | January 1, 2005 07:53 AM

Gmail everyone



Posted by: IraqManiac26508 | January 1, 2005 07:40 AM

hey dan, tell your little management there that they SUCK
but anyways, thanks for telling the world how things really went there and how it came down

Posted by: Bill | January 1, 2005 06:54 AM

Dan, You did the best that you could do, in the situation you were put in.
Always do the right thing, even if it hurts you in the short run, because in the long run, you're the one that people will remember.
I hardly watch TV anymore, now that the programming has changed on TechTv. The Tv & TIVO have been turned over to my wife, so she can watch all of her surgery shows on DSC, etc..., and animal cops on animal planet ( not that there's anything wrong with that! ).
I hope that one day a channel similar to TechTv will return, and people like you will be a part of it.
Take care.
- Jamie

Posted by: Jamie | January 1, 2005 06:21 AM

Wow. Now I know thinks are rotten in demark (so to speak). A pretty interresting and informative (and somewhat sad) read tht explains alot of things-including why the SS now (IMO) sucks. Unfortunatly besides all of this it means that G4techTV (or whatever they're calling it) will meet a slow end. Still thanks for sharing this, and for sticking to your ethics. Stay strong.

Posted by: PFunk | January 1, 2005 04:50 AM

man that was a nice read, thanks so much for sharing the dirt. Dan keep at what you want to do man all the best it is now 2005 fuck 20G4 that is behind us now. Good luck homie. P.S maybe you should make a little broken ep or a spin off ;)

Posted by: Q | January 1, 2005 02:14 AM

I always figured you were smarter than you looked, Dan.

It just went to show how bad ethics and greed can make good people turn in savage monsters.

G4 is going to die a quick death.

Posted by: Steven Acevedo | January 1, 2005 01:52 AM

I had hope when Kevin said that the kinks were just getting worked out of the whole G4Techtv thing and everthing would be fine and dandy in just a few months. But now after all this I am glad that I am at college and all I get is 2 over the air channels. It's a real shame to waste all that talent. We should all suck up to Paul Allen and ask him to buy Techtv back.

Posted by: Bryan | January 1, 2005 01:28 AM

Dan, You are awesome man for exposing this!

I am disgusted that G4 decided to fabricate calls for the show. I once was on the old TSS (10/31/03) and I thought that everybody helped me the best they could.

Hey, I also think it is awesome that you are a 24 fan! Remember, next sunday, Season 4! 2 hours! (not to mention monday!)

Posted by: David | January 1, 2005 01:28 AM

Dan, I appreciate your cander in sharing. I was not aware of the inter-workings of Screen Savers and CHP. Leo and Pat are a hoot.

I know that you did your best. I wish I could offer some perls of wisdom but, I don't think you are asking for any.

Regarding http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041111/lath073_1.html

G4 is in 55th place for daily viewing and 66th in primetime viewing. The ranking is in part due to the cable package that is necessary to pickup the station.

I personally have dropped G4 from my cable box.

Happy New Year Dan! 2005 is going to rock!

Posted by: James.mc | January 1, 2005 12:37 AM

Finally! One of you speak out about what really went down! This clears up alot of confusion and mis-understandings. Thank you, Dan.

Posted by: Spider | January 1, 2005 12:22 AM

Wow! That was the best blog post I've ever read. Thank you Dan, and have a Happy New Year!

Posted by: Mike | January 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Thanks for sharing your times with TSS.

Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best in 2005...

Posted by: Valerie | December 31, 2004 11:47 PM

dan that was a very interesting colum i helps me understand why people like scott reubin left g4 and soon you will be up there with wil weaton and scott reubin as g4 hosts that never got to show there pottential! i think if leo buys the network like rumors suggest you should get back on the network!

Posted by: rayjay2380 | December 31, 2004 11:46 PM

That was a very engaging article, Dan. Seriously though, I think what you did is the right thing though, keeping the ethics and dignity of the show. That takes courage to do, especially in the face of termination.

I remember when I first started watching The Screen Savers ... it was awesome. It really did start to go downhill after G4 and TechTV merged, but after the layoffs it just became unbearable to watch. It's more a gaming and DVD show now than a computer and technology show like it used to be, and that's the mistake.

It's probably best that you're not apart of TSS anymore; it's just not the same. Hopefully you'll be a part of bigger and better things in the near future.

Posted by: Will | December 31, 2004 11:33 PM

I'm very glad you posted this. Thanks so much for the insight. I've been a fan of the show since Kate and Leo were the hosts so I've stuck around through a lot of changes, but not this one. What G4 has turned the show into is not only disgusting, it's insulting and I refuse to watch the show any longer. Thanks to the good ole interweb, however, I can still get my tech fix from you guys! Thanks for fighting for us geeks, too bad it didn't work to your advantage.

Posted by: Ana | December 31, 2004 11:10 PM

I hope the New Year brings you a better job than you had with G4 .

The new TSS is very bad Kevin R shows he hates it just watch him he does everything from laughing at Chi what ever her name is to eating pineapple on the set .

That setting up "live calls" is very sad why bother if they are not really us the folks who watch the show calling

Posted by: Bob | December 31, 2004 11:01 PM

this again?

Posted by: topshooter | December 31, 2004 10:53 PM

Interesting article, BTW. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Posted by: | December 31, 2004 10:50 PM

Hint: Nobody wanted to call in LA because Patrick, Leo and Kevin were often rude to callers in SF.

Posted by: | December 31, 2004 10:48 PM

nice article......g4 sucks.


Posted by: Trevor | December 31, 2004 10:42 PM

Dan, thank you so much for the insight on the "new" TSS. It really brings out what alot of us have suspected for the longest time.

You're right though, those bad positive, and negitive, experiences can only make you a better person, both career wise and personally. Stick to your guns, as they say. You can only do the best with what you know.

Posted by: Zoel | December 31, 2004 10:39 PM

first off happy new year dan. and you were what got me watching the screen savers in the firt place. sorry dirty politics drove you away man. though chin li and kevin p do add a little fire to the show well kevin does and they say one door closes another opens. peace

Posted by: black cat | December 31, 2004 10:36 PM

Dan, I just wanted to thank you for sticking up for ethics; it takes a lot of will power to do that, and I really respect people who have domonstrate that will power.

Posted by: Scott | December 31, 2004 10:31 PM

Good story. Hope it's true. Don't kid yourself or it will hurt you in your hunt for your next job. That said, it sounded true. Corporations are monuments to pretense and delusion and anyone with an ounce of integrity or pride in their work is targeted and exorcised in most large corporate environments. Anyway, good luck.

Posted by: aiiee | December 31, 2004 10:30 PM

Dan you got balls the size of Texas, hang tuff and Screw G4 they suck the life out of people!

Posted by: Gatorbob | December 31, 2004 10:29 PM

Dan, I have a confession - before, you were always one of my least favorite characters on "Classic" TSS. You always seemed unsure of your lines, as if you were unprepared and were "rushing" things. Well, now it makes sense - you WERE, and you had to be, whether you liked it or not. With everything else going on behind the scenes, I should have figured it out, but I didn't. Therefore, I owe you a big apology :(

BTW, for what it's worth, you did the right thing by standing your ground. Yeah, it's small consolation while you're unemployed, but trust me - I've had the stomach aches from trying to pay the bills, and I've had the stomach aches from selling out your ethics, and the latter ones are MUCH worse ...

Hang in there, man. We're with you, keeping the faith ...

Posted by: Mark | December 31, 2004 10:22 PM

GREAT!!!! I stopped watching TSS after the firings. Dan I wish you luck and hope you do well in the future. Keep up the great work on this site.



Posted by: Mazzic518 | December 31, 2004 10:19 PM

Found an interesting thing about G4techtv's ratings:


they are tied with great american country, the golf channel and the outdoor channel. Pretty sad company to be in. Atleast they beat ESPN classic, that's a channel i've heard of.

Posted by: Ryan | December 31, 2004 10:13 PM

In today’s work environment its rare people will do what's right and exercise good ethics and integrity. You've learned this very early in your life. Good on you and Happy New Year.

Posted by: Armando | December 31, 2004 10:04 PM

nice article, Dan. g4 has really killed all i loved about TSS.

Posted by: Jeramy | December 31, 2004 09:51 PM

Great article, Dan. It really brings new light as to why TSS went down the drain over the last year or so. I never fully understood why one of my favorite shows started sucking so much. TSS was a staple of entertainment with my circle of friends 4 years ago. Those days will be missed. Your blog is bookmarked, so keep up with the writing!

Posted by: Zack | December 31, 2004 09:49 PM

Dan, what a great article. Getting laid off by G4 was a blessing man...you are free from The Man (Comcast) keeping you down. I hate to hope that anyone loses their job, but I kind of wish Kevin & Sarah had the freedom you do now.

Posted by: Astro | December 31, 2004 08:48 PM

i think dan should write a book! It'd be awsome.

Posted by: jeff | December 31, 2004 08:44 PM

Dan, you are definitely the man. These are great articles you're writing. People love gossip, especially that of the current G4TechTV situation. Hopefully you'll hit the ground running soon enough. Keep the site up, it's great. It's nice to finally read some gramatticaly sound tech articles on the 'net. Also, a post about the status of thebroken would be enlightening for us all, I assume.

Posted by: Leibnez | December 31, 2004 08:17 PM

Thanks for Shareing your story it is much apprieciated by all Now Only if the others can speak their mind
Thanks dan

Posted by: Andrew | December 31, 2004 08:10 PM

Alex Albrecht is not a good measurement of what a good show is or is not.

Posted by: playa | December 31, 2004 08:10 PM

I think personally and this is my opinion that G4 has opened a pandora's box. Eventually somethings gonna happen and it's going to be devastating to G4. People refusing to show up to work. More layoffs. Cancelation of great shows, or a show. People going on strike, you name it. They have changed The SS too much, and I think it's definitely less apealing. Even Alex Albrecht said it was pretty bad.

Posted by: Coleman | December 31, 2004 08:04 PM

Thank you so much Dan for sharing your history with Tech TV and G4. I look forward to your new site and articles!

Posted by: jgthiel | December 31, 2004 07:46 PM

I think TSS is just having a slow death.Good for you Dan for standing up for what you believe in.Happy New Year.

Posted by: Kenneth | December 31, 2004 07:45 PM

They should seriously lay Kevin off, set him free G4.. You know he wants out. PS - You Rock Dan!

Posted by: Jeff | December 31, 2004 07:40 PM

I have a friend that works at G4. Say the entire network feels they are sinking. Turns out The Screen Savers is also changing it's name in Feb. The writting is on the wall, it's only a number of months.

Posted by: Mark | December 31, 2004 07:39 PM

Dan your the man.

Posted by: Andrew | December 31, 2004 07:30 PM

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