The Lab with Leo Laporte
|The Lab with Leo Laporte|
The Lab with Leo Laporte Logo
|Created by||Leo Laporte|
|Developed by||Greedy Productions|
|Directed by||Marc Lefebvre|
|Presented by||Leo Laporte|
|Theme music composer||Sean Carruthers|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||195|
|Executive producer(s)||Victor Lucas|
Matt Harris (producer)|
Marc Lefebvre (producer)
Craig Cerhit (supervising producer)
Sean Carruthers (content producer)
Warren Frey (content producer)
Ryan Yewell (chase producer)
Kate Abraham (call coordinator)
Briana McIvor (call coordinator)
|Camera setup||3 Cam Shoot|
|Running time||~48 minutes (without commercials)|
|Original network||G4techTV Canada|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||April 23, 2007 – August 1, 2008|
|Preceded by||Call For Help (1998–2007)|
The Tech Guy (radio)|
The Screen Savers
The Lab with Leo Laporte was a technology-based television program hosted by Leo Laporte. Episode #1 debuted on April 23, 2007 on G4techTV Canada and HOW TO Channel Australia. The program was produced by Greedy Productions in Vancouver, BC. Production was overseen by the show's producer(s), Matt Harris (ep.1-180) and Marc Lefebvre (ep. 181-195). The show also now airs on Citytv after Rogers Media acquired control of the stations, and episode segments were also posted to Google Video several weeks after initial airing.
On November 25, 2006, Leo Laporte announced on his KFI radio show that production of Call for Help would move from Toronto to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Rogers Communications, the owner of G4techTV Canada, contracted with Greedy Productions to produce the show. Laporte also announced that the show would be renamed The Lab with Leo Laporte and would be recorded in 16:9 High Definition (HD). The Lab was titled as such due to Call for Help and its trademarks remaining the property of the American G4 network and their corporate owner, Comcast, which had broken off contract talks with Laporte acrimoniously when the May 2004 purchase of the network was announced.
Laporte traveled to Vancouver from his home in Petaluma, California monthly to record 15 episodes of the show. Episodes were typically recorded from Tuesday through Friday of the four-day "shoot week." Four shows were recorded live to XDCAM HD disc Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; three episodes were recorded on Friday. One goal of recording in HD was to attract a U.S.-based distributor. The American G4 ran the series for a short four-month period in 2007, but intentionally hampered it by airing it in a mid-morning timeslot without any later runs, meaning most of the show's audience was at work.
On March 6, 2008, Leo Laporte announced on net@Nite #46 and via Twitter.com that Rogers had canceled The Lab after 195 episodes. He announced that as a result, he would be "ramping up video production from TWiT", his Petaluma-based netcast network of programming. The last episode of The Lab aired on August 1, 2008.
Despite the severe aging of the episodes and the content within which does not apply to technology past Windows Vista or the original iPhone, as of September 2015, G4 Tech TV Canada continues to run the series in repeats on weekday mornings, as the Canadian-based production helps the network both meet Canadian content guidelines and the bare requirements of the technology remit required by their Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission operating agreement.
In late April the following note was posted on their official site:
- Please note that production on the show has ceased. We are no longer accepting tech question submissions or replying to general info emails.*
The show focused on answering viewers' technology related questions that had been submitted via the show's website. During each show, as many as four callers asked Laporte for solutions, on-air, to their technology questions. Questions were chosen by Laporte in advance of show taping, and callers appeared on the show via telephone (audio) and via Skype (video) simultaneously. Kate Abraham, call coordinator (ep.1-180), scheduled the callers and introduced them to Laporte during the show; Abraham also appeared in several segments throughout the show's run. Briana McIvor replaced Abraham as the call coordinator for episodes 181-195.
The Lab also featured guests who presented technology products and technology tips, demonstrated software, and discussed technology issues, such as Internet security, with Laporte. Among the regular guests on The Lab were tech personalities Steve Gibson, Alex Lindsay, Chris Pirillo, and Andy Walker. Walker, along with Amber MacArthur, was Laporte's co-host on the Toronto-based Call for Help; Pirillo was the show's host for part of its earlier U.S.-based run. Members of Vancouver's technology community, such as Rick Yaeger and Kris Krug, became regular guests on The Lab.
Each show also included a number of regular features. Yewell's Jewels was a free-file segment presented by chase producer, Ryan Yewell. The featured files included utilities, productivity tools, and entertainment software. Yewell also scheduled the guests that appeared on the show. Another regular feature was What the Tech? which served as a transition into and out of one of the show's commercial breaks. What the Tech? invited viewers to identify the subject of a close-up photograph of technology. Content producer Sean Carruthers created the segment and took the photographs used. Carruthers was also an on-air presence whom Laporte queried for additional suggestions regarding caller questions. In addition, Carruthers developed a regular segment entitled Sean's Shinies during which he demonstrated an interesting/unique tech product. One feature that served as a commercial transition was the Quick Quiz Question, a multiple-choice technology trivia game that occasionally had errors that made it to air.
- Leo Laporte's official Twitter.com account "Rogers just canceled The Lab - reruns will continue until the end of the decade. I'll be ramping up video production from TWiT now."
- Lab with Leo off TV in Australia - Let us See the Remaining Episodes
- Response from How-To Channel Australia Regarding The Lab with Leo
- Show production ceased message
- Official site (now defunct)
- The Lab with Leo Laporte (Internet Archive)
- The Lab with Leo Laporte at the Internet Movie Database