The Next Wave

Can you do a TV show with Leonard Nimoy?

The Editor in Chief of Electronic Business stuck her head in my door and asked me a question. It took more time than usual for the question to sink in because it’s not the sort of question you expect to get. “Can you do a TV show with Leonard Nimoy?” she asked. When I’d assimilated and hurdled the improbability of the question, I gave the only possible reply: “Let me think about that for a nanosecond.”

Of course, the answer was “yes!”

The result of that 30-second converation was the opportunity to serve as an on-camera technical expert with Leonard Nimoy for two episodes on his B2B infomercial series “The Next Wave with Leonard Nimoy.” This series ran on CNBC and I served as the technical expert for the episodes on touch screens and e-commerce (back when e-commerce was a new thing).


Taped in Downtown Burbank

On the designated day, I took Southwest Airlines from San Jose to a nondescript TV studio near the small airport in Burbank. As befitted my new role as TV star, I walked from the airport to the studio. It was a few blocks from the airport.

Once there, I got a full-day education in broadcast-style TV production. The show used a set on a stage with multiple cameras. The guys running the show were in an unseen control booth in the back. A very nice lady did my makeup. Extra pancake makeup for my shiny bald head.

Mr. Nimoy spent the day in one of two places. He was either working on the set or he was in his dressing room. He’s a busy guy.

I spent the day talking to the production crew, observing Nimoy’s command of the taping while it was happening, and starring in my new role as technical expert (touch screens and e-commerce) when required. I learned that it’s a business and I tried to absorb Nimoy’s audience-focused direction of retakes when he felt they were needed to clarify points.

Nimoy and Leibson small 2


We taped one show in the morning and one after lunch in the afternoon. Then I flew home.

B2B video use has altered considerably since those pre-YouTube days. You no longer need a network distribution channel like CNBC to get your message out. You don’t need a TV studio in Burbank and you don’t need a set or expensive cameras or a gigantic video-editing suite. You need a good idea, a good script, and a passionate speaker to make your case. YouTube and similar online video sites have reset expectations on production values. You can produce video and post it on line at very low cost and still get your points across to the target audience.

Best of all, online video is persistent. Unlike a TV broadcast, your customers and prospects can watch online video any time, any day, and repeatedly if they like. They can forward the video or a link to the video and involve friends, colleagues, and their managers. Online video has tremendous power to explain, just as Nimoy’s first big role on broadcast TV had the power to inspire millions.

Although there are many companies offering video production services for the Internet, few can help you develop the content, particularly technical content. I can. I’ve given dozens of successful online presentations. I know what works and what doesn’t. After all, I once played Leonard Nimoy’s technical expert on TV. I learned from the best.

Wouldn’t this be a good time to call me at (408) 910-5992 or email me at for a free consultation?


(Note: Leonard Nimoy passed away in 2015. I consider myself extremely lucky to have met him and to have worked with him, even if it was just one day in Burbank.)


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Steve Leibson
 (408) 910-5992