Alpha Bangla to woo masses with new fare

MUMBAI: The action plan is ready. A distant second on the Bangla entertainment channel horizon, Alpha Bangla is all geared to do some damage control. 

The channel's plan for this quarter revolves around the launch of four new shows and organising a few ground events. While Alpha Bangla launched its new mini-series, Paanch Dine Gappo on on July 26, it will be launching a further three new prime time shows soon.

The first of the three is Neel Simana (Blue Horizon). Set to launch on 16 August at 7:30 pm, the weekly is a show that revolves around five women. The show will replace Alpha Bangla's hugely successful Pratibimba (Reflection), which has had an extended run for a good 700 episodes. 

The daily is based on a common happening in Kolkatta where women after dropping of their kids to school stay put at the apartment of one of the parents in their group till it's time to pick up the kids from school. "We are hoping that this show becomes one of the flagship shows on our channel as it will be launched in Pratibimba's time slot. The show has been on one of our most successful and longest running shows," says Alpha Bangla business head JK Ray.

Speaking to Ray offers, "On the Bangla general entertainment arena, prime time starts right from 6 pm till 11 pm and we have sizeable male eyeballs too. Although we had planned that we would be launching new shows every quarter, we have not been doing so of late. But henceforth, we have decided to adopt a stickler policy. So in addition to launching slew of new shows every quarter, we will also be organising ground events every month - like the recent 'Megh Malhar' rain fest."

"The new mini-series Paanch Dine Gappo is an interesting format. We will have a new story every week, directed by new director and featuring popular Bengali stars," Ray elaborated about the new show. 

In addition to the daily show- Neel Simana, the channel will be airing a 20-minute current affairs show Search light Monday- Friday at 8:40 pm from 16 August. Although the channel isn't vocal about it, the idea is to counter the close third Akash Bangla. While Alpha Bangla's popularity is mainly owing to its shows, Akash Bangla's claim to fame is its news features. Of late, Akash Bangla seems have been gaining on Alpha Bangla because of this.

When quizzed about the competition, Ray offered, "We are a distant second to the more popular ETV Bangla. The margin, be it in terms of the GRPs or the TRPs, is thrice as much. Although it is unlikely that we might upsurge it from its top slot, we are looking at narrowing the gap."

The third launch in the prime time slot is the comedy Dhyaterikka! (a surprised exclamation). While the channel has set the time slot 6:40 -7 pm, Monday to Friday, the channel executives are non-committal on the date of launch.

"We at Alpha Bangla do not believe in terminating the programme before its scheduled run, even though it might not be garnering as many TRPs. We are allowing the show in its slot to come to a conclusive end. We might launch Dhyaterikkai! on 22 August." 

The daily comedy has an interesting plotline "what if gods land up on the earth and lose their supernatural powers." The show starring some known names from the Bangla entertainment industry will have the heavenly characters Kali Ma, Vishnu mingling with normal mortals and the comedy of errors occurring thereof. 

In addition to all that, the channel, in its kids slot 11 am on Sunday will be launching Tintin dubbed in Bengali. "Thakurmar Jhuli has been a very successful kids programming that airs at 10 am every Sunday. With the addition of Tintin we would be building up our kids' viewership."

"As for the next quarter, we are looking at launching a talk-cum-unplugged show. The show on the lines of Zee's successful Jeena isi ka naam hai will have a popular Bangla actor rendezvousing with a celebrity guest, his friends and family and in the second half the guest will also be performing," informs Ray.

Will the 'sonar Bangla' channel work this time? Time will tell....

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