Punjabi channels want to be different too

By , agencyfaqs! | In | June 21, 2002
Regional channels like etc and Alpha Punjabi are now clambering on to the "diversity" bandwagon


Are some of the regional channels taking a leaf out of the Zee TV book?

Both etc and Alpha Punjabi have gone diverse with a vengeance. Superstition, patriotism, message shows, profiles of NRIs. The one thing that is common in a slew of new shows that are being launched by the duo is that everything is different. Not that diversity does not sell. Zee TV, which owns Alpha Punjabi and has a substantial stake in etc, seems to be doing well after clambering on the "diversity" platform with shows like Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.

Alpha Punjabi and etc seem to be heading in the same direction. They are trying out new genres with a passion.

etc recently launched three new shows. Gagar Main Sagar, which kicked off Sunday, June 9, 2002 (at 1.00 pm, with repeats every Thursday at 6.30 am), taps into one of the oldest passions of the country - superstition, or a respect for unfathomable powers, depending on which side of the line you are on. The channel has roped in writer Kamini Khanna, and Vaastu consultant Shankar Bable, to anchor Gagar Main Sagar. The show is an exploration of esoteric arts like Feng Shui, Vaastu Shastra, Crystal Therapy, Medical Astrology, Pyramid Therapy, Acupressure, Tarrot Card, Signature analyses and Acupuncture. The show even has an episode on Totka, the art of casting spells.

Next, On Air went on air, Monday June 10, 2002 at 8.30 pm, with repeats every Friday at 6.30 pm. The show, based on similar shows like HBO's "Behind the Scenes" takes a closer look at the making of Bollywood movies. The pilot episode featured superstar Amitabh Bachchan talking about his film Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin.

And then, on June 15, Saturday, etc went ahead with the desi version of MTV's The Grind - of course with none of the hot dancers in the English version. etc's 'Sun n Dance Hour,' telecast every Saturday at 8.00 pm with repeats every Sunday at 10.00 am, is an hour of fast and peppy remix songs from old and new films and music albums, and has a strong 'family' orientation. And that is what the channel has hyped as its USP.

Rival Alpha Punjabi is hitting back with its own version of diversity. First is Direct Dil Se: Bindas Bolo a message based show where people can directly send messages and requests from nine different cities of Punjab, with these messages being shot at popular spots in Chandigarh.

The channel plans to cover Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections to be held on June 30. The news section of the channel - Alpha Khabran - will cover the elections daily, and with 46 zones and more than 300 Gurdwaras, schools, colleges, hospitals, dispensaries etc, under the wing of the DSGMC, and more than 2.67 lakh voters casting their votes, the channel expects every one to tune into the channel. The elections will be telecast on Alpha Khabran daily at 8:00 am, 1:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. There would be a special programme Delhi Gurdwara Chauan at 7:30 pm daily.

The channel is also busy tapping the current mood of patriotism - bringing popular singers Hans Raj Hans and Anamika live and for the first time together on the theme of patriotism. The live show will take place on July 1, at 7.30 pm, with the event being telecast again on the July 13, at 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. The songs will be patriotic with liberal doses of pop, bhangra and rap.

Alpha Punjabi is also introducing a new current affairs programme Parat Dar Parat Saturdays, 9:30 pm. The show will focus exclusively on Punjab, with stories on corruption, women abandoned by NRI husbands etc. One episode of the show will be on the grim situation in border villages, where many have had to flee their homes because of the current round of tensions between India and Pakistan.

Finally, the channel is planning to launch a whole new series Pardesan Vich Punjabi, with a profile of Punjabi NRIs - focussing on the lifestyles and values, popular night spots and music of Punjabis abroad. The show will predictably ask British Punjabis their views on arranged marriages buttonholing the kids in buses, metros, pubs, schools, colleges, discos, and wherever they can be caught. A nicer attraction is the live coverage of London-based Punjabi pop bands. The show will start June 19, Wednesday, and will be telecast at 8.30 pm. © 2002 agencyfaqs!

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