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Zee Bangla, ZEE’s second regional channel, was launched on September 15, 1999 as Alpha Bangla, the first Bengali satellite channel. Since then, Zee Bangla has grown from series to series, carving an indelible niche for itself by showcasing the culture of Bengal to the world.
The channel offers an extremely rich and varied platter of programmes - capturing quintessential Bengali sensibilities with élan, juxtaposed with elements of aspiration and entertainment that has touched a chord with viewers across the urban and rural scapes.
Over the years, the channel has created history with chart-topping shows such as Mirakkel: Akkel Challenger, that has brought many a comic talent from the hinterlands to the fore; Dadagiri Unlimited, hosted by former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, has been a clutter-breaking game show that has captivated the state. The show has also been hosted by Mithun Chakraborty, a film icon adored by Bengalees. Saregamapa Li'l Champs has given a platform for young talented singers to display their brilliant vocal skills while the seniors were mentored by the doyens of Hindusthani Classical Music, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and Shubha Mudgal alongwith the tremendously popular Palash Sen and many more. Didi No. 1 hosted by Rachana Banerjee, where women from all walks of life have engaged in fun and games to win exciting gifts and prizes, has topped the charts repeatedly. Popular actresses such as Debashree Roy and June Malliah have been also associated with the show for a brief period. Also, the Tollywood megastar Prosenjit Chatterjee appeared as an anchor for the first time on television, in Banglar Sera Paribar, a highly innovative reality show.
Today, the tradition of creating chartbusters have been kept alive by programmes such as Rannaghar, a unique cookery show with participating glitterati that has dominated the time-slot; Dance Bangla Dance Junior which showcases the incredible dancing talents of youngsters judged by Jishu Sengupta, Debashree and rising star Ankush and Happy Parents Day, hosted by Sangeet Natak Academy Winner theatrician Debshankar Haldar, that lets sons and daughters compete and fulfill the wishes of their parents.
Not only the shows, but an array of unforgettable stories has changed the face of Bengali television. Rashi talks about the story of a girl fighting for the rights of others while existing within the social constraints; Dweep Jwele Jai unfolds the true heart of a champion Diya, who balances her marriage and dream career beautifully; Goenda Ginni tracks the exploits of a housewife turned sleuth. Bhootu, a little ghost, is the talk-of-the-town today as she helps people while searching for her parents and Joroar Jhumko is about one girl’s promise to carve an identity amidst the glitter of gold.
Zee Bangla also ensures grand celebrations, with Zee Bangla Maha Pujo, Sonar Sangsar (celebrating the Zee Bangla family), Natuner Daak (Bengali New Year), Bishwa Bhara Gaan (World Music Day) and Sonar Meye (featuring four most popular protagonists) bringing together people, celebrities, musicians and creating a lifetime of memories.
Today, the channel continues to connect with its audience both on air and on ground by introducing innovative concepts and formats. The rural campaign ‘Gram Banglaye Zee Bangla’ which is attempting to strengthen the channel’s foothold in the interior Bengal has already started gaining momentum.
The ability to excel while staying true to audience preferences has made Zee Bangla an immensely trusted brand and the most preferred Entertainment Channel in Bengal. By sealing the trust of the audience, Zee Bangla has formed a unique connection with the lives of the people. A connection so real that when it comes to entertainment, for Bengalis, Jibon (life) means only Zee Bangla.