Producer JD Majethia, who has given fans comedy shows like Khichdi and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, says the time for sitcoms on Indian television is over and the only way these series can make a comeback is through online platform.
“Sitcoms in daily format is not possible. In weekly format or weekends, it can still work. That’s why a comedy show like The Kapil Sharma Show works because there’s no daily format. I doubt the country is looking at sitcoms. That time has gone and it can only come back on web or a channel has to take a risk. A sitcom needs right characters and basically situations and right now we are hooked on to stories,” Majethia told indianexpress.com.
“The economy has changed. No channel would want to spend that kind of money. Budgeting of a single episode has changed. Everything works largely on a monthly economy so, to have weekly episodes is very challenging and that too a comedy and with such cast… And that’s sad. Creating a new sitcom is difficult. People’s viewing habits have changed. People want to see something on a daily basis,” he added.
The producer said television used to be progressive earlier but things changed after TV started catering to interiors of the country. “Television was progressive earlier because it was at the top end of the society but now it has gone into interiors of the society, it has become more rooted. India’s literacy rate is low so it will take time to give people a ‘sorted’ out’ programmes,” he opined.
Majethia increased fans’ excitement when earlier this year he tweeted a photo of the whole cast of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. The director-producer had revealed then that the season two of the show was in the making.
When asked about its progress, he said, “We are bringing Sarabhai v Sarabhai as a web series. It’s not that channels were not ready to pick it up but we though it is best to start it as a web series because it is easier that way. Let’s see if things change with time. We are starting with a few episodes as of now. If people lap it up, we will increase the number of episodes. The shoot is going to start soon.”