Small screen competition makes it tough, says hit producer

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Chandigarh, March 26 (IANS) He tickled audiences with his hit sitcom "Khichdi", produced other comedy shows like "Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai" and "Baa, Bahu and Baby", but actor-producer J.D. Mathejia says that competition has turned so fierce on the small screen that even producers are struggling to make a place for themselves.

"Today there's a lot of competition. Earlier there were not many shows, but over the years the numbers have shot up drastically," Mathejia told IANS.

"People want to see something different. One has to always provide fresh content," he added.

Mathejia is coming out with his new show "Chhoti Si Zindagi," which goes on air April 4 on Zee TV. The show stars Pavan Malhotra, Sushmita Mukherjee, Sachal Tyagi and two children - Richa Mukherjee and Shruti Bisht - in prominent roles .

"As the number of serials has gone up, the casting of actors has also become more difficult. We don't get actors so easily. Apart from this, there are many more similar challenges that we have to face," the producer said.

Mathejia is popular for his role as Himanshu in "Khichdi". His unique style of delivering dialogues and comic timing made him a household name.

He not only acted in it but also produced the show under his banner Hats Off Productions.

His other production ventures include "Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai", "Baa Bahu and Baby"," "Jasuben Jayantilal Joshi Ki Joint Family", "Ek Packet Umeed", "Shree" and most recently "Mrs. Tendulkar", which is aired on SAB TV.

Mathejia also says that the changing loyalties of viewers has also made it tough to survive in the industry. Many shows, which fail to impress the audiences, are being wrapped up after a short while.

"There was a time when TV was monopolistic and today viewers have matured. People today want value for their time. If any serial starts losing track, they shift to another show," he said.

"It's changing pattern of viewers that is creating a wonderful atmosphere of competition where everybody is putting in extra effort to give their best and making entertainment better," he added.

However, he agrees that with the constant competition, the content and the quality of the shows is getting affected.

"It's true that content is being compromised. This is because there is so much volume and competition. You have to run the show five days a week and also provide fresh content, but unfortunately writers don't get ample time to think and write the script," Mathejia said.

"If you have time you will properly think about the story, it's implications. But there is no time. This didn't happen earlier because there were only weekly serial at that time. Definitely due to lack of time somewhere things do get lost," he admitted.

Mathjia is still known for his "Khichdi" role as Himanshu. So is the actor in him taking a backseat ever since jumping into production?

"I have been actor, but I enjoy as a maker or producer. I also contribute to scripts. I can be a part of any creative process and on the top of that I am running my company. When I get to do so many roles then I feel that my sacrifice as an actor is justified," he said.

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