The perpetual tug-of-war between mothers and daughters-in-law has been enjoying a solitary reign over Malayalam television for years together. Comedy and music-based reality shows have emerged as competitors only recently. Hoping to give the shows some real competition, Sabumon is back on television after a hiatus of five years. Sabumon’s pranks on the popular show ‘Tharikida’, which used to be aired on Surya TV was followed by ‘Attahaasam’ and ‘Enthum Cheyyum Sukumaran’. In his new show ‘Just Fun - Chumma’, to be aired on Amrita TV from October 29, Monday to Thursday from 8.30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sabu opts for a role behind the scenes, helping to flesh out the characters of the group of friends who form the crux of the show.

The inspiration?

The inspiration is a change I crave to see in Malayalam television so that it is more appealing to youngsters. Honestly, I don’t watch much television these days as they don’t appeal to me. I doubt if it does to people of my age. I have been working on ‘Just Fun – Chumma’ for quite some time now. People were sceptical about a youth-centric sitcom when family serials were doing so well. But the recent string of successful movies focussing on youngsters found acceptance with the masses. People now see the potential in sitcoms too.

Around the same time, my friend Pramod Mohan, who has done beautiful short films, shared with me his idea of a serial for youngsters. I approached Shyamaprasad and Anil Kumar of Amrita TV with it and they liked the concept.

Behind the camera…

I am putting together my experience through a team of creative young people who are enthusiastic about my vision. It’s a new work culture at my production company that is making this new series. I want to create a wave of change, both on-screen and off-screen.

Missing in action for five years!

I have been travelling extensively. I also wanted a break from television and so joined my brother in Saudi Arabia. There I joined the airline industry. It gave me a new outlook on the way I viewed life and people. Interacting with people from different parts of the world widened the horizons of my mind. It even aced my fun quotient. Then I felt a vacuum while watching Malayalam TV programmes. Unless it held some news value, I would float away. I found youngsters living in Kerala and abroad who wanted what I did. I wanted to change the Malayalam television experience for people like me, so the return to the small screen.

Will it click?

Yes, ‘Chumma…’ is a complete entertainment package meant for all age groups, especially youngsters who will find many situations that they can identify with. It depicts life in a lighter vein – the engineering student with arrears who makes it his priority to love every girl in sight, the young gym instructor with dreams of making it big in life, his elder brother who has to rein in the eccentricities of the group with his lame jokes, the coffee shop manager trying to apply her hospitality lessons through different customers and the aspiring cute actor – trust me, they are all sure to grow on you.

Current/future projects?

I am working with Sharaf, my college mate, and Sandeep Senan and Anish Thomas of Urvasi Theatres to produce programmes with a difference under the banner 'Friends'. Other projects are for Mathrubhumi television’s new channel. You can expect some novelty in them too. Wait and watch.