The Conners are making their Season 3 return tonight when fans of the iconic sitcom family will watch them navigate real-world issues like the coronavirus pandemic and presidential election. The Conners returns for an all-new season on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, which fans can watch live or on their ABC app.
In a brief trailer for the season released by ABC earlier this month, the Conners can be seen trying to stay safe amid the pandemic. Darlene and Becky head to work at the old Wellman Plastics plant, donning a face mask and face shield in an attempt to protect themselves from COVID -19. Later in the trailer, Mark can be seen checking Dan's temperature before he enters the house to check for a fever before allowing him in. The show's executive producers Bruce Helford, Bruce Rasmussen, and Dave Caplan said that the pandemic, as well as an episode about the upcoming Nov. 3 election, would be "woven" into the season.
"We'll absolutely be dealing with it," Helford told TVLine in May. "We're a show that reflects reality, so we're obligated [to address it]. I would think somebody in the family would be taking the jobs no one else wants, [like] working in grocery stores. They'd be taking jobs that put them at risk because they need the money, like most of blue-collar America."
On Sept. 30, Helford told Deadline that only four episodes had been filmed due to the production shutdown caused by the pandemic. He added that while "there are a lot of shows that aren't going to be reflecting what’s really going on," he and others working on The Conners "felt that it was an obligation to our viewers and to stay relevant and to show them how it's like for a family that knows how to get through hard times but is thrown a curve like never before."
"The characters were built for disaster," added Helford. "We’ve been following their life and their trials through all the things going on since the 1980s." Keeping the cast and crew safe on set has been a whole new ballgame, which includes "rigid protocols," such as designated PPE areas and enforced temperature checks, but doesn't include masks or social distancing for the actors, as they are portraying a family who would be quarantining together. "We’re keeping it very close to what everyone is doing," he assured. The Conners returns Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. For more on the sitcom from PopCulture, click here.