‘The Conners’ To Open Season 4 With Live Premiere

·4 min read

ABC’s top comedy series The Conners has set its second live episode — the upcoming Season 4 premiere on Sept. 22. The announcement was made during the network’s portion of the summer TCA virtual press tour.

<img class=" wp-image-1234822346" src="https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?w=825&quot; alt=" - Credit: ABC" width="278" height="345" srcset="https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg 930w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=121,150 121w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=242,300 242w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=825,1024 825w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=48,60 48w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=352,437 352w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=150,186 150w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=110,137 110w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=285,354 285w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=193,240 193w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=320,397 320w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=386,480 386w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=640,795 640w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=483,600 483w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=800,994 800w, https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Picture1.jpg?resize=618,768 618w" sizes="(max-width: 278px) 100vw, 278px" />ABC

More from Deadline

The cast of the blue-collar family sitcom will perform live for both the East and West Coast broadcasts, joined by surprise guests as well as virtual appearances by fans.

ABC and The Conners are launching the “You Can Be A Conner” sweepstakes. As part of the storyline in the episode, a Conner family member will call each sweepstakes winner for a live conversation regarding how they deal with some of the same life issues that the Conners navigate on a daily basis, adding an improv element to the telecast as actors interact with viewers live on the air.

“We’re going to be calling our friends, randomly selected, and talking to them live on air about their lives and how they relate to the Conners and their lives,” the series’ executive producer/showrunner Bruce Helford said today during ABC’s portion of TCA. “It’s never been done before and its going to be something pretty special.”

The Conners first went live on the night of the New Hampshire primary in February 2020. Helford previously had staged annual live episodes of ABC’s The Drew Carey Show, which he co-created and executive produced.

Having done at least three live episodes of The Drew Carey Show — one year performing four times live for each of the four U.S. time zones — Helford was itching to do it with The Conners too to take advantage of “this amazing cast,” he told Deadline ahead of the show’s first live telecast last year. Despite some resistance from actors who were terrified by the idea of going live, he was able to convince them that “it is really going to be fun.”

The Conners stars John Goodman as Dan Conner, Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Lecy Goranson as Becky Conner-Healy, Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner, Emma Kenney as Harris Conner-Healy, Ames McNamara as Mark Conner-Healy, Jayden Rey as Mary Conner and Jay R. Ferguson as Ben.

The series, from Werner Entertainment. is executive produced by Tom Werner, along with Sara Gilbert, Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez. The series is from Werner Entertainment.

ABC also has the Live In Front of a Studio Audience franchise, which was grounded by the pandemic but is expected to return.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.