When The Conners returns to the airwaves sometime this fall, the family will be experiencing the same challenges that the rest of the world is due to COVID-19, as the pandemic will be a big part of the storyline.
The Conners Returns
ABC made that pretty clear on its official poster for the sitcom’s upcoming third season, which features the characters of Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky, and D.J. all wearing masks made from the family’s signature afghan.
According to TVLine, exec producer Bruce Helford was quick to confirm that The Conners would be living life in a COVID-19 pandemic world.
“We’ll absolutely be dealing with it,” he said. “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.”
Sara Gilbert, who plays Darlene on the show and is also an executive producer, appeared on Good Morning America and revealed The Conners will deal with quarantine issues as well as face other COVID-19 challenges.
“There’s definitely some [COVID] fatigue setting in,” she said.
Still, the actress knows that people look to TV as an escape and may not want to be reminded of what they are dealing with day in and day out.
“People probably also want a break to some degree and not always be hearing about the pandemic,” she said on GMA. “There are storylines that touch on it. It affects each of our lives in terms of our livelihood. But we also have a lot of storylines that are not related [to COVID-19]. You see [us wearing] masks, but it’s not always front and center in every storyline.”
Production on the new season began last week, marking the first broadcast sitcom to get back to work. When last we saw the family, Becky was harboring her baby-daddy, who was on the lam from immigration officials, Darlene and Ben were fighting as they entered a new chapter in the relationship, and Dan and Louise seemed to be on the way to love. But with the luck this family has had over the years, expect lots of complications in all of their lives in the season ahead.