The Conners live episode

Long after this year’s Iowa caucus should have been over and done with, the full results have still not yet been officially tallied. But ABC is hoping the same debacle won’t happen during next week’s New Hampshire primary, because today, the network announced that it will be airing a live broadcast of The Conners which will incorporate the real-time primary results into the episode itself. Get the details on the “Live From Lanford” episode below.

The Conners Live Episode

The Conners, ABC’s sitcom continuation of Roseanne (which hasn’t had former star Roseanne Barr on board since she was fired in 2018), is bringing politics into its next episode – literally. A network press release explains that the show will be performed live twice on the same night, once for East Coast audiences and again for the West Coast crowd, and “ABC News coverage of the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary will be incorporated into the story in real time as the results roll in during the evening.” Here’s the rundown of what to expect in the episode:

Mark (Ames McNamara) is watching the results of the primary for a school report with Harris (Emma Kenney), who is apathetic to the electoral process and believes money’s influence in politics means real change is impossible. The rest of the Conners share their differing takes on why they all think everyone should vote, including their working-class perspective that you may have to vote for a candidate you don’t love but one that will “screw you the least.” All of this happens against the backdrop of romance when Louise (guest star Katey Sagal) gets an opportunity that might send her away from Lanford, prompting the family to interfere in Dan’s (John Goodman) complicated relationship with her by throwing Louise a surprise going-away party, creating major new tensions between Dan and his daughters.

The Conners, and Roseanne before it, never shied away from political discussions: issues of class and economics have been baked into the show’s DNA from the beginning. And while I appreciate the sentiment behind trying to convince audiences to actually vote in the presidential election this year (especially when so many Americans stay home on Election Day), it seems like this live broadcast might be setting itself up for a bit of a stumble.

Will the election results actually be reported in time to factor into the episode? Will audiences be interested in seeing such open political discussion taking place when they’re likely just looking for a piece of turn-off-your-brain entertainment?Is this all just one big piece of corporate synergy from ABC? I suppose we’ll find out soon, because the episode airs at 8:00pm/7:00pm Central on February 11, 2020.

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