Tonight, “The Conners” joins the pantheon of live sitcom episodes with “Live From Lanford.” That’s right — the original iteration of “Roseanne” never got the chance to partake in this more contemporary sitcom rite of passage, and neither did the revival (for different reasons), but now, their successor will.
And tonight’s episode of “The Conners” isn’t just live: It’s specifically tied to the 2020 Presidential race, because why not?
“Live From Lanford” is the 12th episode of “The Conners” Season 2. The series 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, and Jayden Rey as Mary Conner.
Here is the official live episode synopsis, from ABC:
“Mark is watching the results of the primary for a school report with Harris, 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.”
As “The Conners” showrunner Bruce Helford told Variety regarding the thought process behind this episode, “How can we do something that’s live — that takes advantage of live — that can’t be done in the other situation?”
Written by Helford, Bruce Rasmussen, and Dave Caplan and directed by Jody Margolin Hahn, like other live sitcom episodes, “Live From Lanford” will be performed live for both the East coast and West coast broadcasts. And as we all know, anything can happen on live TV — especially when you tie in real-time results from an election. We also know how anything can happen when it comes to getting political results in a “timely” fashion, even when there’s a set plan; but unlike the Iowa caucuses last week, this should go far smoother.
The New Hampshire Primary
The specific political results that tie into tonight’s live episode of “The Conners” will be those of the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary. In fact, ABC News coverage of the New Hampshire primary will be incorporated into the story in real-time as the results roll in during the evening.
Polls start closing tonight at 7 p.m. ET, with results expected to start arriving at 8 p.m. ET — which makes for perfect timing for both live broadcasts of “Live From Lanford.”
Where and How to Watch
“The Conners” will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET (for the East coast broadcast) and then live again on ABC at 8 p.m. PT (for the West coast broadcast). ABC is also available to stream live on Hulu Live TV and on the ABC app (with participating TV providers).