Make no mistake: The Conners are definitely pro-mask.
ABC on Thursday released the official poster for the ABC sitcom’s forthcoming, quarantine-themed third season, and it features Dan, Darlene, Becky, Jackie and D.J. all proudly sporting masks (made out of the family’s signature afghan, naturally).
TVLine broke the news last spring that the coronavirus crisis will be incorporated into The Conners‘ third season. “We’ll absolutely be dealing with it,” confirmed exec producer Bruce Helford. “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 stories. They’d be taking jobs that put them at risk because they need the money, like most of blue collar America.”
Appearing on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, series star and EP Sara Gilbert said the new season — which will premiere this fall (exact date TBD) — will attempt to find the right balance between art and real-life because “there’s definitely some [COVID] fatigue” setting in.
“People probably also want a break to some degree and not always be hearing about the pandemic,” she added. “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.”
The Conners officially started production on Season 3 last week, the first broadcast sitcom to get back to work since last winter’s industry-wide shutdown. Producers are enforcing “extremely rigorous safety and health protocols” that are aligned with all state and local requirements as well as union and industry guidelines for production. In other words, the Wednesday-bound show will be shot with minimal crew and without an in-studio audience.
Scroll down for a look at the complete Season 3 poster, and then scroll down further to watch Gilbert’s full GMA interview.