The Fun Way The Conners Is Changing Things Up For The Season 4 Premiere

the conners season 3 john goodman dan conner
(Image credit: ABC)

The Conners is less than a month away from returning to ABC, and the hit comedy is starting the fourth season off in an exciting way: with a live episode, performed first in Eastern Standard Time and then again in Pacific Standard Time for a live experience on both sides of the United States. While this won't be the first time that The Conners goes live for a special episode, there is another twist to the format that could make the Season 4 premiere even more fun for fans.

When The Conners returns with its live episode to start Season 4, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and the rest of the series regulars won't be the only ones performing live. ABC and The Conners are launching a special sweepstakes called "You Can Be A Conner," which gives fans the chance to make an appearance in the live Season 4 premiere.

Winners of the "You Can Be A Conner" sweepstakes will get to make a virtual appearance in The Conners Season 4 premiere, and it won't just be for the fans to drop a quick line and then be done with the whole experience. The winners will get a call from a member of the Conner family during the live broadcast for a conversation in which they'll discuss how they face the same kinds of issues that the Conner family faces daily.

And there won't just be one grand prize winner for each broadcast. The pool of entrants will be narrowed down into fifty finalists via random drawing. Following verification by the show and assignment to either the East Coast or West Coast broadcast, two grand prize winners for each of the two time zones will be selected. The contest has already opened up for entries at the sweepstakes' website, and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. ET on September 1, so there's a little under a week to put your name in if you want a shot to appear in the Season 4 premiere.

Considering that Season 3 wasn't the happiest of times for Becky, and the finale ended on a sad note for Darlene, hopefully the Season 4 premiere will pack in some fun for the fans who get to participate, not to mention those watching from home. The Conners was ABC's top comedy during Season 3, so if there's one thing that is all but certain, it's that plenty of people will tune in even in a competitive Wednesday night time slot.

Of course, The Conners did produce a live episode once already, with a broadcast back in February 2020 that was a "terrifying" prospect for Laurie Metcalf, despite all of her extensive background in live theater. It's not altogether surprising that ABC and The Conners are going for another live broadcast, even if handling the premiere that way is undoubtedly more complicated than filming ahead of time. The ratings for the first live episode last year gave the show some big boosts.

Plus, the show held onto some of its higher numbers following the first live episode. Although the audience did dip from 6.3 million viewers for the live episode to 5.54 million for the next, pre-filmed episode, The Conners held onto the 1.1 rating from week to week. If the numbers are in any way similar for the live Season 4 premiere, then this can undoubtedly be considered a win.

See how the live episode goes with the fan participation when The Conners returns for Season 4 on Wednesday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. The fall TV lineup is pretty stacked, so be sure to check out our premiere schedule to figure out what you want to watch and when you'll need to tune in.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).