The Conners has two live episodes in the books. And if producer Bruce Helford has anything to say about it, we might watch another one in the future.
The first time The Conners taped in front of a live studio audience was during season two’s episode titled Live From Lanford. And the second was during season 4 for Trucking Live in Front of a Fully Vaccinated Studio Audience.
During an interview with Pop Culture, executive producers Bruce Helford and Dave Caplan admitted that they may go for a third live show—because Helford can’t get “enough” of the thrill. But the actors, however, would be fine with never performing live again.
“Well, I never have enough of it. The actors had enough of it before they ever did the first one,” Helford joked. “It was really hard for the actors. It was so amazing to me. Laurie Metcalf [who plays Jackie] is a theatre actress and an improv master. And when I said to her, ‘We’re going to do something live,’ she goes, ‘Oh, no.’ She goes, ‘When I go on a theater stage, I’ve rehearsed for months.’ She goes, We only rehearse for a week.'”
‘The Conners’ Will Only Go Live if ‘There’s a Reason to do it”
But Bruce Helford admitted that the castmembers would agree to another studio taping if he asked, and “they’d do it beautifully.” But there has to be a good reason to make the effort.
The first live The Conners episode included live commentary from the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary. And the second was an interactive experience where fans video chatted with the actors and pretended to be extended family members.
So, the perfect opportunity has to present itself for Helford to go for three.
“Just doing a show live isn’t enough for us,” he continued. “Because really, that’s all about just seeing whether the actors can remember the lines and kind looking for flubs and stuff like that. This is really much more interesting for us.
So currently, Helford is trying to hatch a plan for another live Conners episode. And he’s up to the challenge.
“If we come with another idea, or if I come up with another idea that they don’t need, then we might try it again,” he said. “Each time we do it, there’s lots of dread and anticipation. And then afterward, everybody goes, ‘That was really fun.’ So we’re always happy after it’s over.”
But Helford’s co-producer Dave Caplan isn’t nearly as excited about the prospect. And he’d rather call off the day The Conners cast does another live performance.
“When we do another one, Bruce, you’ll phone me on an island someplace and let me know how it went,” he added at the end of the interview. “O.K.?”