'The Conners' Season 3 Trailer Reveals How COVID Has Affected Their Lives -- Plus, a Clooney Nod! (Exclusive)

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The Conners is tackling the pandemic.

The ABC comedy returns for a third season in two weeks and a lot has changed since we last saw the family. Now, like the rest of the world, Dan (John Goodman) and the rest of the Conner clan are grappling with their new reality, as depicted in ET's exclusive premiere of the official trailer.

"If it's death, I'm kissing it right on the mouth," Dan says as he answers the doorbell. Another scene from the trailer shows Dan's face shield-protected grandson, Mark (Ames McNamara), questioning him about his symptoms to determine if he may have coronavirus. 

And it's clear lockdown has affected the Conners financially as well. "We need money. Right now Becky could be out selling her body out on the street," Darlene (Sara Gilbert) throws out, prompting Becky (Lecy Goransson) to deadpan, "Thanks, it's tough to keep in hooker shape."

When Dan discovers that Wellman Plastics is hiring 200 employees, it's the perfect time to give a little nod and a wink to former Roseanne star George Clooney, who played Wellman Plastics foreman Booker Brooks. 

"The supervisor looked just like George Clooney," Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) jokes about her ex's lookalike, before the trailer throws back to Jackie and Booker's original meet cute. "Man, I shoulda hit that until I broke it!" 

The 90-second trailer offers a classic Conners take on their current situation. "Are we still poor? Are we still hopeless? Is our future still bleak? You're damn right they are," Dan says, with Jackie chiming in, "Bleaker than ever." "That's right, but we're Conners. We're going to get through this the way we always do -- we're going to watch TV, drink beer and we're going to blame all our troubles on the government."

This season, the Conner family will face the pandemic head-on as they continue to navigate the daily struggles of life in Lanford, and as they grapple with parenthood, dating, financial pressures and aging in working-class America. 

"The characters were built for disaster, and we've been following their life and their trials through all the things that have been going on since the 1980s. It just seemed natural that we would be in the middle of this and do it," executive producer Bruce Helford told reporters during The Conners' virtual press panel on Sept. 30. "I know there are a lot of shows that probably aren't going to be reflecting what's really going on, but we felt that it was an obligation to our viewers and to stay relevant and to show them what it's like for a family that knows how to get through hard times but is thrown a curve like never before."

"We're going to continue [to address the pandemic]," Helford confirmed. "We've already shot four episodes. You have to do a little bit of crystal‐ball gazing to figure this out. We are going to continue with the pandemic probably throughout most, if not all, the episodes, assuming that there's going to be at the very least certainly hot spots or things like that. God willing, we'll be doing it long after it's gotten better in America."

The Conners premieres Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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