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The Watchman: ‘The Conners’ Goes Live, And You Can Too; Disney Channel Starts From Scratch on ‘Molly McGee’

The Conners on ABC
‘The Conners’ on ABC (Image credit: ABC/Robert Trachtenberg)

ABC starts season four of The Conners on Sept. 22 with a bang, with live episodes for both the East and West Coast. John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf and Lecy Goranson are in the cast. 

And you could be too. The show is holding a contest for fans, which will see lucky winners appear on the show — contacted on the phone by a cast member as the live episode rolls, and carrying on a convo as America watches. 

Executive producer Bruce Helford called the live episode “a love letter to the fans,” and a celebration as the nation slowly climbs out of pandemic purgatory. Each of the two live broadcasts plan to feature four surprise guests. “I have no idea what we’re going to talk to them about,” Helford said. “That’s the kind of live TV that I like the most.”

Interested parties can go to BeAConner.com for more information. 

Why does so much of America connect with the Conner clan? “There’s a certain trust the audience has with the actors,” Helford said. “They see their own families in the Conners.”

The Ghost and Molly McGee

‘The Ghost and Molly McGee' on Disney Channel (Image credit: Disney Channel)

The Ghost and Molly McGee premieres on Disney Channel Oct. 1. The animated show depicts Molly, a tween optimist, and Scratch, a grouchy ghost. A Scratch curse backfires, and he finds himself bound forever to Molly. She’s psyched. He is not. 

Bill Motz and Bob Roth created the series, and executive produce. Motz saw his upbeat personality emerge as the Molly character came to life. A pessimist, Roth saw the same thing happen with Scratch. 

“Molly is an extrovert and Scratch is an introvert. She’s an optimist, he’s a pessimist,” Roth said. “She’s happy-go-lucky, he’s just happy to go anywhere else but here.”

Motz and Roth have been working together for over 30 years. Their work includes Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures and The Penguins of Madagascar

The Ghost and Molly McGee has been in the works for 14 years. “We never found the right moment, the right circumstance where it just clicked,” said Motz. 

That finally happened. “There’s a sense of optimism and hope, and it felt like the right time for a show that leans into this kind of positivity,” Motz said. 

Ashly Burch voices Molly and Dana Snyder handles Scratch. “As soon as [Burch] came into the room, it was, that is Molly,” Roth said. 

Motz called Snyder “hilariously funny” and a deft improvisationalist. The chemistry between the ghost and Molly had to work for the show to work. “Dana and Ashly felt like best friends,” said Motz. “They had this camaraderie and chemistry.” λ

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.