That ’70s Show ran for eight seasons on Fox from 1998 to 2006 and launched the careers of several high-profile actors, including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, and Wilmer Valderrama. Set in the late 1970s, the period comedy centered around six teenage friends living in fictional Point Place, Wisconsin, as they navigate high school, friendships, and young love, processing it all by smoking tons of marijuana. The beloved sitcom has received continuous fanfare thanks to its longtime availability on Netflix, though it left the platform in September 2021. However, the streaming service announced on Oct. 8 that a spinoff titled That ’90s Show is in the works, and a few original cast members have already been confirmed to appear. Here’s everything to know about Netflix’s That ’90s Show, including its plot, cast, trailer, and release date.
Netflix’s That ’90s Show Plot
Alongside the series’ announcement on Oct. 8, Netflix revealed That ’90s Show, like its predecessor, will take place in Wisconsin. Set in 1995, the spinoff will center on Leia Forman, aka the daughter of Eric Forman (Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Prepon), as she visits her grandparents, Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith), in Point Place for the summer. There, she will form bonds with a new generation of teenagers and explore sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll — just like those who came before her.
Original series creators Bonnie and Terry Turner will work on That ’90s Show as executive producers, while co-creator Mark Brazill will act as showrunner. The series marks Terry Turner and Brazill’s second attempt to revive the franchise. Midway through the initial run of That ’70s Show, they joined forces to launch That ’80s Show in 2002, an indirect spinoff that centered on Eric’s cousin Corey Howard (Glenn Howerton) and his group of 20-something friends in San Diego, California. After one 13-episode season, That ’80s Show was canceled by Fox.
Netflix’s That ’90s Show Cast
While Netflix hasn’t announced the actors portraying Leia and her friends, the streaming service has confirmed Rupp and Smith will not only reprise their roles as Kitty and Red, but also serve as executive producers on the series.
It’s currently unclear whether Kutcher, Kunis, Grace, Prepon, or Valderrama will reprise their roles on That ’90s Show, though a few other characters aren’t expected to return for various disheartening reasons.
Lisa Robin Kelly, who played Eric’s older sister Laurie in Seasons 1-3, left the series in 2001 due to issues with alcohol abuse, per ABC News. She briefly returned to That ’70s Show for four episodes in Season 5 but was later replaced by Christina Moore for Season 6. In 2013, three months after she was arrested for a suspected DUI, Kelly checked herself into a California rehab center and passed away in her sleep on Aug. 15. The Los Angeles Department of Coroner later concluded that the 43-year-old actor died due to an accidental unspecified oral “multiple drug intoxication,” per Westside Today.
Kitty’s best friend and Donna’s mother, Midge Pinciotti, was played by Tanya Roberts, also known from ABC’s Charlie’s Angels and the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill. When her husband, Barry Roberts, fell terminally ill in 2001, she exited That ’70s Show after Season 3. The actor returned to the series for guest appearances in Seasons 6 and 7 before officially retiring from acting in 2005. After experiencing illness due to her history of hepatitis C, Roberts passed away on Jan. 4, 2021, at 65 years old.
Unlikely to return for That ’90s Show is Danny Masterson, the actor who played Steven Hyde, aka Eric’s best friend. After That ’70s Show, he went on to appear in films and television series, including Yes Man and Netflix’s The Ranch. In March 2017, four women accused Masterson of sexual assault, and a fifth woman made rape allegations in December 2017; he has denied all the accusations. In June 2020, he was charged with raping three women in the early 2000s. Masterson has continuously pleaded not guilty in court, and his next hearing is set for Nov. 10, 2021.
While many of the show’s other original cast members are still in touch, don’t count on them reprising their roles on That ’90s Show. In a 2016 interview with People, Valderrama simply said, “Fez will never happen again.” And he’s not the only one who’s denounced the idea of a reboot. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly the same year, Kutcher said, “That ’70s Show is a nostalgic show. I think it was nostalgic as it was being made, and now it’s nostalgic for a different reason. And I just don’t know that anything that we’re going to do that would be new would be better than what we did. And when you run that risk, I think it’s better to leave things alone.”
Netflix’s That ’90s Show Release Date & Trailer
Netflix has yet to unveil the release date or trailer for That ’90s Show. If it follows many of the streaming service’s other series, viewers can expect episodes to drop about a year after the show enters production, though that date is also to be determined.