Hello again, Wisconsin!
The new series, “That ’90s Show,” will take place in 1995. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp are reprising their roles as Red and Kitty Forman — parents of Topher Grace’s Eric — from the original show, which is a relief for fans because they were the real stars all along. The storyline will pick up more than a decade from where the original show left off when it wrapped up in 2006.
Netflix’s press release about the upcoming spinoff gives a basic overview of the new show’s focus as Red and Kitty transition to life as grandparents in a new decade:
“It’s 1995 and Leia Forman, daughter of Eric and Donna, is visiting her grandparents for the summer where she bonds with a new generation of Point Place kids under the watchful eye of Kitty and the stern glare of Red. Sex, drugs and rock ’n roll never dies, it just changes clothes.”
Smith confirmed the news on Twitter. Apparently, he’d been keeping the scoop to himself for a while.
— Kurtwood Smith (@tahitismith) October 8, 2021
Fans of “That ’70s Show” shared their excitement (and a little bit of concern) upon hearing Red and Kitty Forman were returning to TV. Twitter user @Ryderx90 even shared a Red Forman meme to emphasize his enthusiasm for the gruff TV dad’s brand of “tough love.”
— There’s A Saint In All of Us (@Ryderx90) October 9, 2021
Another fan, @ClassicGJ, posted an optimistic tweet featuring Red and Kitty but recalled the ill-fated spinoff from the early 2000s that many fans might like to forget.
Why am I only just learning that 'That 70's Show' is returning, but set in the 90s!? The original still holds up, & if nothing else seeing Red and Kitty again will be worth the price of entry… I just hope it's not the disaster that 'That 80's Show' was #That90sShow pic.twitter.com/furiwgBWWZ
— Rob – Clive'N'Wrench (@ClassicGJ) October 10, 2021
To be fair, “That ’80s Show,” which ran for 13 episodes on Fox in 2002, didn’t feature any of the beloved original cast from “That ’70s Show,” which is where this one already has a leg up.
“That ’70s Show” ran for 200 episodes over eight seasons from 1998-2006 on Fox. Other original cast members who have gone on to great success include Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Laura Prepon, whose character, Donna, is mentioned in the synopsis for “That ’90s Show.”
Netflix did not make a formal announcement about any of the other original cast members joining “That ’90s Show,” but fans are keeping their fingers crossed that at least some of them will make an appearance. Given that Prepon had such a major role in the streaming network’s hit “Orange is the New Black,” it doesn’t seem too far-fetched that she’d pop up somewhere.
Original “That ’70s Show” co-creators Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner will return to pen the scripts for “That ’90s Show.” Netflix did not announce a premiere date in its release but said it had approved a 10-episode initial run for the new sitcom.