The Formans are coming back to television. Netflix has announced that they'll be giving That '70s Show a sequel series that will bring back at least two key members of the original cast. Dubbed That '90s Show, the spinoff brings back series creators Bonnie and Terry Turner. Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty Forman) are the only two cast members officially confirmed, but producers reportedly hope to secure other original stars as well.
The official description for That '90s Show reads, "Hello, Wisconsin! 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."
That '90s Show will consist of ten episodes, and Netflix will presumably order additional seasons if fans are receptive to the show. The multicam comedy series is executive produced by original series creators Bonnie and Terry Turner, Lindsey Turner, Marcy Carsey, and Tom Werner. Gregg Mettler will serve as showrunner.
That '70s Show debuted in 1998 on Fox, running for eight seasons and 200 episodes before concluding in 2006. Its ensemble cast included names like Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama, Danny Masterson, Kurtwood Smith, Debro Jo Rupp, Don Stark, and Tanya Roberts. Tommy Chong was also featured in a memorable recurring role.
While Netflix hopes to bring back several cast members for That '90s Show, odds are we won't see Danny Masterson returning as Stephen Hyde. The actor is in the midst of some very serious legal trouble as he's set to stand trial for allegations of sexual assault. Similar allegations were what led to Netflix previously firing Masterson already from his role in Ashton Kutcher's series The Ranch. Additionally, Tanya Roberts has since passed away.
Based on the success of That '70s Show, Fox hoped to do the same with a loose spinoff set in the '80s. Naturally, it was called That '80s Show, though it didn't feature any characters from its parent series crossing over, in part because the new show was so short-lived. Only lasting for one season, the show was canceled by Fox after thirteen episodes, and it's mostly forgotten about these days.
Needless to say, there's a certain risk in trying to do a spinoff of That '70s Show. Of course, That '90s Show will have the advantage of featuring at least two stars from the original series, making it more of a direct spinoff of That '70s Show. They might be a couple of decades older now, but it will be fun for fans to see Red and Kitty Forman again after all of these years. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp have since collaborated on other projects, but there's nothing quite like seeing the Formans together.
That '70s Show had been one of the most popular shows to watch on Netflix before the streamer lost the streaming rights. Perhaps they figured that the next best thing was to launch a sequel series with as many stars from the original show returning as possible. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.