That ’70s Show debuted in 1998. Not that long after the end of the era the show took place in. Something to keep in mind when thinking about the new That ’70s Show spinoff announced by Netflix. Because while it might seem way too soon for this sequel, it’s even farther away from its setting than the original show was from its own. The popular sitcom is getting another spinoff—hopefully, one that is actually good this time—with That ’90s Show.
The creators of That ’70s Show are heading back to Wisconsin for more fun with the Forman family. Original series alum Gregg Mettler will serve as the showrunner. And original series creators Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner will join as executive producers. As will two stars who will also reprise their roles and executive produce. Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, who played Red and Kitty, are back to look after their grandkid.
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Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix:
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.
Netflix has finally revealed its teenage cast. Callie Haverda is playing Leia Forman; Ashley Aufderheide is the loyal and rebellious Gwen; Mace Coronel is aspiring filmmaker Jay; Maxwell Acee Donovan is Gwen’s older brother Nate; Reyn Doi is the insightful Ozzie; and Sam Morelos is Nate’s driven girlfriend, Nikki.
Here’s a little insight into their characters, from Netflix:
- Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen. Life gets more interesting for Leia when she meets this Riot Grrrl. Equal parts loyalty, rebellion and heart, Gwen is a dynamic powerhouse and the unofficial leader of the new generation of Point Place kids. Love Gwen. Fear her. Follow her.
- Callie Haverda as Leia Forman. Smart like her mom, snarky like her dad, Leia is craving adventure. She’s just not quite sure where or how to start. Until she discovers a best friend in the most unlikely of places: next door to her grandparents house in Point Place.
- Mace Coronel as Jay. Jay is charming and flirty—at least, he tries. It doesn’t always come out right. When he’s not hanging out with his best friend Nate or working at the local video store, he’s armed with a video camera and the whole world is his film set.
- Maxwell Acee Donovan as Nate. The polar opposite of his little sister, Gwen. Nate takes life as it comes, usually with a big open smile. He lets the gang ride in his van because there’s always something fun on the other side of the drive. He loves his family, his girlfriend and Garth Brooks.
- Reyn Doi as Ozzie. Everyone loves them some Ozzie. He’s insightful, sarcastic and has perspective beyond his years. Ozzie is gay and impatient with the world for not being as accepting as his friends.
- Sam Morelos as Nikki. Nikki is focused, smart, and driven. From the outside, you could easily see her becoming a doctor or a lawyer. But inside, she has more rebellion than a frustrated debutante and her boyfriend Nate can scratch that itch.
The multi-cam sitcom will premiere with a ten-episode first season. If you’re wondering why Netflix is skipping the ’80s then congratulations! You have no memory of the entirely unwatchable That ’80s Show. The first That ’70s Show spinoff series that haunted Fox’s airwaves for 13 terrible episodes in early 2002.
This premise makes perfect sense as a way to continue the series. Having original series cast member cameos will be easy and logical. We can’t wait to see the new kids on the block, though. We have a feeling this That ’70s Show spinoff will be very nostalgic.
Originally published October 8, 2021.