Launching in 1998 and running for eight seasons, FOX’s That ’70s Show became a surprise hit, given its quirky title and cast of relatively unknown stars, though it ended up launching the careers of actors Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Topher Grace, and more. With more than 20 years having passed since its debut, a majority of the series’ stars are reuniting for the follow-up series That ’90s Show, with Kurtwood Smith recently teasing that the first episodes of the follow-up have been screened and earned “terrific” reactions. Smith can next be seen in Firestarter, which hits theaters and Peacock on May 13th.
“I can’t tell you too much, but I can tell you that the big thing for me was getting to play that character again and getting to play that character with Deborah Jo Rupp playing my wife Kitty,” Smith shared with ComicBook.com about the new show. “Those two things were enough to entice me to want to do the project. I thought that, and then third was the fact that Gregg … I’m spacing on his last name, that Gregg who was a writer from the original show was a writer on this, not just the writer, excuse me. He’s pretty much the creator on the show. Mettler is his last name.”
He added, “I’ll just say one other thing about That ’90s Show and that is that we’ve had some tests. We finished two episodes and the response has been terrific. So I think you’re going to be very happy.”
The new series is set to focus on the daughter of Eric (Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) when she goes to visit her grandparents (Smith and Rupp) for the summer. While many members of the original cast are slated to return, the series is said to focus instead on new characters.
Back in 2002, FOX attempted to capitalize on the success of That ’70s Show with the series That ’80s Show, with the only connection between the two projects being their premises centered around a specific time period.
The new Firestarter is described, “For more than a decade, parents Andy (Zac Efron; Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Greatest Showman) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon; Fear the Walking Dead, Succession) have been on the run, desperate to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong; American Horror Story: Double Feature, The Tomorrow War) from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Andy has taught Charlie how to defuse her power, which is triggered by anger or pain. But as Charlie turns 11, the fire becomes harder and harder to control. After an incident reveals the family’s location, a mysterious operative (Michael Greyeyes; Wild Indian, Rutherford Falls) is deployed to hunt down the family and seize Charlie once and for all. Charlie has other plans.”
Stay tuned for details on That ’90s Show. Firestarter hits theaters and Peacock on May 13th.