A variety of sources suggest that the That ’70s Show characters won’t feature heavily in That ’90s Show, which would be for the best. With That ’90s Show being a sequel to That ’70s Show, it would be natural for people to want the original characters to return. However, limiting the exposure of the older characters would ultimately be for the show’s benefit.
When That ’90s Show was first announced, Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith were the only That ’70s Show cast members set to appear, but in recent months, it’s been revealed that Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Wilmer Valderrama, and Tommy Chong will all be reprising their original roles as well. Based on that, it would sound like That ’90s Show will be a full continuation of everyone’s stories from That ’70s Show, in addition to being about Leia Forman’s summer in Point Place. However, this might not be the case. Kutcher stated in a recent interview that he was only on the set for a week (via Variety), so it’s likely that aside from Rupp and Smith, who were already announced as main characters, the That ’70s Show cast members will have very limited roles in the new show.
That being said, it’s better for That ’90s Show if the That ’70s Show characters weren’t in it that much. Even though the two shows are connected, That ’90s Show is supposed to be its own thing centered around a largely new cast of characters. Having all of the old characters be big players in That ’90s Show would detract from that, so keeping their roles limited can work to help the show stand on its own merits and win people over with its own characters and stories.
Nostalgia for That ’70s Show is the biggest reason why its characters should be limited in their appearances. With That ’90s Show being a sequel to That ’70s Show, it makes sense for characters from the original series to be involved in some way, either to show how their stories played out or to guide the new characters through their problems to an extent. It would also be easy for the show to become too focused on that, but by keeping everyone limited to guest appearances, all of that can be accomplished while still keeping the focus on the new characters and stories.
As of now, Debra Jo Rupp’s Kitty and Kurtwood Smith’s Red are the only That ’70s Show characters who will be major characters in That ’90s Show, but that’s for the best. Having all of the old characters take on major roles would detract from the new characters, so limiting their appearances can allow for the new characters and stories to properly shine while still tapping into nostalgia. It might be possible for the That ’70s Show characters to have larger roles if That ’90s Show is renewed for a second season, but as of right now, their having limited roles works perfectly for the show.
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