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That '70s Show Creators Initially Turned Down That '90s Show Not Once, But Twice

With today's movie and TV industry heavily relying on remakes and reboots, it's no surprise that some long-forgotten shows are returning to the small screen. One of the biggest surprises of 2022 is the return of "That '70s Show," tackling another era in human history with "That '90s Show." Fans of "That '70s Show" will undoubtedly feel old thinking about a show that paints the '90s as a historical period — we're further away from the '90s than "That '70s Show" was from the '70s when it premiered. Regardless, "That '90s Show" looks to recapture the magic of its stoner-filled predecessor, with most of the previous cast returning in smaller roles.

Netflix released the trailer for "That '90s Show" the other day, giving fans a good look at what to expect from the upcoming sequel series. The show takes fans back to the Foreman household, with Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and Red (Kurtwood Smith) hosting their granddaughter Leia (Callie Haverda) and her friends. The new cast of young stars is up to shenanigans in the Foreman's basement, including underage drinking and smoking lots of weed. Netflix is keeping most of the plot details under wraps, but we know that Leia is the daughter of Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon), who spends the summer with her grandparents, and finds a new friend group during her time in Wisconsin.

Netflix was persistent about That '90s Show

It turns out that Netflix has been trying to get "That '90s Show" up and running for quite some time. Speaking with Variety, "That '70s Show" creators Bonnie and Terry Turner reflected on the process of getting "That '90s Show" developed. Netflix reached out to the creative couple about rebooting their series with the '90s setting, and the duo quickly declined their offer. However, after discussing the idea, the Turners again decided not to proceed with the project. They didn't forget about the idea, though.

During the COVID lockdown, Bonnie and Terry Turner continued mulling over a potential reboot. They began theorizing ideas after the success of the "Roseanne" reboot, "The Conners." The husband-wife duo came up with the idea of Eric's surprise love child meeting his grandparents Kitty and Red. In a surprise change of events, Netflix rejected the idea, stating that audiences generally don't react well to those plot ideas. The Turners returned to the drawing board, bringing in their daughter, Lindsey Turner, and "That '70s Show" writer Greg Mettler to assist. Together, the team created the concept for the Netflix series, and the streaming giant moved forward with the project.

"We agreed amongst ourselves, we weren't going to do it unless we could find a reason," Lindsey Turner told Variety. "And the thing that Greg said that I really loved, and I know mom and dad did too, was the '90s was the last time that people were looking up, they weren't looking down at their phones. It was that last place of a real kind of engagement, having to make your own fun and really connecting with each other."

"That '90s Show" hits Netflix on January 19, 2023.