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The Mind-Blowing Realization That Hit Laura Prepon After That '70s Show's 100th Episode

For the 100th episode of "That '70s Show," the endearing series put together a unique musical episode, following the lead of early-2000s shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Scrubs" that had success with the gimmick. 

In the "'70s" episode, Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) was preparing for a big upcoming performance for the Spring Sing and, along the way, has multiple fantasies in which the characters sing and dance to chart-topping pop hits such as "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Happy Together."

According to Bright Star Musical, the cast of the show actually sang the songs, although their singing talents left something to be desired. In a Reddit thread, the musical episode was dubbed the worst of the series, placing much of the blame on the singing voices of the actors. Others on the thread defend the episode, however, with some fans even calling the polarizing centennial episode one of the best of the series. As it would turn out, the musical episode would mark a halfway point; "That '70s Show" ran for exactly 200 episodes. 

Laura Prepon, who played Donna Pinciotti, was one of the few actors to appear in every single installment in the series. In the musical episode, she can be seen performing the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" in one of the show's signature 360 degree scenes; she also appears in the cast renditions of "Sing" by The Carpenters and Peaches and Herb's "Shake Your Groove Thing." 

Prepon can also be seen in the musical number "Love Hurts," a song made popular in the '70s as a cover by the hard rock band Nazareth; in that sequence, however, a professional singing voice is dubbed over hers. During the making of this somewhat controversial 100th episode, Prepon came to a realization about the future of the show.

Laura Prepon realized the show would live on forever in syndication

In a behind-the-scenes interview timed to the finale of "That '70s Show," Laura Prepon talked about her realization that the show would live on long beyond what anyone could have initially anticipated. 

"When we hit 100 episodes, then I realized like, oh my god, there's going to be reruns of us on forever," she said, adding that part of the fun in watching "That '70s Show" is in enjoying the cast as they grow in confidence, camaraderie and skill. "Our shows [at the beginning] were great, because I think the whole new fresh thing of us just starting out and being really nervous adds an element that is really fun. [In later episodes], we're all professional and we've grown into ourselves... that makes it even better."

Prepon wasn't wrong about the show lasting forever. "That '70s Show" first went into off-network syndication while it was still on the air around fall of 2002, according to a Variety article from 2000. For decades, TV series viewed the 100-episode plateau as sacred, since it typically made a series desirable for five-days-a-week syndication and a significant new revenue stream.

Today, however, a lot of fans watch television primarily through streaming services. Like many series, "That '70s Show" hit a bit of a bump in the road in terms of streaming. 

In 2019, Deadline reported that Carsey-Werner, the production company who own the rights to "That '70s Show," were shopping around the show with Netflix's deal for the show expiring, stating that Netflix would get the first opportunity to buy the show. The deal was never extended, however, and the series abruptly left Netflix in September of 2020; it wouldn't find a new streaming home for two years, finally getting resurrected on Peacock (per TVLine). Now that it's once again available to stream, Prepon's realization once again seem prescient, as fans just might be rewatching these episodes forever.