Why Ashton Kutcher Is Returning For That '90s Show

Sitcom revivals are a dime a dozen these days, but until news broke about Netflix's "That '90s Show," a "That '70s Show" redux has never seemed likely. For one thing, the show already tried as much way back in 2002, with a poorly received spin-off called "That '80s Show" (starring Glenn Howerton, no less). For another, the show had a beautiful send-off after eight seasons, reuniting Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) and ending with the Point Place gang ushering in a new year and a new decade.

Yet, somehow, not only is "That '90s Show" really happening, but it's shaping up to include appearances by most of the major cast members from the original series. The Netflix continuation focuses on a new generation of suburban Wisconsin kids, led by Eric and Donna's daughter Leia (Callie Haverda). While Debra Jo Rupp's peppy Kitty and Kurtwood Smith's stern Red lead the returning cast as Leia's grandparents, other castmates have been teasing their returns since the series was first announced.

Most recently, Ashton Kutcher spoke to Variety about reprising the role of Michael Kelso, prime-time's most adorably clueless himbo. The dopey, hilarious character left the show in season 8 for a job at the Chicago Playboy club, but returned to share one last smoke with his friends — and to fall off the water tower one last time — in the series finale. So where's Kelso now? That information seems to be under wraps for the time being (I for one hope he's inexplicably landed a smart guy job, like astrophysicist), but the actor did open up about returning to the series after fifteen years away.

Kelso was Kutcher's breakout role

Kutcher says he and wife/former co-star Mila Kunis recognize that the show launched both their careers, so they felt it was right to return one more time. "We thought, 'Listen, we're only in the position that we're in because of that show, so let's just go back and do this," Kutcher told Variety. Apparently they'll appear as guest stars, as will Grace, Prepon, and Wilmer Valderrama, who played exchange student Fez. Last week, Valderrama shared a photo of his script on Twitter, along with the caption, "Now if I could just remember the accent.."

So far, it sounds like the cast reunion has been nothing but a good time. "We just went back and had fun for a week," Kutcher told Variety. "It was so random and fun." The actor also said being back on set felt nostalgic, especially given that the new series is being made by "all the same folks that made 'That '70s Show.'" Original series creators Bonnie and Terry Turner are returning, along with co-executive producer Gregg Mettler.

Though we probably won't know what Eric, Donna, Kelso, and Jackie have been up to in the past fifteen years until the show debuts on Netflix, the new cast of characters has already been revealed. Alongside protagonist Leia, THR reports that the new kids on the block include Riot Grrl Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide), video store clerk Jay (Mace Coronel), sarcastic Ozzie (Reyn Doi), Type-A Nikki (Samantha Morelos), and Gwen's Garth Brooks-loving brother Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan). 

Netflix has yet to announce a release date for "That '90s Show."