That ‘90s Show’s Kurtwood Smith Told Us What Convinced Him The Netflix Comedy Would Survive The Dreaded One-Season Cancellation

 Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith seated next to each other on couch in That '90s Show.
Credit: Netflix

Although one needs a Peacock subscription to stream That ‘70s Show following its original run on Fox from 1998 to 2006, those with a Netflix subscription have exclusive access to the follow-up series That ‘90s Show. In February 2023, one month after Season 1 premiered, Netflix renewed the show for Season 2, and now Part 1 of that batch of episodes is just a few days away from hitting the 2024 TV schedule. Of course, That ‘90s Show is available at a time when TV is consumed a lot different compared to when its predecessor aired, with many streaming shows being cancelled after just one season, but Kurtwood Smith told CinemaBlend what convinced him that this comedy series would avoid that fate.

Smith and Debra Jo Rupp are back once again to play Red and Kitty Foreman as series regulars on That ‘90s Show, and I had the privilege of getting to speak with these two about their work on Season 2. I kicked off our conversation by asking the actors what part of their experience working on Season 1 was proof that they’d return for another season, and Smith responded:

The kids… You pretty much knew what you were gonna get from Debra Jo and I, but the kids were a big question. They were terrific right off the bat. I think they’re even better now, but a very talented group. They got the show, they understood the basic sense of humor for the show.

Although That ‘90s Show Season 1 did feature other That ‘70s Show alums recurring/guest starring alongside Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, it’s Callie Haverda’s Leia Foreman, Red and Kitty’s granddaughter, and her group of friends in Point Place that are the focus this time around. Season 1 saw Leia staying the summer with her grandparents in the summer of 1995 and becoming close with Mace Coronel’s Jay Kelso (yes, Michael and Jackie are his parents), Ashley Aufderheide’s Gwen Runck, Maxwell Acee Donovan’s Nate Runck, Reyn Doi’s Ozzie and Sam Morelos’ Nikki. Smith was quickly impressed by his younger costars when he started working with them in Season 1, and now he thinks even more highly of them with Season 2 behind them.

As you can hear, Debra Jo Rupp also chimed in by saying the quality of the writing was what tipped her off that That ‘90s Show would be back for another season. As a bonus, Season 2 will be comprised of 16 episodes rather than 10 like last time, although this new season is being split into two parts of eight episodes each. In addition to following along with Leia and her friends’ antics in the summer of 1996, fans can also look forward to Don Stark’s Bob Pinciotti having an expanded role and the return of Seth Green’s Mitch Miller.

That ‘90s Show Season 2, Part 1 arrives this Thursday, June 27, and Part 2 will follow on October 24. Don’t forget to browse through the other best shows on Netflix if you’re wanting to hang around the platform.