That '90s Show part 3 won't have more original cast cameos (but one directed every episode!)

Laura Prepon remains the only That '70s Show star returning for the spinoff, and she has an even bigger role behind the camera in part 3.
That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Laura Prepon as Donna, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty in episode 202 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2024
That ‘90s Show. (L to R) Laura Prepon as Donna, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty in episode 202 of That ‘90s Show. Cr. Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2024 /

If you binge-watched all eight episodes of That '90s Show part 2, then you likely discovered the cold hard truth: There are no more cameos from the original teen cast of That '70s Show, apart from Laura Prepon as Donna. And when the Netflix sitcom returns with part 3, the series will continue down that path as the next generation, under the guidance of Red and Kitty, makes their own way.

Mila Kunis previously confirmed that she and on-screen and real-life husband Ashton Kutcher would not reprise their roles as Jackie and Kelso. The pair appeared in the first season to help set the stage and establish their characters' teenage son Jay as one of the new cast members. Topher Grace also didn't return, and neither did Wilmer Valderrama — even though Fez was dating Gwen and Nate's mom.

Speaking with TV Line, That '90s Show showrunner Gregg Mettler addressed the questions surrounding the original series cast cameos and what the future holds for them. Unfortunately, part 3 doesn't appear to be planning any surprise cameos from Fez or Eric. Mettler touched on the fact that the original cast members are busy, and he wanted the spinoff to solidify its own identity.

"We always hope to have everybody back. We come up with ideas, we bat things around… but when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, it’s about scheduling. To commit our time to fleshing out a story and writing a script, we have to know that, for example, Wilmer will be available. Just from a purely practical production standpoint, if it gets unpredictable, that’s challenging. Wilmer’s busy, so we decided to let the show be about our kids and let it stand more on its own this season. I will be grateful for the rest of eternity for the contributions of the legacy cast members from That ’70s Show in Part 1. Them returning was a blessing, and they handed the show off in a delightful way. "

Gregg Mettler, showrunner

However, Mettler confirms that Prepon will be back on-screen as Leia's mother Donna and she's taken on an even bigger role behind the scenes. As the showrunner reveals to TV Line, Prepon directed "the entire part 3, and she performed a lot in it." That's great news! Prepon's role as Donna was limited in part 2, but it sounds like she will be hanging around Point Place a lot more in part 3.

When That '90s Show first premiered in January 2023, Prepon both appeared in multiple episodes and directed the final two episodes of the 10-episode season. The rest were directed by Gail Mancuso, who directed all eight episodes of part 2. According to Mettler, Prepon took over the director's chair from Mancuso for all eight episodes of part 3.

Apart from Red and Kitty, who Mettler calls "the heart of the show," That '90s Show looks to rely less on That '70s Show nostalgia moving forward. "Focusing on our characters now, and weaving in That ’70s Show people, is a recipe that works for us," he explained to TV Line. Even though some aspects of part 2 didn't work, the stronger focus on the new teens was the biggest win.

On the bright side, the showrunner also suggested that with future seasons beyond parts 2 and 3, the series could branch out beyond summer. The first season took place in the summer of 1995 and season 2 (parts 2 and 3) in the summer of 1996. If there's a season during the holidays, the school year, or the lead up to summer, the door could open to potential cameos from Grace, Kutcher, or Kunis. We'll have to wait and see what happens next in Point Place, Wisconsin.

Stay tuned for more That '90s Show news and updates from Netflix Life!