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What year is the series set in?


Obviously a series called That 90s Show takes place during the Nineties – but what actual year is the Netflix revival set in?

There’s no doubt Netflix spared no expense in crafting its latest sitcom. Based on one of America’s funniest television series, That 70s Show, Netflix returns with a new comedic show.

That 90s Show picks up 20 years after its predecessor, this time focusing on Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), daughter of former protagonist Eric Forman (Topher Grace), and granddaughter of the dynamic duo Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp).

Leia soon meets a band of like-minded misfits to hang around Wisconsin with, kicking off a series of summertime shenanigans. Red is once again subject to even more teenagers populating his basement on a regular basis.

That 90s Show © Netflix | Patrick Wymore

Familiar faces return as many characters from the original series pop up from time to time, much to the enjoyment of fans:

What year is That 90s Show set in?

The first season is set during the summer of 1995. A time before smartphones and the age of social media, That 90s Show brings to life an era many know and love.

As if the characters’ fashion and dialogue aren’t enough to give away the Nineties vibe, the first episode of the series features the Formans discussing renting The Little Mermaid on home video. Nothing screams nostalgic Nineties like a VCR.

Throughout the episodes of That 90s Show, various pieces of classic 1990s media feature. One scene even showcases a member of the gang watching the original teen series Beverly Hills, 90210. If that doesn’t establish a nostalgic mid-Nineties tone then nothing will.

That 90s Show © Netflix | Patrick Wymore

The creators originally said ‘NO’ to Netflix

In an interview with Variety, That 70s Show creator Terry Turner discussed how That 90s Show took some initial convincing.

Turner claims, along with co-creator Bonnie Turner, they both said no twice to the streaming giant. After a long debate and the involvement of many back and forths with Netflix, the Turners decided they would only agree if the idea was right.

Their daughter Lindsey told Variety:

“We agreed amongst ourselves, we weren’t going to do it unless we could find a reason.”

Finally, an idea was decided on and so was an era. The wait for the highly anticipated That 70s Show reboot is over, and the Turners helped produce a whole new generation of troublesome, fun-time teens.

As the first season takes place over the summer, the future season will also only be set during the summertime. This is due to Leia only making trips to her grandparents’ house in Wisconsin during the holiday period.

Terry Turner told Variety this was a way to avoid having to portray any schooling for the kids.

“Setting it only during the summer gets the whole school and having-to-go-to-class thing out of the way, which we discovered on the original show, that wasn’t where it was interesting. It was more interesting in the basement…”

The Forman’s basement has always been where the action was at. It’s at the heart of the original show, and fans of the Seventies-based sitcom will be more than delighted to see its return.

That 90s Show was released on Netflix on January 19, 2023. All ten episodes of the first season are available from release.

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