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That '70s Show - Series overview

played characters character forman

Bought by the Fox Network, the first season premiered in August of 1998. The series was suprisingly successful and rated very highly among the coveted demographics of teens and 18-49. The series lasted a total of eight seasons in all, seven with the principal cast intact.


The principal cast of the show, 1998-2005.

The series follows several teenagers, with the focus on everyman wallflower Eric Forman, portrayed by Topher Grace. Laura Prepon played Donna Pinciotti, his feminist, liberal girlfriend. Danny Masterson played stoner neighbor Stephen Hyde. Ashton Kutcher played the dumb, but gorgeous stud Michael Kelso. Mila Kunis played the popular, narcissistic cheerleader Jackie Burkhart and Wilmer Valderrama played the lusty, heavily-accented, foreign exchange student, Fez. Fez stands for “Foreign exchange student,” the spelling being subject to poetic license.

Several other main characters include veteran and control-freak Red Forman played by Kurtwood Smith. Debra Jo Rupp played Eric’s smothering mother, Kitty who works as a full-time nurse as well as housewife and mother. Laurie Forman, portrayed by Lisa Robin Kelly and Christina Moore played Eric’s listless older sister. Though her loose morals are the subject of many of the teenagers’ jokes, Kelso still puts the moves on her. Also as a focal point of the show is the relationship between Bob and Midge Pinciotti portrayed by Don Stark and Tanya Roberts. The characters are dim-witted and silly, letting the trends and influences of the ’70s reign supreme in both their motivations in life and the choices they make. This lends undue stress on their marriage. Beloved funny-man Tommy Chong appears regularly as Leo, the ex-hippie owner of the Foto Hut. Kitty also had a pet dog named Schotzie.

The principal cast of the show, 2005-2006.

The characters of Eric Forman and Michael Kelso were written out at the end of the seventh season. The actors who played these characters, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher wanted out of the show. Topher would go on to appear in Spider-man 3 and Ashton in The Guardian. A new character, Randy Pearson, portrayed by Josh Meyers was brought in to fill the gap Eric’s character left behind. Jud Taylor was also introduced as Sam, Hyde’s new wife. The character of Leo returned as a series regular as well. The show’s long-running opening that showed each character singing the theme song while partying in Eric’s car was also changed. The new opening showed each character singing the theme song while seated in a circle during a drug-induced confession session. The character Red frowns madly at the camera and Leo appears looking confused throughout the duration. Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace both returned for the show’s Series Finale as staple characters Eric Forman and Michael Kelso.

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