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Why Is Wilmer Valderrama Not on That ‘90s Show Season 2?

by Scott Kacsmar
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Actor Wilmer Valderrama rose to fame for his role as Fez on the popular Fox sitcom That ‘70s Show, which aired from 1998 to 2006. He played Fez, a play on the phrase “foreign exchange student”, for all 200 episodes of the series run.

When it was announced that the show would get a sequel series on Netflix in the 2020s entitled That ‘90s Show, fans were excited to see Valderrama reprise his role as Fez as a guest star on the show.

But the 1st part of Season 2 of That ‘90s Show just dropped on Netflix, and Valderrama will not be seen in it or in the 2nd part when it releases later in 2024.

Why is Fez not appearing for more laughs set in the 1990s? Let’s look at the timeline of his experience with the show before betting on his appearance at top-rated sportsbooks

That ‘70s Show Puts Wilmer Valderrama on the Map

In 1998, the Fox network debuted what would become one of its most successful sitcoms of all time in That ‘70s Show. It follows a group of 6 teenage friends living in the fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin during the period of 1976 to 1979.

The show also had great casting with the parents of Eric Forman, the main character, played by Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp.

However, the teenagers were the stars, and the series made Hollywood stars out of actors Topher Grace (Eric), Laura Prepon (Donna Pinciotti), and it was also where Ashton Kutcher (Michael Kelso) and Mila Kunis (Jackie Burkhart) bonded and eventually married in real life in 2015.

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The 6th teen was Valderrama, who caught his big break in landing the role of Fez when he was a senior in high school himself. The running joke on his character was that you never knew exactly what country he was from as a foreign exchange student, and we watched him love Kunis’ Jackie from afar until it was finally reciprocated in the 8th and final season.

Fez was a flamboyant character and often a fan favorite throughout the long run of the show. It remains the biggest and most memorable role of Valderrama’s career to this day.

Life After That ‘70s Show for Wilmer Valderrama

Since That ‘70s Show ended, Valderrama has kept busy in film and television. He’s appeared in series like Awake (an underrated 2012 drama that was sadly canceled after a season), From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Minority Report (2015), and he has done voice acting in animated films such as Onward and Encanto.

Since Season 14, Valderrama has been a series regular on NCIS, the long-running CBS procedural about naval crime. He has been credited for 161 episodes as Nick Torres, a character he has also played in guest appearances on spinoff series such as NCIS: Hawai’i and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Fans of Valderrama will also be delighted to know he is involved with a new take on Zorro in a series that will eventually land on Disney+ with him in the lead role. But for anyone wanting to see more of Fez beyond repeats of the classic sitcom, you were in luck thanks to another streaming service.

That ‘90s Show Is Announced

With sequels, reboots, and bringing back old media franchises being all the rage these days, it was only a matter of time before someone did an update to That ‘70s Show.

It was going to involve some risk given the show was set at the end of the 1970s, but the creative team behind the original had a new idea for a sequel series called That ‘90s Show.

The idea was to set the show in the summer of 1995 with Leia Forman, the teenage daughter of Eric and Donna, making new friends and bonding with her grandparents, Red and Kitty. Smith and Jo Rupp both reprised their roles.

While the show was a new idea set in the same universe, it wouldn’t be truly connected without some key cameos and guest appearances. Sure enough, Grace, Prepon, Kutcher, Kunis, and Valderrama appear in the 1st season of That ‘90s Show.

Fez played a popular hair stylist and appeared in 3-of-10 episodes of the show. Naturally, there were still jokes about which country he was from.

How Has That ‘90s Show Been Received?

Bringing a sitcom with a laugh track back in 2023 with new characters and a 15-year time jump was never going to be easy, but you have to say That ‘90s Show has been a success so far.

While it will likely never touch the original series, it has a 75% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86% audience score, indicating favorable reviews.

The return of Fez was a high point for many viewers, and it was largely his idea for him to be a hair stylist with a commercial and everything:

The series was renewed by Netflix for a 16-episode Season 2 that will be split in 2 parts with Part 1 released on June 27, 2024 and Part 2 will release on October 24, 2024.

But do not expect those familiar faces to return in Season 2.

Why Is Wilmer Valderrama Not Returning for Season 2 of That ‘90s Show?

Despite 16 new episodes of That ‘90s Show coming this year, Valderrama is not expected to appear in any of them. He told PEOPLE Magazine in June a simple response for why he’s not going to appear.

“There’s no time!” he said. “We’re pushing 20 episodes a season [on NCIS], but at the same time, it’s the kids’ jobs,” a reference to the new crop of young actors playing the teens in the series. “This is their show now, and I think it was important that we came and pay respect to their show and have fun with the legacy of what we did,” he added. “At the same time, it was really about, you know, now seeing them take it over.”

So, there you have it. Valderrama is content with the way NCIS keeps him busy, and he is thrilled with the job the new cast has done with That ‘90s Show. He also had high praise for series creators Mark Brazill, Bonnie Turner, and Terry Turner.

“I created something that I’ll never forget, that changed my life,” said Valderrama of the role that launched and has defined his career to this day.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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