Grace takes off, Kutcher pulls part time
“That ’70s Show” may be back next season after all.
Execs at Fox and Carsey-Werner are doing the hustle in a bid to bring the show back for at least one more round of episodes, industry insiders said late last week. Most of the cast has agreed to come back for an eighth season, leaving Fox and C-W to hammer out the details of a new license fee agreement.
Nothing’s final yet, and even if the laffer does return, it won’t be exactly the same show.
Series regular Topher Grace, in press interviews hyping his feature “In Good Company,” has made it clear he’s leaving the Fox sitcom when it wraps production this spring. Indeed, in the current issue of People, Grace says he’s already dreading saying goodbye. “I never cry, like ever. Even at ‘Finding Nemo,’ ” Grace said. “But I’m going to just lose it.”
It’s also unlikely Ashton Kutcher, with his feature career and a burgeoning TV production biz via his Katalyst shingle, will return full-time, though insiders said he remains open to making appearances throughout the season.
Despite the absence of Grace and a reduced role for Kutcher, Fox and C-W still want to proceed with the show.
Ratings for “That ’70s Show” have taken a notable hit this season, mostly because of tough competish from ABC’s red-host “Lost.” Still, skein remains a solid performer for Fox, and with sitcoms suffering at all the webs, execs no doubt weren’t ready to give up on a show with a still-loyal fan base.
The laffer is also a major hit in syndication, and another cycle of episodes can only help C-W’s bottom line.
Reps for Fox and C-W declined comment.