That '70s Show was beloved by viewers so why was it cancelled after season 8? The period sitcom ran on Fox from August 1998 until May 2006. Not only was it a love letter to the 1970s, but it was also a brilliant comedy from the modern era about the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.
200 episodes aired during That '70s Show's eight-year run. It has since left a lasting legacy in the eyes of audiences who grew up alongside the series. Although the series was set in a different decade, it showcased likable characters in extremely relatable situations. That '70s Show focused on a group of teens living in a cookie-cutter kind of suburb. Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and his rag-tag group of friends often found themselves in some type of misadventure.
That '70s Show eventually branched out to focus on the other characters such as Donna (Laura Prepon), Hyde (Danny Masterson), Jackie (Mila Kunis), Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). Following That '70s Show season 6, the ratings were trending downward but they still held steady. After season 8, Fox decided That '70s Show had officially run its course so the series was cancelled.
Even when the series expanded its focus to other characters, Eric remained the central figure. Much of the series took place in his basement, after all. Actor Topher Grace concluded that he was done portraying Eric before the eighth season. His character was subsequently written out of the show as Eric left Point Place to teach in Africa. That '70s Show tried to fill the void by adding a new series regular in Randy (Josh Meyers). The casting changes didn't go over too well as Randy didn't seem to have chemistry with his co-stars.
That '70s Show season 8 also lost another heavy-hitter when Ashton Kutcher also decided to leave the series to pursue other gigs. Kutcher portrayed Michael Kelso in the first handful of season 8 episodes before leaving the show. The loss of two main characters like Eric and Kelso had a detrimental effect on the series, causing viewer decline. The storylines felt forced and it seemed the writers ran out of fresh ideas.
Of course, it was understandable why some of the cast wanted to leave The '70s Show considering they spent much of their late teens and early 20s working on the series (although Grace and Kutcher agreed to return for cameo appearances during the series finale episode). Still, with both gone, the show's days were numbered.
The timeline of That '70s Show was always a little rocky. When the series began, it was set in May 1976 but by the end, only three years had technically passed. The final season was set entirely in 1979, building up to the series finale episode which took place on December 31, 1979. As the final seconds of the series ticked by, so did the final seconds of the decade. During the closing credits, the show said goodbye to the '70s and the year switched to 1980. And it wouldn't have made sense to continue a series called That '70s Show into the 1980s; the network already tried to replicate the nostalgia of a period sitcom with the spinoff That '80s Show but it failed miserably.