Wilmer Valderrama Reveals Why He's Not Appearing on “That '90s Show” Season 2: 'There's No Time' (Exclusive)

Valderrama — who plays Fez in the original series and the spinoff's first season — says he is “very proud” of the new cast

<p>Pascal Le Segretain/Getty</p> Wilmer Valderrama at the 2024 Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 14

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Wilmer Valderrama at the 2024 Monte-Carlo Television Festival on June 14

Wilmer Valderrama is not heading back to Point Place, Wisconsin, anytime soon.

Along with That '70s Show costars Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace, the actor, 44, reprised his iconic character, Fez, in the first season of the spinoff That '90s Show. However, he will not be returning for season 2 — and now he has revealed why.

At the 2024 Monte-Carlo Television Festival on Friday, June 14, Valderrama explained his absence from the series’ upcoming second season with a simple response. “There's no time!” he exclusively told PEOPLE.

“We're pushing 20 episodes a season [on NCIS], but at the same time, it's the kids' jobs,” he added, referring to the That '90s Show newcomers.

Related: That 90s Show Season 2 Trailer Teases All-Star Cameos and Exposes 'Web of Lies' from Finale's Shocking Almost Kiss

“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 continued. “At the same time, it was really about, you know, now seeing them take it over.”

FOX Mila Kunis and Wilmer Valderrama in 'That '70s Show'
FOX Mila Kunis and Wilmer Valderrama in 'That '70s Show'

Valderrama also told PEOPLE he is “very proud" of the new cast, which includes Callie Haverda as Leia Forman, the daughter of Eric Forman (Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), as well as Max Donovan, Ashley Aufderheide, Sam Morelos, Reyn Doi and Mace Coronel.

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"That whole cast has been great and the show is awesome,” he added. “I was very proud to relive it, but also even more excited to see the kids take it from here.”

Related: Why Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Won't Be Returning to That '90s Show 

Valderrama spoke about the sitcom at other points while at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

During a panel discussion on June 15, Valderrama turned back time to his guest-starring role in season 1 of That '90s Show (and his original stint as Fez) by thanking That '70s Show creators Mark Brazill, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner for giving him “a character that allowed me to fly in ways that I never thought was possible creatively.”

“I created something that I'll never forget, that changed my life,” he continued, adding that he is “incredibly grateful” for the experience.

He also recalled helping the showrunners shape what Fez’s return to Point Place would look like in the spinoff. “They asked me, ‘Oh, what do you think Fez would be doing right now if it was the ‘90s?' And I said he'd be the Paul Mitchell of Wisconsin," Valderrama said at the panel.

“Like, he would have a commercial, like a local commercial, you know, the whole thing,” he continued. “And they were dying. They were laughing so hard. And they were like, ‘Let's do that.’ ”

<p>Netflix</p> Wilmer Valderrama in 'That '90s Show'


Wilmer Valderrama in 'That '90s Show'

Returning to Fez’s shoes for the spinoff was one thing. “His pants,” however, “were still that tight,” Valderrama noted at the panel.

Related: Laura Prepon Poses with Her Kids on That '90s Show Set: 'So Meaningful to Show Them'

More difficult was reprising Fez’s iconic voice, the actor revealed. “But the big question was — and I've said this before — can I still do the voice? Like I feel like I hadn’t done the voice since I was 26,” he explained at the festival.

“I don't care how much fun or who asked me to do the voice,” he added. “I never did it, you know? And so when I had to do the table, I was like, ‘OK, here we go.’ “

He said he toyed with a softer version of Fez’s voice before realizing, “F--- it, it’s got to be 100 percent the same.”

Looking back at the first That '90s Show table read, he recalled, “Everyone was just like looking at me and then all of a sudden it came out and it was like riding a bicycle. I never forgot it.”

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The second season of That '90s Show returns to Netflix in two parts: part 1 premieres on June 27, and part 3 premieres on Oct. 24.

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