Debra Jo Rupp will play a social worker (but not in the 70s) who crosses paths with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson)
This Is Us is a series that time-warps you back to the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and one upcoming guest star is someone you closely associated with that first decade.
Debra Jo Rupp, who starred as the Forman matriarch on That ’70s Show, will appear in season 2 of the NBC family dramedy — but sadly, no, she will not be in any ’70s-set scenes. EW has learned that she will surface in a present-day storyline, playing a social worker named Linda who crosses paths with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson). In the season 1 finale, Randall expressed to a surprised Beth his interest in adopting a child, and season 2 begins with the couple exploring that possibility, but they are not “on the same page” about adding a family member, according to Watson.
Linda is “helping them with their process,” series creator Dan Fogelman tells EW. “She’s lovely — but also somebody who’s been doing this and knows the reality of it all.”
The plan is for her to appear in multiple episodes. Rupp — who recently starred in the play Cake, written by This Is Us scribe Bekah Brunstetter — has popped up this year on such shows as The Ranch (which reunited her with former ’70s Show costars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson), NCIS: Los Angeles, and Elementary.
The season 2 guest cast of This Is Us also boasts Sylvester Stallone, who is shooting a war movie with Kevin (Justin Hartley), whose father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), was a big Sly fan.
Season 2 kicks off Sept. 26, and the season premiere contains a “huge piece of the puzzle” about Jack’s death.