Almost exactly 20 years after the original series premiered, Lizzie McGuire has been canceled — for a second time. Actor Hilary Duff broke the news to fans in December 2020, following months of speculation about the proposed revival series that began filming in 2019. Here’s what happened.
Hilary Duff starred in ‘Lizzie McGuire’
Duff broke out as the titular star of Lizzie McGuire. The Disney Channel sitcom premiered in January 2001. It followed Lizzie as she navigated junior high alongside her two best friends, with some help from her parents and little brother. Duff also narrated the series as Lizzie’s animated inner self.
Lizzie McGuire aired for two seasons on Disney Channel, with a total of 65 episodes. The series was capped off with a 2003 feature film, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, in which the character travels to Italy with her classmates. Following the series, Duff moved onto movie roles in films like A Cinderella Story and The Perfect Man.
In 2019, a Disney+ revival was confirmed
Many years later, with Duff back on TV starring in the TV Land series Younger, everything was in place for a reboot. But at D23 2019, it was announced that instead of starting over with a new Lizzie, the series would depict Duff’s character all grown up. Duff was naturally in attendance to introduce the project.
“The new story picks up as Lizzie McGuire is just about to turn 30,” read a press release at the time. “She seemingly has it all…but things aren’t always as they seem. With a little help from her friends, her loving family and her 13-year-old alter-ego in animated form, Lizzie navigates the ups and downs of adulthood.”
There were disagreements behind the scenes
Filming began shortly after the announcement. But it quickly shut down. “Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series,” a spokesperson told Deadline in January 2020. After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show.”
“Hilary has a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen,” creator Terri Minsky told Variety in February. She explained that they wanted to move in a more adult direction, but Disney did not. “I would love the show to exist, but ideally, I would love it if it could be given that treatment of going to Hulu and doing the show that we were doing.”
Duff confirms ‘Lizzie McGuire’ is over
After months of speculation, Duff confirmed they’re not moving forward with the show. “I know the efforts and conversations have been everywhere trying to make a reboot work but, sadly & despite everyone’s best efforts, it isn’t going to happen,” she wrote on Instagram on December 16, 2020.
“I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today,” she continued. “We can all take a moment to mourn the amazing woman she would have been and the adventures we would have taken with her. I’m very sad, but I promise everyone tried their best and the stars just didn’t align.”
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