When Disney+ was first announced, the lineup of originals was littered with new versions of longtime Disney favorites. One of the more eagerly anticipated shows was an update of Lizzie McGuire, the popular Disney Channel sitcom that made Hilary Duff a teen star in the 2000s. The new Lizzie was to be overseen by the original series’ creator, Terri Minsky, and feature Duff as an older and more mature Lizzie.

The show was announced, and production was underway when things fell apart. First Minsky left the show in January 2020 after shooting just a handful of episodes. Disney attributed the decision to a need for “a different creative direction and ... putting a new lens on the show.” Production was put on hiatus, but the series was never revived and in December of 2020, it was officially declared to be dead — a surprising move, given the popularity of the character, and Disney+’s ongoing need for nostalgic content.

Duff herself explained the reason for the decision in a new interview with Women’s Health, attributing Disney’s choice to shelve the new Lizzie to the fact that “they got spooked” by the idea of a series that would be a little more adult and frank about this young woman’s life in New York City. As Duff put it...

She had to be 30 years old doing 30-year-old things ... She didn’t need to be doing bong rips and having one-night stands all the time, but it had to be authentic.

Disney has gone back and forth on just how much adult programming should appear on Disney+. Initially, the answer was none, and anything that seemed even remotely edgy was pushed to its sister service, Hulu. But recently Disney has added Marvel’s Netflix TV series like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, which include language, violence, and mature content that would likely garner an R rating if they were in a movie. So it seems like Lizzie McGuire was a victim of bad timing. If it went into production now, it might have had a chance.

But now Duff is busy elsewhere; she can be seen starring in the first season of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father, a sequel series to the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother. That show has already been renewed for a second season.

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