Another Disney Channel success story! Hilary Duff’s breakout role on Lizzie McGuire yielded years of success for the actress that continues today, while her costars chose slightly different paths.
The sitcom — starring Duff (Lizzie McGuire), Lalaine (Miranda Sanchez), Adam Lamberg (Gordo), Jake Thomas (Matt McGuire), Hallie Todd (Jo McGuire) and Robert Carradine (Sam McGuire) — aired from 2001 to 2004 and consisted of two seasons and 65 episodes. Duff also played the leading lady in the beloved Lizzie McGuire Movie in 2003 alongside several of her castmates and some new faces.
The show maintained such popularity in the years after its end that Disney+ announced a revival in August 2019. Duff agreed to reprise her role in the sequel series, which was set to follow Lizzie as she tried to figure out life in New York City.
“Lizzie has also grown up, she’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget. She has her dream job, the perfect life right now working as an apprentice to a fancy New York decorator,” the Younger star revealed at the D-23 expo at the time. “[She has] the perfect man, who owns a fancy restaurant [and is] getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday.”
Duff elaborated on her excitement around revisiting the character via her Instagram Stories. “I don’t really have words. It’s crazy. I really missed her,” she said. “I think now is a great time for her to come back in her thirties. She’s everybody’s best friend, and I can’t wait to go on this next chapter with her.”
Todd, Carradine, Thomas and Lamberg later joined the project, while the “So Yesterday” singer teased what fans could expect from the revival.
“Her having a completely different life than Hilary — she doesn’t have kids — I thought it would be a really fun experience to go through it with her,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2019. “I think it’s going to be a really good mix of giving everyone what they want from the show in the past, and also a new fresh show and her at 30, which looks completely different.”
The series hit a roadblock in January 2020 when creator and showrunner Terri Minsky quit. Duff later complained about “limiting the realities of a 30-year-old’s journey under the ceiling of a PG rating” and asked to move the show to Hulu. However, the A Cinderella Story actress announced in July 2020 that she and the streaming platform had “pressed pause” to regroup on their vision.
Duff confirmed in December 2020 that the revival was not moving forward.
“I’ve been so honored to have the character of Lizzie in my life. She has made such a lasting impact on many, including myself. To see the fans’ loyalty and love for her, to this day, means so much to me. I know the efforts and conversations have been everywhere trying to make a reboot work but, sadly and despite everyone’s best efforts, it isn’t going to happen,” she announced via Instagram. “I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today. It’s what the character deserves. 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. Hey now, this is what 2020s made of.”
In August 2022, Duff further opened up about the scrapped project to Women’s Health. “[Lizzie] had to be 30 years old doing 30-year-old things,” the “Coming Clean” singer explained to the magazine. “She didn’t need to be doing bong rips and having one-night stands all the time, but it had to be authentic. I think they got spooked.”
Scroll down to see what the cast of Lizzie McGuire has been up to.