Fans of the original show, which ran on The Disney Channel from 2001-2004, were beyond thrilled when Duff announced that Lizzie was coming back during an event for Disney+ (the company’s new streaming platform) in August 2019. “The good news is, just like me and everybody who loved Lizzie and has grown up with her, Lizzie’s also grown up,” she said. “She’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget, which is super exciting. She has her dream job. She has kind of the perfect life right now.”
Details about the reboot soon trickled out and early clips were released, which only served to build the buzz. But then production was paused in January, and the original series creator, Terri Tinsky, stepped down as showrunner. “Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series,” a Disney spokesperson said. “After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the series.” Rumors swirled that the reasoning was the show was not “family-friendly” enough for Disney+.
The Hollywood Reporter has seen the pilot script and reports that it “acknowledges the existence of sex with cheating as a central plot point,” which could lend credence to those rumors. “Our goal is to resume production and to tell an authentic story that connects to the millions who are emotionally invested in the character, and a new generation of viewers too,” a Disney+ spokesperson said, per THR.
In late February, Duff released a statement via her Instagram asking for the show to be moved to Hulu, which is also owned by Disney. “Was incredibly excited to launch Lizzie on D+ and my passion remains,” she wrote. “However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans’ relationship with Lizzie who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her. I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating.”
Who knows where Lizzie will land—but hopefully it will be somewhere the world can watch it.