Lizzie McGuire Cast Blame Disney Executives For Disney+ Revival Cancellation
At the D23 Expo in 2019, Hilary Duff announced to a packed arena in Los Angeles that she was going to be returning to play “Lizzie McGuire” in a new revival of the classic Disney Channel show.
The new series was going to see Lizzie McGuire just about to turn 30. She seemingly has it all – her dream job as an assistant to a fancy New York City decorator, her dream guy and a picturesque Brooklyn apartment – 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. The new series was also going to star original cast members Hallie Todd, Robert Carradine, and Jake Thomas.
Two episodes of the series were recorded in the fall of 2019, and we got to see just a small clip of the show in the “Coming in 2020” trailer.
Shortly after that, the shows creator, Terri Minsky, stepped away from the project, which led to Hilary Duff publically calling out Disney, asking them to move it to Hulu because “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.”
Filming was put on hold while Hilary Duff went on a Honeymoon and then the coronavirus hit, causing everything to completely shutdown. During this time, the team behind the show held virtual zoom meetings to get the show back on track. However, last month, Hilary Duff confirmed that the show wasn’t going ahead.
And now, some of the cast of the show have spoken to “Vice” about the cancellation of the show.
Robert Carradine, who played Lizzie’s father in the series said:
“When we did the read-through of the first two scripts, there were literally three rows of chairs and in each chair was some kind of a Disney executive. I mean, there were 25 of them in there. And they were laughing their asses off. Every single step of that trajectory had to be greenlit by somebody who’s high up in the organization. So, you go to all that trouble and they decide at the last minute, out of the blue, that it needs to be more kid-friendly? I don’t get that.”
Hailee Todd played Lizzie’s mother in the show added:
“I’m sad. We had the best time when we got together for those two episodes. It felt like no time had passed, except that all of a sudden these kids were adults. It just seems ridiculous. There’s always more to it than you hear, and I certainly am not privy to those conversations in the back room.”
Jake Thomas played Lizzie’s younger brother in the series, and he said:
“Fans always tell me how watching the show was a staple of their childhood, and honestly, I was right there with them running to the TV every week to watch the latest episode. When I walked onto the set of the rebuilt McGuire house for the reboot, it felt like such an unreal homecoming, an overwhelming childhood nostalgia. It saddens me greatly that the fans don’t get to share in that feeling.”
Looking back at the first year of Disney+, its was very clear at the start of 2020, that Disney wanted to keep their new streaming service as a extension of the “Disney” brand, with nothing on there that could be deemed controversial. This led to shows like “Love, Victor” and “High Fidelity” being moved to Hulu, rather than arriving on Disney+ as originally intended. Throughout 2020, things began changing as many of the original Disney+ team left and the Walt Disney Company completely restructured the business around streaming. By the summer, Disney had begun adding more mature content such as “Hamilton” and “The Right Stuff”. For Disney+ subscribers in many countries including Australia, Canada and the UK, they will be getting hundreds of new mature additions next month for Star, including “Love, Victor”.
It does seem the “Lizzie McGuire” revivial was just too early for Disney+ and pushed too much. Since it looks like the “Lizzie McGuire” reboot is now longer going ahead, you can find all the original episodes from the classic show on Disney+ now.
What do you think of the “Lizzie McGuire” reboot being cancelled?
I really wished this never happened. But I'm glad that the company now seems to be at a point where they have brands (Star) and ways (the recent restructuring and age controls) that supposedly will prevent situations like this from happening again.
I think having Lizzie McGuire cheating on her husband and seeking a divorce in the first episode had already started it in a terrible place. We have "Younger" if all we want to see is drama. We want to see the characters grown up and their lives now, but we also want to share this series with our kids too. Or at least teenagers. This could be something more than just the run of the mill plot points and making problems just for the sake of watching them struggle. This could be all about friendship, bonding, family, relationships, at it's finest. Real life situations provide enough excitement and fun expressions to witness, lets watch them grow and deal with real things, bond together, and grow their careers and families. While learning the real life lesson, you are always growing up (and learning) no matter what age you are.