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Hilary Duff is known to a generation as the child star at the center of Disney’s Lizzie McGuire. As the studio continues to reboot, revamp, and revisit so many of its old properties, many fans are wondering why Duff’s Lizzie McGuire hasn’t made her grand comeback. Now the actor herself has cleared the air about why Disney canceled the Lizzie McGuire reboot.

Hilary Duff stands in front of a Disney backdrop and smiles
Hilary Duff | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

‘Lizzie McGuire’ became a breakout hit in the early 2000s

Lizzie McGuire debuted on the Disney Channel in January 2001. And the series quickly resonated with its target audience. The series saw Duff’s Lizzie tackle many of the personal and social issues teenagers often face. And it did so in ways that were both accessible to children but also lightly comedic enough to make even its more serious episodes harmless and inoffensive.

The show – which concluded its run in 2004 – also won lots of critical praise and awards attention for its efforts. Lizzie McGuire even won the Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children’s Program in both 2003 and 2004. A hit movie set after the conclusion of the show released in 2003, again with Duff in the role. And the franchise has remained dormant ever since. 

Hilary Duff explained why Disney backed away from a reboot

With Lizzie McGuire’s target audience all grown up, the time seems right for the character to return. After all, many other children’s shows of the era are popping back up with new incarnations. A reboot was in the works. But as Duff revealed, Disney was apparently unwilling to let Lizzie be a real adult. So the show’s development came to a screeching halt.

“[Lizzie] had to be 30 years old doing 30-year-old things,” the 34-year-old Duff told Women’s Health regarding her desire for her most popular character to be true to life. “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.”


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A Lizzie McGuire reboot might not happen anytime soon. And since Disney owns the series, it’s unlikely to be made anywhere else, at least not until something changes behind the scenes. But Duff isn’t waiting for that project to materialize. Instead, she’s currently headlining another reboot of a popular sitcom: Hulu’s How I Met Your Father, which debuted in 2022.

On that series – a companion series set in the same universe as long-running CBS hit How I Met Your Mother – Duff plays the central character, Sophie, who’s on a collision course with meeting her future husband. The first season is currently streaming on Hulu. But longtime Duff fans can also watch all 65 episodes of Lizzie McGuire (and The Lizzie McGuire Movie) on Disney+.