While newly-launched streaming VOD service Disney+ already has a significant strength in its massive library of films and TV shows from Disney and varied other related labels, it is also pushing the envelope when it comes to developing exclusive original programming to both set it apart from other platforms and draw in more subscriptions. The most talked-about Disney+ originals tend to be the spinoffs for “Star Wars” and the new inter-connected series to the Marvel Cinematic Universe; but reboots and sequels to existing franchises from the Disney Channel are also on the table. To give examples, there is “Lizzie McGuire.”
It has been close to two decades since teen dramedy “Lizzie McGuire,” created by Terri Minsky and starring Hillary Duff, premiered on Disney Channel and ran for two seasons from 2001 to 2004. Disney announced a distant sequel to the show as a Disney+ exclusive, with Minsky return as show-runner and Duff reprising her lead role. Entertainment Weekly has since compiled all pertinent information on the follow-up drama sitcom, and this is how it stands.
The new “Lizzie McGuire” show is set 15 years after the end of the original Disney Channel run. The titular character played by Duff has gone quite a long way from being a teenager going through adolescence and forming her own identity since then. Now approaching 30, a grown-up Lizzie works as an interior decorating assistant in New York City, with a nice apartment in Brooklyn and a restaurateur fiancé. But just like in the early 2000s, there are still some problems that life throws Lizzie’s way as a Millennial living in the Big Apple, but as before she can shoulder on with the help of her family and friends.
As Hillary Duff puts it, her take on Lizzie at this stage in her life has her being older and wiser, but still able to be taken by surprise at life’s sudden swerves. As the new Disney+ starts, she would even find herself leaving New York and returning to her hometown in L.A., which makes a great story in itself. Photos shared by the actress on Instagram showcase how her character has changed yet stays somewhat the same, from her stylish “work” clothes to her familiar Lisa Frank casual shirt.
Confirmed other returnees to “Lizzie McGuire” include her animated avatar (apparently still a teen talking in her adult head and to the audience), and the whole McGuire family in Robert Carradine (Lizzie’s dad), Hallie Todd (mom) and Jake Thomas (brother). So too is Adam Lamberg as Lizzie’s teen crush Gordo, who unfortunately had parted ways with her even after they became an item in 2003’s “Lizzie McGuire Movie.” That plot thread can also fuel story arcs for the new series, which is expected to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2020.
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