Lizzie McGuire is an American drama comedy television series created by Terri Minsky which premiered on Disney Channel on January 12, 2001. The series stars Hilary Duff as the title character, who navigates the personal and social issues of her teenage years; and an animated version of the character, who performs soliloquies to express Lizzie's inner thoughts and emotions. The series also stars Lalaine, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Hallie Todd and Robert Carradine. The final episode aired on February 14, 2004, after a total of 65 episodes were produced.
|Created by||Terri Minsky|
|Theme music composer||Elliot Lurie|
|Opening theme||"We'll Figure It Out"|
|Ending theme||"We'll Figure It Out" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Original release||January 12, 2001 –|
February 14, 2004
The series was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2003 and 2004 for Most Outstanding Children's Program. The pilot received a nomination at the Writers Guild of America Awards for Best Children's Script. The series also received various awards and nominations at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards from 2002 to 2005.
A sequel series was announced in August 2019 to be entering production for Disney+, with Duff reprising her role and Minsky returning as showrunner. Lamberg, Thomas, Todd and Carradine will also return to the series in their original roles. The series will be produced in association with Disney Channel.
The series follows Lizzie McGuire, a thirteen-year-old girl who faces the regular personal and social issues of teenage years alongside her best friends, Miranda and Gordo, at junior high. Episodes depict Lizzie's transition into adolescence at home and school, including the friends' rivalry with their classmate, Kate, and affections for Ethan. Lizzie tries to develop her own identity, but is also attracted to the idea of popularity at school and longs for social acceptance among her peers. Lizzie shares a close relationship with her family; her mother, Jo; her father, Sam; and her younger brother, Matt. Lizzie's inner thoughts and emotions are conveyed sporadically in the episodes through her animated persona, who sometimes speaks directly to the audience.
Fifteen years later, Lizzie is turning thirty years old and living in an apartment in Brooklyn, New York City. Lizzie works as an apprentice to an interior decorator, and is engaged to a man who owns a restaurant in SoHo, Manhattan. Lizzie is forced to leave Brooklyn and return to Los Angeles.
Cast and characters
- Hilary Duff as Elizabeth "Lizzie" McGuire, a shy and clumsy girl with a talent for rhythmic gymnastics, who tries to find her place in the world and become popular. Her inner thoughts and emotions are expressed through the soliloquies of an animated version of herself.
- Lalaine as Miranda Sanchez, Lizzie's confident best friend, who has a talent for singing and dreams of being a musician.
- Adam Lamberg as David "Gordo" Gordon, Lizzie's childhood best friend, who has a passion in filmmaking and playing hacky sack. He later develops a crush on Lizzie.
- Jake Thomas as Matthew "Matt" McGuire, Lizzie's younger brother, who regularly develops schemes to create trouble around the house. He and Lizzie bicker, but deeply care about each other.
- Hallie Todd as Joanne "Jo" McGuire, Lizzie's mother, who sometimes struggles with the pressure of raising a teenager.
- Robert Carradine as Samuel "Sam" McGuire, Lizzie's father, who sometimes struggles with the pressure of raising a teenager.
- Ashlie Brillault as Katherine "Kate" Sanders, a popular girl at school who was formerly the best friend of Lizzie and Miranda; she is now their frenemy.
- Clayton Snyder as Ethan Craft, who is friendly and popular, and who Lizzie, Miranda and Kate develop crushes on.
- Kyle Downes as Lawrence "Larry" Tudgeman III, a stereotypical geek who is treated like an outcast at school. He has a crush on Miranda.
- Davida Williams as Claire Miller, Kate's new best friend who is jealous of the friendship Kate had with Lizzie and Miranda.
- Christian Copelin as Lanny Onasis, Matt's best friend, who does not speak.
- Carly Schroeder as Melina Bianco, Matt's best friend, who likes to create trouble for him.
- Arvie Lowe Jr. as Digby "Mr. Dig" Sellers, Lizzie's laid-back substitute teacher who she perceives as cool.
- Federico Dordei as Dominic Shaw (season 3)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||31||January 12, 2001||January 18, 2002|
|2||34||February 8, 2002||February 14, 2004|
In 2000, Hilary Duff was asked to audition for a series on Disney Channel. Created by Terri Minsky, the series was known by the working title What's Lizzie Thinking? throughout development. The series was later retitled Lizzie McGuire, and Duff successfully auditioned for the title character of Lizzie, who was described as a regular teenager. The premise for the series was based on a script previously written by Minsky, which featured the main character's inner thoughts and emotions as narration. Producer Stan Rogow conceived a high-concept version of the script in which an animated version of the character would be featured to convey these thoughts. This concept became known the "animated Lizzie" persona; and was also voiced by Duff. Rogow stated that the visual design of the show was inspired by the film Run Lola Run.
Lalaine's character Miranda did not appear in the last several episodes of the second season, or The Lizzie McGuire Movie, due to Lalaine working on other projects such as the film You Wish!. Filming of the film and series concluded in December 2002 after 65 episodes were produced; a standard limit for Disney Channel's series.
In May 2003, it was revealed that the Lizzie McGuire would end production due to contract disagreements between Duff and Disney. The company was interested in transitioning the program into a high school-centered series for ABC and expanding the franchise with a further film, while Duff was receiving offers for lucrative roles with other studios. After the series ended its original run, Disney Channel also considered producing an animated version of the series. A pilot for a spin-off was produced, entitled What's Stevie Thinking?, which was to center on Miranda's younger sister, but the series was not picked up.
In 2014, Duff stated that she would be open for a reunion, and in December 2018, stated that there had been discussions about reviving the series. On August 23, 2019, it was announced at the D23 Expo that Disney was developing a revival television series of Lizzie McGuire. The series was revealed to be in production for exclusive distribution on the Disney+ streaming service, with Duff reprising her role as the title character; and original series creator, Terri Minsky serving as showrunner. The sequel series will center on Lizzie at the age of thirty, navigating life as an apprentice interior decorator in New York City. It was revealed that the animated alter ego of Lizzie would also appear in the new series. The series is produced by Salty Pictures in association with Disney Channel as part of an overall deal with Minksy. Duff also serves as an executive producer, alongside Rachel Winter, and co-executive producer Ranada Shepard.
In October 2019, it was announced that Thomas, Todd and Carradine would also return to the series, reprising their roles as Matt, Jo and Sam McGuire respectively. Production on the sequel series began on October 29, 2019 on location in Washington Square Park in New York. Further filming for the series will take place in Los Angeles. In November, it was revealed that Federico Dordei would be joining the cast as new character, Dominic Shaw, and that Lamberg would be reprising his role as Gordo.
The series premiered on Disney Channel on January 12, 2001 following the premiere of the film Zenon: The Zequel. The series officially premiered on January 19, 2001. It began airing as part of the ABC Kids Saturday Morning lineup on September 20, 2003.
Home media and streaming
Episodes of the series were distributed on compilation DVD releases in various countries. Collections of episodes were released in the United States from 2003 to 2004; a box set containing 22 episodes from the first season, titled "Volume 1", was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on November 23, 2004.
The first two seasons of Lizzie McGuire were first made available to stream on Disney+ on November 12, 2019. In Australia, the original series is available on Stan as part of its distribution deal with the ABC.
A film based on the series, titled The Lizzie McGuire Movie was released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 2, 2003 in the United States. Set after the conclusion of the series and her middle school graduation, the film follows Lizzie and her classmates going on a school trip to Rome, Italy. The movie was filmed on location at Rome, at locations such as the Trevi Fountain. The film earned $42.7 million at the American box office in addition to $12.8 million internationally; the film grossing a total $55.6 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews, with a 41% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 99 reviews. The website's critical consensus states it is a "harmless piece of fluff that ought to satisfy fans of the TV show".
Throughout the early 2000s, the popularity of the series led to merchandise to be released by Disney, including a series of novels and books, a Lizzie McGuire character doll, a bedroom set, board games and video games. Toys were also released through a partnership with McDonald's in 2004. Fortune estimated in 2003 that Lizzie McGuire merchandise had earned nearly $100 million. Two soundtracks for the series were produced; "Lizzie McGuire" and "Lizzie McGuire Total Party!".
On Rotten Tomatoes, Lizzie McGuire has an approval rating of 100% based on reviews from 5 critics. Common Sense Media commended the realistic representation of friendship in the series and noted its relatability for both boys and girls. Reviewing the series's premiere in 2001, Laura Fries of Variety described the program as "good-natured", and praised the ability of the writers to include adolescent vernacular and pop culture references. A review on the DVDizzy blog described early episodes of Lizzie McGuire as "clever, funny, and pretty sincere", but suggested that the show later suffered from a creative decline in favor of more celebrity guest appearances. A DVD review by Dove.org in 2003 described the series as "wholesome", and noted the real world lessons which are presented.
Katie Minard of Entertainment Weekly listed "Picture Day" as the best episode of the series in her 2016 ranking, due to its relatable plot and important moral. Writing for The Gateway, Ashlynn Chand said that "One of the Guys" teaches young viewers that "femininity and masculinity aren't so binary". Chand also described the Duff and her character as a "style icon" in reference to the fashion of the episode "Last Year's Model".
Awards and nominations
|2001||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Actress||Hilary Duff||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Supporting Young Actress||Lalaine||Nominated|
|Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama)||Hilary Duff, Lalaine, Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas & Ashlie Brillault||Nominated|
|2002||BAFTA Awards||Children's – International||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite TV Show||Lizzie McGuire||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Outstanding Children's Television Programming||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America||Children's Script||Terri Minsky, "Pool Party" (Pilot)||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Guest Starring Young Actress||Amy Castle||Won|
|Best Ensemble in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama)||Hilary Duff, Lalaine, Jake Thomas & Adam Lamberg||Nominated|
|Best Family Television Series (Comedy or Drama)||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama): Supporting Young Actor||Jake Thomas||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Television Actress||Hilary Duff||Nominated|
|Favorite Television Actor||Adam Lamberg||Nominated|
|Favorite Television Show||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Imagen Awards||Best Supporting Actress in Television||Lalaine||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV – Comedy||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Choice TV Actress – Comedy||Hilary Duff||Nominated|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Children's Program||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama): Supporting Young Actor||Jake Thomas||Nominated|
|2004||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Television Actress||Hilary Duff||Nominated|
|Favorite Television Show||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Children's Program||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
|2005||Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Television Actress||Hilary Duff||Nominated|
|Favorite Television Show||Lizzie McGuire||Nominated|
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