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.
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.
Lizzie McGuire is an American comedy-drama 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!".
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.
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".
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.
In 2006, Superstation WGN acquired the rights to Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire. The series was broadcast in Australia on the ABC.
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.
A sequel series was announced in August 2019 to be entering production for Disney+, with Duff reprising her role and Minsky returning as showrunner; however, Minsky later departed from the role. 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.
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. Minsky departed as the showrunner of the revival in January 2020 after the first two episodes of the series had been filmed, due to creative differences with Disney. Production of the series was placed on a hiatus and delayed until a new showrunner would be decided.
The first two seasons of Lizzie McGuire were first made available to stream on Disney+ on November 12, 2019 in the United States, and January 1, 2020 in Australia.