Lizzie McGuire was a Disney Channel Original Series. It first aired on January 12, 2001, immediately after the premiere of Zenon: The Zequel and aired its last episode on February 14, 2004. Its target demographic was preteens and adolescents. The TV show was created by Terri Minsky. The show's creatively offbeat, mixed media format stood out from the rest of the Disney Channel's programming of the time - and in essence, became the channel's flagship (disambiguation) and definitive show of the early 2000s. The show's producer Stan Rogow says the visual look of the show was partly inspired by Run Lola Run. Production was completed in June 2002 after the show fulfilled its 65 episode order.
It was announced on August 23, 2019 that the series would be revived on Disney+ with Hilary Duff reprising her role and Minsky returning as a showrunner, though Minsky left the show after the first two episodes were filmed. On December 16, 2020, it was announced that the revival was cancelled altogether due to creative differences.
- Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff): Lizzie is a shy teenage girl, and a self-conscious middle schooler. She dealt with the same issues as normal teenagers do and eventually found a way through every obstacle.
- Miranda Sanchez (Lalaine): Miranda is one of Lizzie's best friends; she, Lizzie and Gordo formed the main triumvirate. Miranda is the rebel of the three, but Lizzie is always there to watch her back. She did not appear in the last six episodes of the show, nor in The Lizzie McGuire Movie; she was said to be on vacation with her family in Mexico. Miranda's middle name is revealed to be Isabella in one of the episodes.
- David "Gordo" Gordon (Adam Lamberg): Gordo is one of Lizzie's best friends, and had been since she was two days old. He usually offered sarcasm and good advice. He was portrayed as being very intelligent and always gets good grades. He is also revealed to be Jewish, as seen in one episode where he had a Bar Mitzvah. In the episode "The Untitled Stan Jenson Project", it was revealed that Lizzie had a crush on him in the fourth grade. In The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Gordo was pulled into a kiss with Lizzie after she realized what a big mistake she has made. In the final episode, it was revealed that Gordo also has a crush on Lizzie.
- Matt McGuire (Jake Thomas): Matt is Lizzie's younger brother. As a stock character, he is often destroying something. He has a best friend named Lanny, who did not speak on-screen. Matt is clever and wily, and had a reputation for getting into trouble. Matt and Lizzie shared a typical brother-sister relationship. They fooled around, annoyed each other, but were always there for each other at the end of each episode. He is quite intelligent, creative, and knew how to humor people.
- Jo McGuire (Hallie Todd): Jo is Lizzie and Matt's mother. She cared deeply about Lizzie, but was still trying to figure out how to raise a teenager. As a result, she sometimes tended to "mess up" situations in Lizzie's life, all the while trying to help make them better. At the end of each episode, Jo and Lizzie tend to come to an understanding and portray the unfaltering love of a mother-daughter relationship.
- Sam McGuire (Robert Carradine): Sam is Lizzie and Matt's father. He could be best described as a bit goofy and quite clueless about raising his kids. However, he always tried his best to help Lizzie out and understand her, and was always available to lend a helping hand.
- Kate Sanders (Ashlie Brillault): Kate is the most popular girl in remedial help class, at Lizzie's school. Originally one of Lizzie and Miranda's best friends, Kate became popular because she got a bra after summer camp was over; as a result of her new-found popularity, Kate became Lizzie's enemy. Kate enjoyed trying to make Lizzie's life miserable, but Lizzie always managed to outsmart Kate and come out on top. References in episodes are inconsistent about her last name.
- Ethan Craft (Clayton Snyder): Ethan is the boy who Lizzie, Miranda, and the rest of the girls at school has a huge crush on. He did not appear to be very bright, but he was kind and friendly to everyone. In season one, he was portrayed as more of a bad boy or a class bully; for example, he used to force Gordo to do things against his will. At the beginning of the series, Danny Kessler was the "crush boy" instead, but he was not heard from since the first few episodes. A brief mention was made in The Lizzie McGuire Movie in which Lizzie talks about what she wore to her spring formal and what Danny Kessler thought about it.
- Larry Tudgeman (Kyle Downes): (Referred to as "Tudgeman", or simply Tudge) Larry is the school dork. He was treated like an outcast by everyone except by Lizzie and her friends (with exceptions). He also had been known to wear the same shirt since the second grade. Larry had a huge crush on Lizzie (that she did not return), and even asked her out to go to the science museum. Lizzie accepted his invitation in order to make him feel liked.
- Claire Miller (Davida Williams): Claire is Kate's new best friend. She is also not very kind to Lizzie. She could sometimes even be un-kind to her friends, including Kate, as seen in the episode "The Rise & Fall of The Kate Empire". She represented the stereotypical popular girl portrayed on many TV shows.
- Lanny Onasis (Christian Copelin): Lanny is Matt's best friend. He never spoke on-screen, but Matt seemed to have no problem communicating with him. Apparently, he is a direct descendant of Crispus Attucks.
- Melina Bianco (Carly Schroeder): Melina is Matt's friend who loved getting Lanny and Matt into trouble and eventually became Matt's girlfriend. She was first introduced as Matt's enemy, but they both began to have feelings for each other.
- "Mr. Digg" Digby Sellers (Arvie Lowe Jr.): Mr. Digg is Lizzie's cool, laid-back substitute teacher. In his lessons he often implied that he had educated celebrities like Frankie Muniz and Christina Aguilera. He befriended Lizzie's dad in one of the episodes, and dated Matt's teacher, Miss Chapman.
- Edward and Daniella Sanchez (Armando Molina and Dyana Ortelli): They are Miranda's parents and appeared in a few episodes, including one in which they played a prank on Kate.
- Howard and Roberta Gordon (Michael Mantell and Alison Martin): They are Gordo's parents, who are both psychiatrists.
- Parker Mackenzie (Chelsea Wilson): Parker is a girl in Lizzie's class. In an episode, Gordo had a crush on her. She is a vegetarian, as seen in the episode "Obsession". In an episode, Gordo asked Parker for a dance but she refused because in her opinion he is too short for her. Parker disliked Lizzie because she sneezed on her Macaroni Art in the 2nd grade and sat on her Titanic Lunch Box in the 5th grade.
- Danny Kessler (Byron Fox): He appeared in the first couple episodes but was never seen again. He was mentioned in the episode "My Fair Larry" and in The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
- Veruca Albano (Rachel Snow): She is a nerdy girl who appeared once in season one and more often in later seasons when Lizzie enters the eighth grade.
- Amy Sanders (Haylie Duff): She is Kate's 19-year-old cousin. She acted quite a bit like a complete older version of Kate. Kate and Amy have a rocky relationship. In the episode when Amy first appeared, Kate is seen to have a softer, slightly self-conscious side.
- Coach Kelly (Dot Jones): She is the gym teacher at Hillridge Junior High.
- Principal Tweedy (Phill Lewis): He is the principal of Hillridge Junior High.
- Mr. Escobar (Daniel R. Escobar): He is a teacher at Hillridge Junior High who taught Lizzie's class in junior grade.
- Jeremy & David: They are Sam's best friends who own a pet chimp named Fredo. Lizzie also saved one of their lives in "Rated Aargh!".
Animated Lizzie was an animated character in the show. She represented the title character's inner thoughts, addressing the audience directly in the manner of a Greek chorus. The show was not the first series to use animation to reflect a live-action character's innermost thoughts, however; McGee and Me and Student Bodies two syndicated programs about the struggles of a cartoonist for a school newspaper, often used the artist's surrealistic caricatures of himself and his friends to visually illustrate his interior monologues. Animated Lizzie was also voiced by series star Hilary Duff.
The show was completed after 65 episodes, which was reportedly a Disney policy for all of its series, although that has changed now due to the popularity and success of That's So Raven, Kim Possible, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana. Disney considered continuing the franchise in further films and a prime-time television series with Lizzie and Gordo attending high school which was to be broadcast on ABC, but the plans never took off because Duff's representatives claimed she was not being paid enough for the proposed series.
There were plans to launch a cartoon series based on Lizzie's animated alter ego, but no such thing materialized. There were also proposed plans to launch a spin-off based on Miranda's unseen sister, Stevie, known either as Stevie Sanchez or What's Stevie Thinking?.
International Distribution Rights
As with fellow Disney Channel series, Even Stevens, Disney chose not to directly handle international distribution of Lizzie McGuire, despite being co-produced and owned by Disney, instead allowing a third party do do the work.
Egmont Imagination, the British media subsidiary of Danish book publisher Egmont, handled distribution and consumer product rights outside North America from 2001 until 2003, when the division was bought out by another Dutch company called Telescreen, who were bought out by a German company called M4E AG in 2008. Currently, the non-North American rights to the series and the consumer products rights are with M4E AG.
It was announced in late May 2006 that Superstation WGN (now WGN America) would carry Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens in syndication; this began on September 18, 2006. As a result, Disney Channel has stopped airing both shows except for their holiday episodes. Until September 13, 2008, WGN America aired Lizzie McGuire on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4:00 a.m.
|Season||Ep #||First Airdate||Last Airdate|
|Season 1||31||January 12, 2001||January 18, 2002|
|Season 2||34||February 8, 2002||February 14, 2004|
A movie based on the show, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, debuted on May 2, 2003 at number two at the box office behind X2: X-Men United. It earned $42.7 million at the US box office and eventually grossed $55.6 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews with one critic calling it, "an unabashed promotion of Duff's image, just as Crossroads was for Spears". Other reviews were generally positive and encouraging.
The character of Lizzie continues to be merchandised by Disney, especially through a large set of books, which include novelizations of the episodes, original Nancy Drew-style mystery stories in the Lizzie McGuire Mysteries series, and "Cine-manga" pictorial adaptations (published by TOKYOPOP) with still shots from the show presented in manga style. A Lizzie McGuire doll was even released in 2002 by Dakin Toys. The 10" doll featured many of Lizzie's outfits for the doll. A plush doll of the Cartoon Lizzie was also made by Dakin in 2002. Fortune magazine estimated in 2003 that "Lizzie McGuire" merchandise had earned the Walt Disney Co. nearly $100 million. Radio Disney continually promoted Lizzie McGuire and regularly (although not as often as when the show was still running) gave away the show's CD in giveaways.
Several home video and DVD versions of the show have been released in various countries. In the United States, some thematic episode collections were first released, and later a DVD box set consisting of 22 episodes from the first season (mostly, but not entirely, corresponding to the first 22 episodes in production order). This is designated as "Volume 1", but no current plans are known for the release of volumes 2 and 3 of the series, and poor sales of the first box set prevented further releases. As of April 2006, a box set of 12 DVDs with all the 64 episodes of the show is available in Spain, and box sets (grouped into three 22-episode "seasons") Ireland TG4 are available in Australia and the UK.
Lizzie-themed toys were included in a 2004 McDonald's Happy Meal series, which included CD-ROM discs containing Lizzie-related games and graphics and audio versions of "Lizzie" (not voiced by Duff) reading stories based on episode plots of her show.
There is also a Lizzie McGuire bedroom set offered by some furniture stores as one of several Disney-themed children's bedrooms, and a What Would Lizzie Do? board game where players must judge Lizzie's likely response to various situations. Three Lizzie McGuire video games have been released for the Game Boy Advance: Lizzie McGuire: On the Go (2003), Lizzie McGuire 2: Lizzie Diaries (2004), and Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc (2005). Both seasons of Lizzie McGuire are now available on iTunes.
In Pop Culture
- In an episode of The Simpsons ("Milhouse of Sand and Fog", 2005), Milhouse, uses the exclamation "Sweet Lizzie McGuire!"
- In the episode of The Simpsons, "Co-Dependent's Day", Marge and Homer were seen leaving The Lizzie McGuire Movie, scared.
- In Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog's song "I Keed", there is a reference to Fred Durst checking out the cast of Lizzie McGuire ("And yet you're too old for Fred Durst to desire, he's checking out the cast of Lizzie McGuire").
- The Lizzie McGuire Movie was referenced in Brooklyn 99.
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