It was on this day in 2001 when Lizzie McGuire first premiered on Disney Channel. Yes, it's been 17 years since we first met Lizzie and her besties Gordo and Miranda as they navigated middle school, a world filled with mean girls named Kate, a boy named Ethan Craft who had the best hair around, and kids just trying to find their independence while you know, trying not to kill their prankster little brothers and not ever disappoint their parents in the slightest. Hey, this show was honestly SO relatable and I truly mean that. I was Lizzie AF growing up and if you happen to watch the show now, it still holds up as some quality TV.
The series was created by Terri Minsky, who's back on Disney Channel with her new show Andi Mack and for real, Lizzie was the voice of a generation. Everyone who watched wanted to be Hilary Duff since she played Lizzie in a way that made her seem like she really was one of your actual friends and not just a fictional television character. So that's why it's crazy to think it's been so long since the show first made its way onto the network.
What fans of the series might not know is that while it aired from 2001 until 2004, it only consisted of two seasons for a total of 65 episodes. Each season had more than 30 episodes each, which is pretty rare when you think about it. So...
How did Lizzie McGuire end?
Well, the episodes actually didn't fully air in chronological order so "Bye, Bye Hillridge Junior High" the series finale was episode 23 of season 2. So yes, there were more that aired afterward. I know, a bit confusing, but in this "final" episode, Lizzie and Gordo are graduating the eighth grade (Miranda was off visiting her family in Mexico), getting ready to take on high school. Lizzie makes a joke about how she was going to end up writing "You rock, don't ever change" in everyone's yearbooks so when it came time for Gordo to write something in hers, he wrote "Dear Lizzie, You rock. Don't ever change. And only I really mean it."
This really was special to Lizzie, since it was finally obvious to her that Gordo always had a thing for her. When they gathered outside for the class group photo, she gave him a kiss on the cheek. PRECIOUS. Which then leads us perfectly into The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Lizzie headed to the big screen in 2003 and we saw our girl go on the trip of a lifetime to Rome, Italy after her graduation. She ended up singing one of the greatest songs from a movie EVER "What Dreams Are Made Of" on stage after casually exposing the fraud that was Paolo. It was a time. And Lizzie ended up kissing Gordo again, this time on the lips.
FINLLY. And much to fans' delight, there were plans for not only a sequel film but for another show that was going to move to ABC and follow Lizzie in high school. We kid you not.
What happened to the Lizzie McGuire sequels?
So yes, another major motion picture along with this spinoff show was supposed to happen. But it appears Hilary and her mom, Susan who served as her manager, couldn't come to an agreement with Disney when it came to how much money Hilary would make on the second film and the new series.
"Disney thought they’d be able to bully us into accepting whatever offer they wanted to make, and they couldn’t. We walked away from a sequel. They walked away from a franchise," Susan said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in 2003. "We weren’t feeling the love. They weren’t giving Hilary the respect she deserved."
Hilary's lawyer explained that while they waited to get an official offer, they apparently didn't hear anything from the network for quite some time so when they finally did, Hilary's team felt they didn't get the monetary offer they thought was fair. Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group president Nina Jacobson gave a statement to EW that simply said, "We tried very hard to close a deal on the 'Lizzie McGuire' sequel. We think Hilary is very talented and we very much wanted to stay in business with her."
So basically, there was much more planned for Lizzie that the world never got to see. But if anything, all these years later, the episodes, movie and music we did get from this Disney Channel classic will forever live on.
We hope Lizzie is nothing but proud and never did change because she rocked. She really did.
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