‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot in Trouble, Creator Leaves Over ‘Creative Differences’

We didn’t realize it at the time, but Lizzie McGuire represented a sea change in children’s programming. Networks had begun moving away from family sitcoms as edgier shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and Two and a Half Men started to take over prime time. The success of Lizzie McGuire (and its contemporary network buddy Even Stevens) led to an entirely new audience for family sitcoms: teen and tween girls.

This brought a lot of advantages for Disney and Nickelodeon and they began to fill this gap with shows like Drake and Josh, That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. These shows are cheaper to produce than cartoons and girls mature faster than boys so these shows feel a little more grown-up than cartoons, too. Lizzie McGuire wasn’t the first of these shows, but it was the first to be a really big hit. So it’s not surprising that Disney+ would look to reboot it, seeing as how the streamer’s entire business strategy is appealing to the nostalgia of Millennials for the Disney stuff they loved as kids.

What is surprising is that Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky is leaving the show over creative differences, leaving the show in a production hiatus. It’s a family sitcom, what kind of creative differences could they possibly have?

Here’s what Disney told Variety:

“Fans have a sentimental attachment to ‘Lizzie McGuire’ and high expectations for a new series,” said a Disney spokesperson. “After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show.”

This has been happening a lot with Disney films, with Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, Ron Howard taking over Solo and Scott Derrickson stepping away from the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. It makes sense since the original vision was for something outside the box and Disney wants safe and reliable. But those are blockbuster movies and this is a sitcom on a streaming service.

And no offense, but Minsky created Lizzie McGuire, how far outside the box could she have possibly wanted to go? And she’s more recently created Andi Mack, another big hit for Disney. Wow, she’s kind of like Dan Schneider without all the weird kid’s feet allegations.

Minsky was in charge of the first two episodes of the show, so we’ll have to wait until the show debuts to compare how things change in episode three to see what the issue is. I’m guessing there’s going to be a robot butler introduced in that episode.

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