Lizzie McGuire is back. The fan-favorite character played by Hilary Duff for two seasons—producing 65 episodes from 2001-2004 and a movie—will return in a new Disney+ sequel series. Duff is back, as is original series creator Terri Minsky, and the new series will follow the character as a millennial living life in New York City.
"I'm a fan," Duff told E! News about her Disney series. "We're such a part of each other."
Look for the animated Lizzie to be there as well while the main character works as an apprentice to a high-end decorator and dating a restaurateur.
If the new Lizzie McGuire series sounds a bit familiar, there's a reason. Another beloved, slightly older, iconic tween series almost continued this way back in 1995. Following the end of Clarissa Explains It All in 1994, Melissa Joan Hart was set to take the character out of high school and into adulthood in Clarissa Now.
A pilot was produced, but the series didn't make it to air. It had a pretty different tone than Clarissa Explains It All, which relied on vibrant colors, fourth-wall breaking segments and video game-esque portions of the story. The Clarissa Now pilot followed Hart as Clarissa Darling working as an intern at a newspaper in New York City. It eventually aired on Nickelodeon (and made its way onto YouTube).
As Clarissa Now proved, sequel series aren't always a home run. However, other beloved properties have found success continuing on.
Teen soap Degrassi continued for years, most recently on Netflix. Despite what the Beverly Hills, 90210 stars said at the 2019 Television Critics Association press tour, The CW's 90210 was a sequel series. In the arena of more family-friendly content, Fuller House continues the story of Full House, poised to end with its fifth season, Girl Meets World, a sequel series to Boy Meets World, ran for three seasons on Disney Channel, and Saved By the Bell followed several characters to Saved By the Bell: The College Years. TNT's Dallas series was a sequel/revival of the acclaimed original series. And even The Brady Bunch, a beloved sitcom from the 1970s, got a sequel series with a one-hour drama, The Bradys, in 1990. It lasted a season.
What can Lizzie McGuire learn from the sequel series of the past? Stick to the vibe of the original show. Those that did found more success.
"It's obviously going to be funny and it's a comedy, but she was there for everyone in their pre-teens," Duff told E! News after the show was announced. "She was their best friend, and I would love to try to embody that for her in her 30s and going through those challenges."
Duff said she's ready to show the world how Lizzie grew up. "I think there's a lot of pressure involved with pleasing the fans that are so opinionated, which I love so much, and I have similar strong opinions on where people ended up, what got her to New York, who's still in her life and who isn't, her job, her personal journey," she said.
Duff said she has been working with Minsky on all the details of the series because she said she feels the character is so ingrained in her DNA. "It all still feels a little surreal," she said.
No premiere date for the new Lizzie McGuire has been announced.