Disney Removes Hilary Duff Entirely, Kicks Her Out of Company

in Disney, Entertainment

Credit: ABC

In the early 2000’s, Disney Channel was an iconic TV channel for pre-teens and teenagers worldwide with sitcom shows like Even Stevens, That’s So Raven, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Lizzie McGuire and many others. The days of “…and you’re watching Disney Channel” were the golden days for the Disney-owned cable television channel.

Disney Channel Logo and Old Shows
Credit: Inside the Magic

During that time, becoming a star on Disney Channel was an open door to the Hollywood industry. If you were a young actor — or actress — and you scored a role in a Disney Channel sitcom, you hit the jackpot! Some of the most recognized names in the modern entertainment industry were once part of Disney Channel’s “Golden Age”, like Zac Effron, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Selena Gomez, Raven-Symoné, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato.

If you are a fan of Hilary Duff, you likely grew up watching Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel. Not only was Duff an actor on the Network, but also starred in many Disney films, and her music videos were often played between TV shows, making the world very aware that Hilary was one of the faces of Disney.

The McGuire family gathered around the cartoon version of Lizzie McGuire
Credit: Disney

In the past, Hilary Duff expressed how hard it was for her to get other acting jobs after she stopped playing the title character in the hit Lizzie McGuire series, which began in 2001. Playing Lizzie brought Hilary Duff to the Hollywood spotlight as a Disney teenage role model; the sweet, smart, innocent 13-year-old teenager.

When Lizzie ended in 2004, the “girl next door” image stuck with Duff, making it hard for her to get other roles.

Previously, Duff was also involved in the later canceled Lizzie McGuire reboot, which was supposed to star the original cast of the Disney Channel show, including Hallie Todd (Jo McGuire/Lizzie’s Mom), Robert Carradine (Sam McGuire/Lizzie’s Dad), and Jake Thomas (Matt McGuire/Lizzie’s brother), Adam Lamberg (Gordo) and, of course, animated Lizzie. The reboot was canceled as, according to Duff, “the stars just didn’t align.”

When speaking to the Lizzie McGuire reboot, Duff said she insisted and pushed for a more mature Lizzie. “She had to be 30 years old doing 30-year-old things,” she explained. “She didn’t need to be doing bong rips and having one-night stands all the time, but it had to be authentic. I think they got spooked.”

lizzie mcguire
Credit: Disney

Because Duff stood her ground, the series was canceled, as we all know. The good news for Duff is it opened up a new career path involving the new How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Father, which is currently streaming on Hulu.

Duff plays the character of Sophie, who Duff actually feels would be friends with grown-up Lizzie. “It would be dumb of me to not know that I have a sweet spot playing that relatable girl,” she told Women’s Health. “I am that girl.”

Duff told Women’s Health, “Even as a kid trying to separate herself from the character who made her famous, she managed to hold on to her optimism. “It was a conscious choice not to be angsty and try to shift people’s opinions on who I am,” she says, laughing. “That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to try!”

When the series was first announced at the D23 Expo, it was said that the show would pick up when Lizzie turns 30 years old. “Just like me and everyone who loved Lizzie and grew up with her, Lizzie has also grown up,” Duff said at the 2019 D23 Expo. “She’s older, she’s wiser, she has a more expensive show budget…she has her dream job…she has her dream guy…she has her dream apartment…and she’s about to celebrate her 30th birthday.”

Lizzie Maguire Cast
Credit: Disney

Terri Minsky was the original Lizzie McGuire creator who, back in January 2020, decided to step away from her showrunner and executive producer role in the revival due to “creative differences.”

How I Met Your Father then aired on Hulu for two seasons and created what many fans were missing, an insight into Duff acting as an adult. Although this was not Lizzie, the character attributes truly did feel the same.

But, it seems that Disney was not a fan of Duff and her cast mates because they have ended the show for good.

Variety noted, “The Hilary Duff-led “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff concluded its second (and now final) season July 11 without revealing who Duff’s character, Sophie, ended up having a child with. The show debuted in January 2022 and aired 30 episodes overall.”

Tom Ainsley, Francia Raisa, Hilary Duff, Chris Lowell, Tien Tran, Suraj Sharma, and Stony Blyden in a scene from 'How I Met Your Father'.
Credit: Hulu

While it was a separate story from the 2005-2014 CBS hit “How I Met Your Mother,” which starred Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel, “How I Met Your Father” did exist in the same universe and included cameos from Harris’ character Barney Stinson and Smulders’ Robin Scherbatsky.

The publication continued, “Narrated by Kim Cattrall, who plays the 58-year-old version of Sophie, “How I Met Your Father” stars Duff, Christopher Lowell, Francia Raisa, Tom Ainsley, Tien Tran and Suraj Sharma. Recurring actors include Daniel Augustin, Ashley Reyes and Josh Peck.”

Disney+ is currently in the midst of a historic content purge, which has garnered the attention of fans from around the world. Disney removed more than 50 titles from both Disney+ and Hulu, including dozens of full-length films and series, in an attempt to cut costs. Now, having made it to Q3, we can see that this content disposal campaign has not helped their Disney+ numbers.

hilary duff in pink dress how i met your father birthday episode
Credit: Hulu

Recently, Disney held their Q3 2023 Earnings Call. Here we saw that direct-to-consumer sales have increased by 9%. That being said, Disney+ subscribers have dropped to 146.1 million. Disney’s goal for Disney+ subscribers was 154.8 million, so this now falls short. Disney’s “core” consumers increased by 1% — regardless, we are starting to see subscribers drop off now that Disney has begun to reduce the amount of content they are able to bring to their audience; the people paying for these services on a month-to-month basis.

Lizzie McGuire Gordo
Credit: Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger continued to discuss how they have raised prices across Disney+ prices and that ad-supported Disney+ subscription service options have been purchased by 40% of users. Ad-free bundles will also be coming to the US for Disney+ and Hulu, which will, in turn, cost more as their current ad-free options do, increasing Disney+ revenue and decreasing our bank accounts for nothing added — in fact, the service had been detracting and removing content.

Now, we are continuing to see many shows get cut from Hulu and Disney+ as a cost-cutting initiative.

Are you sad to see How I Met Your Father get canceled?

 

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