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How I Met Your Father: Hilary Duff on Why "Lizzie McGuire" Didn't Work

Now we know that a lot of How I Met Your Mother fans are cautiously optimistic about the news of Hulu giving a ten-episode, straight-to-series order for the spinoff How I Met Your Father with Hilary Duff (Younger) set to star. And it's great to see Duff and Hulu back to being BFFs again. So we almost feel kinda weird asking this but… so what really did happen with the whole "Lizzie McGuire' reboot debacle? Over the course of last year, a creative tug-of-war between Duff and Disney+/Hulu took place- with Duff looking to have the reboot go with a more modern take on Hulu while "The Mouse" apparently wasn't looking to have any part of that. In December 2020, Duff would confirm that the project was officially dead and we were left wondering if there was any bad blood stemming from it. Apparently not based on her casting in HIMYF– but that didn't keep SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show from asking Duff for some clarity on where it all fell apart.

how i met your father
Image: Freeform

In the following clip, there's a lot to be said in the "safe pauses" in Duff's responses as she explains how Lizzie needed to deal with modern times and current events as a thirtysomething mom to connect with the audience while still be respectful to the character. Apparently, Duff's position led to "a lot of creative discussions" and conflicting visions that unfortunately couldn't be reconciled. The biggest surprise from the clip below? That two episodes were filmed before the plug was pulled- as you're about to see:

Duff also explains why she's excited about introducing viewers to her on-screen family. "There's great characters and I'm going to get to have another on-set family, another TV family. There's so much opportunity for love stories with this show because it's Sophie and then, three dudes," Duff explained. "So it's going down that whole rabbit hole of like, well, which one was the father? And you get to like go through all of Sophie's young experience of finding love and dating and what that's like in the modern world."

Created by writers and executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the series kicks off with Duff's Sophie telling her son the story of how she met his father- with the story beginning in 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options. Duff will also executive produce the series, with Craig Thomas and Carter Bays also serving as executive producers and Adam Londy co-executive producing- with 20th Television set to produce.

"Isaac and Elizabeth have an inspired take on this new version that honors what Carter and Craig created with the original and moves the franchise forward. Isaac and Elizabeth have proven to be rich storytellers and great partners to us at Hulu Originals and across The Walt Disney Company family," said Craig Erwich, President, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment, when the news was first announced. "Coupled with the passion and infectious energy Hilary brings to every role she takes on, we can't wait to suit up and bring audiences 'How I Met Your Father.'"

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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