What's Stevie Thinking? (lost unaired pilot of cancelled "Lizzie McGuire" spin-off TV series; 2003)
What's Stevie Thinking? (also known as Stevie Sanchez) is an unaired spin-off of the popular Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire.
The pilot was ultimately not picked up by Disney Channel, due to having only having only more one slot for another sitcom at that time. After the failed pitch, the pilot was not shown again and is now considered lost.
Following the release of The Lizzie McGuire Movie in May 2003, it was announced that Lizzie McGuire would end production due to financial and contractual disagreements between Disney and Hilary Duff's management. Prior to this, they were in talks about producing a primetime sitcom about Lizzie's high school years for ABC. Due to the high popularity of the show's brand, executives still wanted to continue marketing the Lizzie McGuire franchise, even with Duff gone from the show. Disney then chose to produce a spin-off involving Lalaine's character Miranda Sanchez.
For the spin-off, Lizzie McGuire creators Terri Minsky and Stan Rogow decided to center the spin-off around a new character named Stephanie "Stevie" Sanchez, who would be connected to the original show by being the younger sister of Miranda Sanchez (This idea may be off-putting to keen-eyed Lizzie McGuire fans, as Miranda's sister was said to be a baby in the Lizzie McGuire episode "Misadventures of Babysitting", and the spin-off would have suddenly spurted the character from infancy to tween-age).
The show would have been about Miranda, Stevie, and her best friends trying to help support wildlife conservation and help at a zoo in Australia with a crocodile hunter named Steve Irwin. Stevie allegedly would have also had an animated persona to voice her inner thoughts much like the original Lizzie character.
Around late 2003 or mid 2004, future Disney star Selena Gomez auditioned at 11 years old for the role of Miranda's sister Stevie Sanchez. The show was formally announced in a Variety article in November 2004. (Hannah Montana, another popular Disney Channel show was mentioned to have begun pre-production in this same article) Further auditions were held during late 2004 and early 2005.
The pilot was ultimately filmed in February 2005, and was being pitched to Disney Channel by the summer of that year.
During 2005, the only other show being pitched to Disney Channel was Hannah Montana. This resulted in the network not picking up the spin-off as they only had room for one new sitcom that year. Another likely reason could be that Lizzie McGuire had already finished airing all of its episodes and Disney felt that the franchise had already ran its course. After several guest appearances in other Disney Channel shows, and another failed pilot, Selena Gomez would eventually gain success with her own show Wizards of Waverly Place.
The pilot has yet to surface, but has been mentioned on a few rare occasions. Clips of Selena Gomez's audition for the pilot were shown on a DVD for Wizards of Waverly Place and an episode of E! True Hollywood Story.
In 2020, Lizzie McGuire cast member Jake Thomas brought up the spin-off in regards to a fan's question about the cancelled Lizzie reboot stating; "@beautysupernova I'll answer that question with another question: was anyone able to see the old Lizzie spin-off, Stevie Sánchez, with @selenagomez?"
- Miranda Sanchez (Lalaine)
- Stephanie "Stevie" Sanchez (Selena Gomez)
- Edward Sanchez (Armando Molina)
- Daniella Sanchez (Dyana Ortelli)
- Deli (Charlie Stewart)
- Gilroy (Loren Berman)
- Mark Lanalampi (Blake Foster)
- Hannah (Haley Hill)
- Henry (Gus Hoffman)
- Taylor McConner (Shane Hunter)
- Miss Avery (Kelli McCarty)
- Marc De'Antone (Street Vendor)
- IMDB page for What's Stevie Thinking?. Retrieved 17 Oct '20
- Article about Lizzie McGuire ending. Retrieved 17 Oct '20
- Variety article where the show was formally announced. Retrieved 17 Oct '20
- A forum post regarding the auditions for the Stevie Sanchez pilot. Retrieved 17 Oct '20
- Variety article confirming the cancellation of Stevie Sanchez in favor of Hannah Montana. Retrieved 17 Oct '20