Andi Mack Pregnant Teen Show

Andi Mack Creator Shares the Secret of Disney Channel's Most Adult Show Yet (Plus, Watch the Series Premiere)

Something tells us the Parents Television Council will have a lot to say about Disney Channel’s newest series.

Andi Mack follows a 13-year-old girl named Andi (played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) who receives life-changing news from her cooler, older, motorcycle-riding sister Bex (Lilan Bowden), who returns home in the premiere after traveling the world.

Ready for the secret? It turns out that Bex isn’t really Andi’s older sister, she’s her mother. And Andi’s mom (Friends‘ own Lauren “Not Rachel” Tom)? Yup, she’s actually her grandmother.

“[The network] asked me for something different,” creator Terri Minsky — also responsible for creating Disney Channel’s Lizzie McGuire and executive-producing Season 1 of MTV’s Finding Carter — tells TVLine. “They wanted to attract an older audience. The whole thing was very flattering, because they seemed to think I could do it based on my Lizzie McGuire pilot. They just said, ‘Give us something new,’ so I pitched them this idea and they went for it immediately.”

Of the initial pitch meeting, Minsky recalls, “We shared all the stories we had for the first season, and they sat there like we were reading them a Harry Potter book or something. They were so entertained! I loved that. It was an unusual and very special, validating experience for me.”

In addition to being a more adult show than the network is used to airing, Andi Mack is also far more serialized than any of its current offerings. Explains Minsky, “There’s a ‘next on…’ at the end of every episode and a ‘previously on…’ at the beginning of the next. There’s a story that’s told from the pilot to the 13th episode,” including the gradual reveal of Andi’s father.

But before nervous parents start thinking that Disney Channel is offering their kids a lesson in sex ed…

“We’re not going to say where babies come from,” Minsky says. “Even the whole ‘when a man and a woman love each other very much’ — no, we don’t have that conversation. These 13 episodes are primarily about the nature of the relationships, the shift that happens, the loss of trust and the rebuilding of a family dynamic. … I can’t say for a fact that we’ll never talk about sex, because we talk about a lot of stuff on this show I wasn’t expecting to. We don’t specifically say the words ‘pregnant teenager,’ but we have conversations about invasion of privacy and how she left home. There’s some tough family stuff in there, and that’s what I’m proud of.”

Strangely, the most surprising aspect of Andi Mack isn’t its adult theme, but rather the inspiration behind it.

“I’m kind of self conscious about saying this, but it’s based on me reading a profile on Jack Nicholson,” Minsky admits. “This was his life story. He was raised thinking his mother was his sister, and he didn’t find out until later. I’m not going to represent that I know his story, but it was an idea that I heard and thought it was an interesting dynamic I might be able to explore.”

Andi Mack officially premieres April 7 on Disney Channel, but you can catch the premiere On Demand, on the Disney Channel app and on YouTube (below). Watch the first episode, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. neetztalks says:

    Soo they couldn’t do this for Girl Meets World too? #bitter

    • LILWhat says:

      But this is better than GMW though, plot-wise. GMW is too cheesy to be honest and being filmed in a multi-cam setup, it feels more like a failed soap opera than a sitcom for kids.

      • Asia says:

        Definitely, better than GMW plot wise. I wanted to like that show but it was way too dramatic and preachy. This feels like real life not some character freaking out about changing a bay window.

        • Lorelai_myspiritanimal says:

          List of things wrong with gmw:

          1. The dialogue was HEAVILY unrealistic for a bunch of teens. If they weren’t speaking in riddles then they were talking like a bunch of amateur poets on a tumblr blog. That was their way of trying to come off as mature, like come on even the most mature people don’t talk like they do.

          2. CRYING!! Andi mack had crying in the first episode and peyton said in a live video that there would be some more crying throughout, so crying itself isn’t wrong, BUT the crying in this show was over something MEANINGFUL!!! Every time I turned to gmw or seen it online, those girls were crying. It went from aww to WHAT NOW ARE THEY CRYING OVER? IS LIFE THAT BAD? Some adults fans even called the kids depressed

          3. Love triange. Talk about the stake in the back for that show. None of the fans were going to be happy about the choice; some even threatened to stop watching if lucaya happened. It didn’t, but neither did joshaya. Heck, rucas happened but you couldn’t tell because they didn’t do couple things. Jacobs made a mistake with that direction of the show because fans to this day are still mad about it

          4. Like angie said, the fans were tyrants. Just recently Sabrina was under attack by multiple gmw fans, so much so that her father had to step in. they were out of control. Some set pics of Sabrina and rowan on fire…FIREE!! They always attacked disney and Rowan was no help because she would attack too. Attacking your employers on a social media platform? Idc how outspoken you are, that’s a NO in any job field.

          The show was supposed to be about kindness but emitted negative vibes in its out of control fanbase. They did TRY I’ll give them that, but it’s over and that’s good because andi mack can take over and do the coming of age thing right with a great, positive fanbase. Reminds me of stuck in the middle, just positive and family vibes

    • angie says:

      “So they couldn’t do this for Girl Meets World?”

      If Disney had a problem with deep topics and taking major steps like this one, they would not have gave this show athe green light. A show about teen pregnancy? That’s bigger than anything I’ve heard of on Disney Channel. They even that Good Luck Charlie have a gay couple on it. I don’t know why Girl Meets World ended, but what I will say is that its for the better because that’s shows fanbase has got to be the most hateful and spiteful children show fan base I’ve seen in my life. Irony because the show was about kindness and friendship.

      • mert says:

        I just wish this could be possible. Alex Mack is such a golden show. It really is and what pisses me off is that the show is way underrated. Nickeleodeon should consider doing a reboot for those -like us- adore The Secret World of Alex Mack.

    • Wordsmith says:

      They said they wanted something new. GMW is kind of the exact opposite of that as a sequel/reboot.

  2. Kate says:

    I clicked on this SO FAST hoping it would be an Alex Mack reboot. Granted, that show was awhile ago, but it still seems weird that Disney would let the show be named something so close to another show.

    • lizzie says:

      That’s exactly why I clicked on it too!

    • I thought this too, when I first saw news of the project — but what’s interesting is that Alex Mack was actually a Nickelodeon franchise back in the day. I’ve got to think that Nick’s lawyers have to be eyeing this one sideways and pondering the possible trademark issues.

  3. powerturtle90sdudemon says:

    I thought Lauren Tom would be better known around these parts for a more regular role like Futurama, not a guest stint on Friends…

  4. Emily says:

    I ‘m excited for this new show called Andi Mack but I think Girl Meets World is a lot better. I really hope that Girl Meets World will have a 4th season.

  5. Jared says:

    So Disney Channel wanted a show to attract an older audience and when GMW did just that it got cancelled?

    • Lorelai_myspiritanimal says:

      Gmw attracred an older audience initially because fans wanted to see Cory and Topanga and the gang. What they got was a 14 year old girl chasing a teddy bear, one crying over a bay window, and a whole host of childish crap with melodramatic scenes and over-the-top dialogue. Girl Meets World was advertised as a family show but fail to be a family show that it’s parent show.

  6. Mo says:

    I have no idea why, because I never thought Disney would be that brave, but this storyline was the first thing I thought when I saw trailers for this show. I couldn’t figure out anything else that would live up to the hype of the “big, life-changing” type of secret.

  7. Anabelle LAwrence says:

    NEED MORE INFO

  8. Vanessa says:

    I’m 22 and this show immediately drew me in. Lilan Bowden and Peyton Elizabeth Lee’s chemistry is amazing. I agree with those saying that this show is better than GMW. There’s something more authentic and down-to-earth about the characters on Andi Mack. It reminds me of watching Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, etc. when I was a kid. Plus, this is an original idea that will keep people watching.

  9. Wil213 says:

    Well……this is a first for a children’should tv network. Very interesting so far though.

  10. Susie says:

    I’m confused… Disney axed GMW bc it didn’t want the age base it was attracting. Some say GMW was too cheezy but not any more than BMW, Lizzie McGuire, KC Undercover, Good Luck Charlie, Lab Rats, etc. That’s what Disney and Nick do…cheezy kids shows. This is too adult. It’s Freeform material. I watch tv for entertainment not to keep re living my life. I’m out Disney. Keep making cheezy, Nick. I’m in.

    • Bree says:

      This show is definitely for Freeform,Fox,CW,Mtv…I wouldn’t have ever thought Disney would do this….If that’s the case they should do like Nickelodeon did with “The N” and make a Teen Disney channel for crossover content such as this…. This is on the same network as Dog with a blog? My 9 year old was excited about it so I had to check it out and see…I actually like the show,but I don’t agree with the network….It’s going to be a hit though…

    • Jamie says:

      I totally agree. I’m fine with the show, but it doesn’t belong on Disney Channel, this is what freeform is for. I feel like Disney is trying to do away with the 6-12 year appropriate shows. Too old for Disney junior, not old enough for shows like this one. My poor 9 year old goes from watching Disney junior and nick junior with her younger siblings to watching PLL with her 15yo sister. The choices for that age group seems to be shrinking.

  11. Karol says:

    This is not new at all, there is a lot o korean dramas with this plot!

  12. JJ. says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by the pilot, it does seem more ‘real’ which feels reminiscent of the disney channel shows from the 90s/early 2000s. I’m not at all in their target audience but i’m intrigued enough to give it another episode

  13. M says:

    Love it love it love it!!!!!

  14. Hailey says:

    Who is Andi’s dad??? I need to know!!!!

  15. Amanda says:

    Love it, watched it with my daughter.

  16. Resa says:

    She finds out her sister is her _biological_ mother. Her mother is still the woman who raised her (presumably, there was also a legal adoption involved).

  17. joshua smith says:

    i think it will be a great show. my nieces have seen it on the disney app, and they love the show already.

  18. Dt says:

    I love the show way better than GMW! And my favorite actor is Acher. Can’t wait to see season 1 episode 3

  19. Dt says:

    This is way better than GMW! I can’t wait till season 1 episode 3 comes out! My favorite actor is Asher Angel/Jonah Bech

  20. DangDeliilah says:

    Omg. When’s episode 2?!!! Now I’m obsessed

  21. jessie jones says:

    Love it

  22. Yeah, my kids won’t be watching this. This is not something for younger kids but maybe for the teen crowd.

  23. Sarah Cupples says:

    Sounds amazing