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Teen Pregnancy Scandal = Good Ratings

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Written By

January 9th, 2008

Zoey 101’s Jamie Lynn SpearsAh, the good old days...when I had no idea Jamie Lynn Spears even existed. Things being as they are, I was not able to remain completely unaware of her existence. So I did have some passing knowledge that Britney Spears had a younger sister who starred in a Nickelodeon series and recently became pregnant at the age of 16.

I'm a little long in tooth to be watching Nickelodeon, and my awareness of Zoey 101 was such that I had no idea that it had anything to do with Jamie Lynn Spears. The way Nielsen published the information it showed up as "Zoey Movie Goodbye Zoey". I could see that it rated very well but had no idea it was the season 3 finale of Zoey 101.

Then I read Lisa de Moraes column in the Washington Post where she points out that prior to Jamie Lynn's pregnancy being announced about 3 million people were tuning in for Zoey 101. But after the pregnancy was announced, 7.27 million tuned in for the season finale. A 100+% ratings increase based on teen pregnancy news scandal. NICK seems OK with it, season four of Zoey 101 is set to debut next month.

 
  • http://map33.blogspot.com angela penny

    Dude, you're crossing over to the dark side. I wonder who was turning in.

  • http://map33.blogspot.com angela penny

    Dude, you’re crossing over to the dark side. I wonder who was turning in.

  • Rena Moretti

    I think your article explains it very well. Most people weren't all that aware of that show. I had no idea what's-her-name was even in it until I read your article (I'm really good at tuning out tabloid nonsense).

    The news got them a bunch of sampling. It'll be interesting what the effect will be in the long run.

    Tabloid coverage can be great in the short term. Angelina Jolie got her only real hit, Mr. and Mrs. Smith off of it.

    The problem is that that kind of publicity can't be sustained and turns a lot of people off who would have been your regular audience.

    Most news broadcasts, especially local news, have used tabloid stunting again and again in search of a quick boost of ratings. Even printed newspapers have done this with frightening regularity. But the end result has been that local news' ratings have lowered into irrelevance (and printed newspapers continue their slide which started in the 1970s, long before they could blame the internet for producing an uninteresting product).

    To stray again from strictly television, but I think it applies, when I see the L.A. Times putting Paris Hilton on the front page, I stop taking the L.A. Times seriously and I stop reading it. The same applies to local news.

    The lure of a quick ratings bump is paid for in the long run and unfortunately most media only care about the bump, not how it destroys their core business in the process.

  • Rena Moretti

    I think your article explains it very well. Most people weren’t all that aware of that show. I had no idea what’s-her-name was even in it until I read your article (I’m really good at tuning out tabloid nonsense).

    The news got them a bunch of sampling. It’ll be interesting what the effect will be in the long run.

    Tabloid coverage can be great in the short term. Angelina Jolie got her only real hit, Mr. and Mrs. Smith off of it.

    The problem is that that kind of publicity can’t be sustained and turns a lot of people off who would have been your regular audience.

    Most news broadcasts, especially local news, have used tabloid stunting again and again in search of a quick boost of ratings. Even printed newspapers have done this with frightening regularity. But the end result has been that local news’ ratings have lowered into irrelevance (and printed newspapers continue their slide which started in the 1970s, long before they could blame the internet for producing an uninteresting product).

    To stray again from strictly television, but I think it applies, when I see the L.A. Times putting Paris Hilton on the front page, I stop taking the L.A. Times seriously and I stop reading it. The same applies to local news.

    The lure of a quick ratings bump is paid for in the long run and unfortunately most media only care about the bump, not how it destroys their core business in the process.

  • janeth

    well i think your article is very good, and to the point. i my self as a teenager think such program should be off air, for in this case is a bad influence to our younger kids. For example my 8 year old cousin, asked me why the show (zoey 101) was going to end. At the time i did not know about her stage, but a few days later i found out ,about this scandal. i was shocked by it not because she was pregnant but because of how my little cousin saw her a s role modle.

  • janeth

    well i think your article is very good, and to the point. i my self as a teenager think such program should be off air, for in this case is a bad influence to our younger kids. For example my 8 year old cousin, asked me why the show (zoey 101) was going to end. At the time i did not know about her stage, but a few days later i found out ,about this scandal. i was shocked by it not because she was pregnant but because of how my little cousin saw her a s role modle.

  • Rena Moretti

    I was always shocked that people like Britney Spears (at her height) were shown as role-models when they are practically prostituting themselves and are definitely objectifying themselves.

  • Rena Moretti

    I was always shocked that people like Britney Spears (at her height) were shown as role-models when they are practically prostituting themselves and are definitely objectifying themselves.

  • adrianna ramos

    Wow.

    I had no idea that there was going to be a fourth season of “Zoey 101″. You didn't make it clear if Zoey was going to be pregnant on the show or not. But if so, I'm sure that the ratings will go right back down again. It would be such a disgrace to childrens' T.V. that parents probably wouldn't even allow their kids to watch it anymore. Some would probably even have a mind to block Nickelodeon alone. If I had a child, I would. It just brings television to a whole new low.
    I, myself am not the type of person who completly hates the idea of teen pregnancy, but this just sets such a bad example for the millions of kids watching. Who's to say if they'll see the show and decide that it's okay to go out and have unprotected sex and think that the conciquences won't matter?
    Anywho, I give the artical five stars.

  • adrianna ramos

    Wow.

    I had no idea that there was going to be a fourth season of “Zoey 101″. You didn’t make it clear if Zoey was going to be pregnant on the show or not. But if so, I’m sure that the ratings will go right back down again. It would be such a disgrace to childrens’ T.V. that parents probably wouldn’t even allow their kids to watch it anymore. Some would probably even have a mind to block Nickelodeon alone. If I had a child, I would. It just brings television to a whole new low.
    I, myself am not the type of person who completly hates the idea of teen pregnancy, but this just sets such a bad example for the millions of kids watching. Who’s to say if they’ll see the show and decide that it’s okay to go out and have unprotected sex and think that the conciquences won’t matter?
    Anywho, I give the artical five stars.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Adrianna, I have no knowledge about production for Zoey — for all I know, all the shows for the season have already been filmed.

    I doubt the show will reference the pregancy at all and think there is zero chance the Zoey character will appear pregnant on a Nickelodeon show aimed at kids.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    Adrianna, I have no knowledge about production for Zoey — for all I know, all the shows for the season have already been filmed.

    I doubt the show will reference the pregancy at all and think there is zero chance the Zoey character will appear pregnant on a Nickelodeon show aimed at kids.

  • http://pregnancy.more4kids.info/111/healthy-habits-for-pregnant-women:/ pregnancy

    Its related to Teen Pregnancy Scandal regarding the Hot celebrities of Hollywood like Jamie Lynn Spears. I recommend that in Hollywood its true or not concerned with pregnancy tests. The media makes such reports on it.

  • http://pregnancy.more4kids.info/111/healthy-habits-for-pregnant-women:/ pregnancy

    Its related to Teen Pregnancy Scandal regarding the Hot celebrities of Hollywood like Jamie Lynn Spears. I recommend that in Hollywood its true or not concerned with pregnancy tests. The media makes such reports on it.

  • http://tvbythenumers.com gabby

    hey, im 16 teen and i'm gona have baby so there is not much to say but she should keep it because it is not any one else b/c its her baby

  • http://tvbythenumers.com gabby

    hey, im 16 teen and i’m gona have baby so there is not much to say but she should keep it because it is not any one else b/c its her baby

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