After almost one month of waiting, Nickelodeon returned its teen series Zoey 101 yesterday, featuring the third season ender “Goodbye Zoey.” This two-part special followed the lead character Zoey Brooks, portrayed by Jamie Lynn Spears, as she struggled with her decision to relocate to London with her parents or remain with her friends at the fictional Pacific Coast Academy.
“Friendships are put to the test in this exciting TV movie, where the kids face the real-life challenges of making tough decisions and moving to new places,” according to a Nickelodeon press released last month. “We think the surprise ending will leave viewers riveted and looking forward to the new season of the show.”
The airing of “Goodbye Zoey” has become the subject of controversy ever since the 16-year-old Spears revealed last month that she was expecting a child. The issue of whether or not Zoey 101 will return on Nickelodeon for a fourth season in February has also come into question given that several publications have called for the network to shelve the show due to the negative influence Spears’ pregnancy could have on her impressionable tween audience.
On the other hand, Zoey 101 is set to remain on the air despite the controversy. According to Nickelodeon executive vice president of corporate communications Dan Martinsen, the network has not changed its plans to premiere the fourth and final season of Zoey 101 next month since the fourth season has already been filmed. Martinsen, however, would not comment on the network’s complaints from concerned parents or kids about the show.
Dr. Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, says that pulling the plug on the show would just attract more attention to Spears’ situation, especially with young children who are fans of the show and aren’t aware of its star’s personal life.
“They [Nickelodeon] have two options, they could keep it on the front burner and make people – who otherwise would not have noticed – pay attention,” Thompson said. “Or they could just make the assumption that some kids might have heard a little bit about it, but a lot of little kids don’t read People magazine.”
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: NY Post
(Images courtesy of Nickelodeon)