Fans Go Zowie For 'Zoey 101'

So much for a Jamie Lynn Spears viewer backlash.

The pregnant teen star's Zoey 101 series on Nickelodeon drew more than 11 million viewers in its Jan. 27 two-episode, fourth-season premiere.

The 8 p.m. season premiere episode, in which Spears' Zoey character was forced to make a decision between staying at her boarding school and flying overseas to live with her parents, drew 5.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

A subsequent episode drew a whooping 6 million subscribers.

The two teen-targeted episodes were the second and third most-watched shows on cable for the week of Jan. 21 – Jan. 27, topped only by Disney Channel's tween-targeted original movie Minutemen, which drew 6.4 million viewers.

Nickelodeon decided to go ahead with Zoey 101's fourth season despite the 16-year old Spears' controversial announcement in December that she was pregnant.

Several media outlets called for Nickelodeon to cancel the show.

But the publicity over Spears' pregnancy helped the series' season three one-hour movie draw a series-high 7.27 million viewers, more than double the average of 2.94 million viewers for season three.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.