Faced with perhaps their trickiest PR dilemma since it was discovered that Jimmy Neutron's true boy genius was for producing some of the most potent meth in the western United States, Nickelodeon now has a star of Zoey 101 on their hands who was apparently absent for the lecture on how to not to be impregnated by your older boyfriend. To their credit, the network has opted not to put Zoey in a variety of ever-expanding smock-tops and pretend the pregnancy never happened, perhaps addressing her dramatic weight gain with a PSA on the dangers of Oreo addiction. Instead, they have a teen pregnancy special in the works, hosted by touchy-subject expert Linda Ellerbee:
Nickelodeon said it's talking with Linda Ellerbee, the veteran newswoman who has stepped in frequently in the past with shows on talking to children about difficult issues in the news. She's done shows about same-sex parents, AIDS, the Columbine shooting and President Clinton's impeachment scandal.
Rather than focus strictly on Spears, Ellerbee said she's considering producing a broad discussion about how people know they're in love, when is the right time to have sex and what are the value systems of their parents and friends. It could air as soon as next month.
Should Ellerbee's treatment of the sensitive topic of teen sexuality prove too hot to air, the network does have a backup plan—though we're not sure if it would be any less controversial to raid Nick at Night's vaults for the classic two-parter Maude's Dilemma, as the issues implicit in Bea Arthur's right to choose don't necessarily extend to those of a 16-year-old girl's.