‘Teen Mom 2′ Getting Strong Ratings, but Question Remains: Why?

by | January 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM | TV News

MTV’s “Teen Mom” phenomenon just keeps getting bigger. But why are we so obsessed with these pregnant teens?

This past Tuesday’s episode of “Teen Mom 2” attracted 4 million viewers, The New York Post reports. It was the third highest-rated episode of any of MTV’s teen-pregnancy programs (the other series being “16 and Pregnant”), the paper said, noting that the first season of “Teen Mom” averaged 3.7 million viewers per episode, hitting a season high of 5.6 million for the final episode.

So far in the second season of “Teen Mom,” viewers have been introduced to Jenelle, 19, a former “wild child” who now vows to straighten out her life, starting with granting custody of her baby to her mother.

Jenelle: Why I’m Signing Over Son’s Custody to Mom

In another storyline this season, 17-year-old Leah revealed on Tuesday’s show that one of her 13-month-old twins is experiencing problems in her physical development.

The “Teen Mom” shows have generated countless headlines and magazine covers. As such, the teen pregnancy shows are just two more examples of MTV’s seemingly boundless ability to mount shows that generate controversy, conversation and, in most cases, ratings – everything from “The Osbournes” and “Jackass” way back when to, more recently, “Skins” and “Jersey Shore.”

“Teen Mom” has emerged as such a conversation starter that celebrities are coming out of the woodwork to debate it, with Kim Kardashian slamming it a few weeks ago and then Rosie O’Donnell flying to its defense.

Report: Teen Mom Amber in Tears Over Kardashian Insult

“These girls, who in another time in society would be shunned and sent off somewhere, are becoming celebrities in and of themselves,” notes Dan Manu of Televisionwithoutpity.com in the New York Post story. “Who would’ve thought that being pregnant as a teenager would be enough to get you on the cover of InTouch, US Weekly and Life & Style?”

Thanks for asking that question, Mr. Manu. That’s exactly what we’d like to know!