By Jon Weisman
Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” drew 5.2 million viewers — its biggest audience in two years — for its Monday episode, “SpongeBob, You’re Fired!”
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The episode, which created some level of controversy for its depiction of unemployment, was a hit with kids, ranking first for the night in the 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14 demos.
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“SpongeBob” has become an unwitting player in the culture wars in the past, such as past attempts by groups to make the lead character a figure in debates over homosexuality and tolerance.