April 3, 2008 / 2:47 AM / 10 years ago

Britney Spears in talks to return to CBS sitcom: report

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oops! ... She may be doing it again. Britney Spears is in talks to reprise her highly rated and critically praised guest-starring role on the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” TV Guide magazine’s Web site reported on Wednesday.

<p>Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas in this September 9, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>

TVGuide.com cited multiple sources as saying producers are seeking her return for at least one more episode as a dermatology office assistant named Abby, who falls for the show’s lead character, Ted, played by Josh Radnor.

The report quoted one insider as saying, “It all depends on her availability.”

CBS and the studio that produces the show, 20th Century Fox Television, declined comment on the report.

Spears’ appearance on “Mother” last month drew 10.6 million viewers -- up from its season-to-date average of 7.8 million, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Her performance also elicited mostly positive reviews, providing the singer with a rare bit of upbeat publicity amid a torrent of marital, health and legal woes in recent years. And she said in a statement issued weeks ago while shooting her scenes that she was “having a blast.”

It was her first prime-time acting role since she made a guest spot in March 2006 playing a Christian conservative talk show host on “Will & Grace.”

Spears, 26, rose to fame as a child star on the Disney channel and scored numerous hit songs as a teenager, including, “Oops ... I Did It Again.”

In 2002, she was named the world’s top celebrity by Forbes magazine after earning $39.2 million in a single year.

But in late 2006, Spears split from her second husband, Kevin Federline. Since then she has been in and out of rehab, lost custody of her two young sons to Federline, and was hospitalized twice in January for psychiatric evaluation.

Her highly publicized comeback performance on the MTV Video Music Awards in September last year was widely panned as a flop. Her new album, “Blackout,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last November, but quickly slid down the chart.

Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Dean Goodman

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