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Britney had ulterior motive for TV special

"Britney: For the Record" might offer an inside glimpse into the pop star's life, but offering up tidbits about her failed relationship with Kevin Federline wasn't the goal of the documentary.
/ Source: msnbc.com

"Britney: For the Record" might offer an inside glimpse into the pop star's life, but offering up tidbits about her failed relationship with Kevin Federline wasn't the goal of the documentary.

"Despite all she's been through, she's a shrewd one, and so is her manager Larry Rudolph (who produced the documentary)," says a source close to Spears. "This documentary was as much about a pre-emptive strike about (her father's) conservatorship if it fails, and making Larry look good if she doesn't."

Explanation, please? "Everyone agrees that (father and current financial manager) Jamie's been good for Britney, but there's always the possibility that his best efforts won't work when it comes to letting her have the career she wants, and that shouldn't be pinned on Britney," the source says. "She can't make any decisions. If she fails, she doesn't want it to look like it was her fault."

As for Rudolph, the source says, "He made her who she is. He handled her brilliantly right after the she announced her split, but then she lost it, and that wasn't his fault. This will prove that. Larry needs Britney as much as she needs him."

Rosie is out, but not down on variety shows
Ratings for Rosie O'Donnell's much-hyped Thanksgiving Eve variety show were less than impressive — fewer than 5 million viewers tuned in.

But that doesn't mean O'Donnell has soured on the variety-show concept in its entirety. She wrote on her blog:

“many people r gonna try a variety show one will work ... check them out”

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on the "Let's Be Cops," red carpet, Selena Gomez is immortalized in wax and more.

Among the shows O'Donnell could be referring to is Fox's 2009 effort, which will include Ozzy Osbourne and family.

But back to O'Donnell: why does she think her own show flopped? Basically, preparedness and watchability. Again, from her blog:

“not enough rehearsal the live part wasnt a plus the in theater experience didnt transfer to tv ... we were going for ed sullivan and theres only one carol b and hey i gave it my best shot ”

Hanks can thank Travolta for his careerFor all his successes, John Travolta has some career regrets.

Among them, turning down lead roles in "Chicago" ("I wasn't all that in to the stage show," he says) and he also says, "‘Green Mile’ I probably should have said yes to, and 'An Officer and a Gentleman'. But I gave Richard Gere and Tom Hanks a career! What you turn down can be a gift to someone else. There is enough to go around."

Travolta might have an argument with Gere, whose only really big film prior to "An Officer and a Gentleman" was "American Gigolo."

But Hanks? The "Green Mile" hit theaters in 1999. Pretty sure Hanks' career was awfully solid at that point.

Paris Hilton finishes second album
You have to give Paris Hilton credit — as vapid as some of her endeavors seem, the woman at least has them, and is rarely idle.

Hilton told Entertainment Weekly that she's just finished her second album, and unlike the first, which included songs written by new "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, Hilton penned the tunes herself.

"I wrote all the songs, it's very dance, like Kylie Minogue," Hilton said.

The heiress no longer has a relationship with Warner Bros. Records, however, so it might be a little while until the tunes hit airwaves.

"I'm figuring it out right now," Hilton said. "I'm not sure which label I'm doing it with."

Weekend box office
Comedy continued to reign supreme at the box office over the holiday weekend. As predicted, "Four Christmases" hit number one. The Vince Vaughn/Reese Witherspoon flick earned $31.6 million, which is more than was originally forecast.

Disney flick "Bolt" came in second but had an exceptional performance: it actually took in 101% of its opening weekend box office, which is very rare (3-day totals were $26.6 million, 5-day were $66.9 million).

The Sexiest Man of the Year didn't have as good a weekend — Hugh Jackman's epic "Australia" came in 6th, earning only $20 million for the 5-day holiday weekend.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com.