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Britney, Justin performance is no surprise

The news that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake would take the stage together with Madonna  might have come to a shock to many fans, some close friends of Spears weren’t surprised.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Ryan Seacrest broke the news on his Nov. 5 radio broadcast that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake would take the stage with Madonna at her Nov. 6 concert at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium. While the news might have come to a shock to many fans, some close friends of Spears weren’t surprised.

“Justin has denied all along that he was in touch with Britney, but that was him being a gentleman,” says one source who has known Spears for years. “He was in touch with her and supportive all through rehab — there’s no bad blood and he’s been open to helping her when she was ready and responsible all along.”

Another Spears friend says, “Britney’s serious about her comeback now — the people who supported her when she was at the top of her game have always been willing to come back when she was serious and ready.”

As for Madonna’s influence, a Kabbalah source is more cynical. “It’s hard for this to not look like a press stunt. There’s been a lot of worry about how Madonna is presenting Kabbalah to the world while she’s divorcing Guy and denying a real relationship with A-Rod. Britney’s never cut ties totally with Kabbalah,” says the source. “I’m sure there’s a link here. If she’s a comeback story and Kabbalah can take credit, then everyone wins.”

Access Hollywood reported on the concert Friday. Read all about it here.

Daniel Craig, ready for a black Bond Daniel Craig, an outspoken Barack Obama supporter (despite not being a U.S. citizen) thinks it's time not just for a black president, but a black James Bond.

Craig, the first blond Bond, told the British press, "After Barack Obama's victory, I think we might have reached the moment for a coloured 007.

"I think the role could easily be played by a black actor, because the character created by Ian Fleming in the '50s has undergone a great deal of evolution and continues to be updated," he said. "I've always been a fan of Obama. The political ideas that have emerged from his speeches seem to me to be genuine."

Craig is signed on for a third Bond film, but has dropped hints that he might not be onboard for that installment. Reasons he cited in the past included everything from the ink on the contract not being dry to the bad economy.

Finally, Clooney to ER, maybe

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

George Clooney’s return to “ER” for its last season on primetime has been one of the biggest is-he-or-isn’t he questions of the television season.

Clooney’s rep Stan Rosenfield has shot down numerous rumors that Clooney will return to the television series going so far as to say he hasn’t even been asked to be in any episodes that walk up to the show’s finale.

Now Rosenfield isn’t quite confirming, but he’s getting a little closer, at least in rep speak. “I am aware of the story,” Rosenfield says. “I know nothing about it.” For now, I think it’s safe to call that a firm maybe. It isn’t a no.

Weekend box office Escapist movies are what Americans want right now (“Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” anyone?) so expect “Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa” to top the box office this weekend. Early estimates have the Chris Rock/Ben Stiller film grossing more than $50 million — an estimate that could turn out to be spot-on.

Also opening this weekend: “Soul Men,” which starts the late Bernie Mac, and “Role Models,” Universal’s comedy starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, which opens in more than 2,700 theaters. Expect it to come in just behind “Soul Men,” but not by much.

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