When Neil Patrick Harris clarified his stance regarding Britney Spears’ involvement with “How I Met Your Mother,” saying yes, he did want her back on the show, some television insiders saw the move as solid evidence that negotiations to have the pop star return were definitely going well and likely nearing completion. (He originally opined that having her on the show was little more than a “casting stunt.”)
That speculation, it turns out, was true. People.com reported over the weekend that Spears is indeed heading back to prime time: “The show is ecstatic and so is Britney. She had so much fun the first time around she really wanted to come back,” a source told Web site.
However, there are members of the Spears camp who aren’t so ecstatic. “Sure, she had a fun time, but it wasn’t about a comeback,” said a source. “It was about getting her on the road to being better. The last thing we want is a new element of fame for her to have to deal with.”
The March 24 episode that featured Spears drew 10.62 million viewers — about a million more than the prior week’s episode. The episode also generated the largest audience in the 18-to-49 age range in the show’s three-year history.
First lady and first daughter recommend books First lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna recently released their first book collaboration, a children’s book called “Read All About It.” Literacy has been the first lady’s pet project since George W. Bush took office, so it makes sense to wonder what books Laura Bush and daughter might recommend.
In an interview with the Daily News’ Jo Piazza, Jenna revealed, “My mom recently said she loved the ‘Iliad’ and I picked it up in the airport yesterday and I read half and I love it. … Also ‘Mountains beyond Mountains,’ by Tracey Kidder.” Laura Bush said, “Jenna recommended Ann Patchett (“Bel Canto”) to me and “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss, and I loved it.”
In other Bush family news, the president will be making an appearance on Monday night’s episode of “Deal or No Deal.” The president reportedly taped a “surprise good luck video” for Army Capt. Joe Kobes, who served in Iraq and appears as a contestant on the show. Only we’re guessing it’s not so much of a surprise any more …
Weekend box office While this week’s prediction that “The Forbidden Kingdom” would take the No. 1 spot at the box office was spot-on, one thing that did take me by surprise was just how well “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” did.
“Kingdom” took in $20.8 million, impressive to be sure, but “Sarah Marshall” made a very respectable $17.3 million at the box office. Why? Judd Apatow’s name couldn’t have hurt, the film had large date-night appeal and really, it’s been a while since there’s been a good breakup movie of any kind, especially one as lighthearted as “Sarah Marshall.” Hopefully this bodes well for the film’s star and writer, Jason Segel.
Al Pacino’s “88 Minutes” was the weekend’s other new release. It came in fourth place just behind last week’s No. 1, “Prom Night.”
Celebrity sightings In New York: Mary-Kate Olsen and Tory Burch attended a party at Ilori sunglasses on April 17 to celebrate the launch of Proenza Schouler’s new collection of specs. Gabrielle Union and Lance Bass hung out at Tenjune on April 14th. MTV's “The Hills” duo Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag dined at Kobe Club New York on April 15 with Epic artist Natasha Bedingfield and Epic president Charlie Walk. Bedingfield hit a Vogue bash on the 17th honoring Bad Boy artist Cassie. Cynthia Nixon dined with her girlfriend at KOI’s on April 14.
In Las Vegas: Mike Epps from “All About the Benjamins” visited the Playboy Club and MOON Nightclub on April 17 with a close friend.
In Los Angeles: David and Coco Arquette enjoyed a father-daughter dinner at Il Sole on April 16. Across the way, Sienna Miller dined with a group of friends. Kim Kardashian and Brittany Gastineau dined at KOI Los Angeles on April 14. The duo hit up Il Sole the following evening.