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Britney’s TV role is a breakthrough of sorts

Spears’ turn on “How I Met Your Mother” is being touted as a breakthrough: She didn’t display any of the worrisome behaviors on set that long ago became the status quo.

Britney Spears’ turn as a love-struck receptionist on “How I Met Your Mother” is being touted as a breakthrough of sorts: For the first time in recent memory, Spears appeared before a camera and didn’t display any of the worrisome, if not tragic, behavior that long ago became the status quo.

Was the “How I Met Your Mother” appearance a controlled one that might help Spears’ image? Yes. Will the public be seeing more of the same from the former pop star? Unlikely.

A source close to Spears said that the role was very carefully chosen, and if the production hadn’t agreed to be sensitive toward Spears and avoid “trigger” topics, the Spears camp would have backed out. (The show didn’t comment; neither did Spears.)

“The folks on set knew that they weren’t to bring up her music career, for example,” said the source. “And they weren’t supposed to start conversations about her kids. That said, they just wanted her to be treated normally, but obviously this wasn’t a normal situation.”

Spears spent two days filming, and the cast said she was great to work with. But don’t expect to see her regularly on primetime.

“Acting won’t be a usual thing for Britney. She really needed this, though,” said the source. “For her it was like a taste of her old life, but it was a taste that was very carefully planned. This wasn’t about her career, it was about her health.”

J.Lo’s babies make sales twice as nice for People
People’s photo shoot with the Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony and their newborn twins, Max and Emme, definitely bumped sales and online traffic for the magazine.

On March 20, the day the first photos of the babies went online, traffic went from two million unique visitors per day to an all-time high of four million daily unique visitors. And while reps for People say it’s too early to estimate newsstand sales, some of the very early numbers bandied about are in the neighborhood of 2.3 million copies. (Newsstand sales are typically closer to 1.5 million per week.)

Celebrity Sightings

Slideshow  26 photos

Celebrity Sightings

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

Some industry insiders did find it curious, however, that regardless of what People paid for the photo shoot with the new Lopez-Anthony family, there was no bump in newsstand price. When the magazine published the first photos of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, the price went from $3.49 to $3.99, ostensibly to make up for the cost of buying the American rights. Also a benefit to People, and something that surely helped boost newsstand sales, the photos of the twins didn’t leak online as they did with Shiloh.

As an aside, Lopez did everything in her power to ensure an attractive shoot. An assistant involved with the styling of the shoot said that Lopez ordered some last-minute decorating of the nursery to make it “more fit for a prince and princess.” The budget for the touch-up décor certainly befitted royalty — the stylist claims it was more than $20,000.

John Mayer: It’s not an ego, it’s fact checking
The New York Post recently ran an item that in retrospect seems pretty plausible. It reported that John Mayer is “so self-obsessed, he Googles himself every morning, and has been known to respond to online rumors just to clear the air.”

What did the singer do? He responded to the rumor by writing, “This is, quite simply, untrue. — John” on his blog. I guess it was a no-win situation, but he sure was quick to refute the Post, only to make them look more right in the end. Was that really the intended effect? Mayer, if you’re reading, please let us know.