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Britney Spears to return to prime-time TV
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Britney Spears performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas, September 9, 2007. [Agencies]

Pop star Britney Spears, embroiled in a bitter custody dispute with her ex-husband and legal battle for control of her assets, plans to take time out from her personal troubles to return to prime-time television.

Spears, 26, will appear as a guest star on an upcoming episode of the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," a network spokeswoman said on Monday. No details of her role or an air date were immediately disclosed by CBS.

A source close to the show said the episode would be taped this week and likely air on March 24, adding that Spears took part in a "table read" rehearsal for the segment on Monday.

According to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the production, Spears will share scenes with the show's lead character, Ted, played by Josh Radnor, as a somewhat ditsy woman who works in his doctor's office and becomes smitten with him.

The show would mark Spears' first role in a prime-time TV series since a March 2006 guest spot on the NBC comedy "Will & Grace," in which she played a Christian conservative talk show host opposite series regular Sean Hayes.

That appearance marked her first public performance after giving birth to the older of her two sons, now 2.

News of Spears' latest TV turn coincided with a hearing in Los Angeles family court where she was again denied a bid to regain custody of her children from her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, or an expansion of her visitation rights.

Spears' career as a performer has been mostly on the skids since her personal life plunged into turmoil following her breakup with Federline in November 2006.

She has been in and out of rehab, and her highly publicized comeback performance on the MTV Video Music Awards in September last year was widely panned as an embarrassing flop.

Spears was hospitalized twice for psychiatric evaluation in January, and a Los Angeles judge has since granted her father control over the singer's personal and business affairs.

On Monday, a judge in the conservatorship case granted Spears an allowance of $1,500 a week for spending money.

"How I Met Your Mother," a comedy that tells the retrospective tale of how Ted found true love, has been in reruns since mid-December because of the recently settled Hollywood writers strike. It returns with fresh episodes starting next Monday.

(China Daily/Agencies March 11, 2008)

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