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Entertainment behind the scenes

Britney co-stars with elephant in MTV awards promo


britneymtv.jpgEleven months after her disastrous performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, pop star Britney Spears is back to promote this year’s show, appearing in a series of upcoming promotional ads shot with a real-life, 9,000-pound elephant literally in the room with her.

The 10- to 30-second promos were recorded earlier this week on the Paramount studio lot in Hollywood, site of this year’s show, featuring Spears giving tongue-in-cheek hosting advice to the new emcee, British comedian Russell Brand from the recent film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” An MTV spokeswoman says the mostly ad-libbed spots, in which the elephant poses in the background, will begin airing this coming weekend.

The 25th annual edition of the Video Music Awards, long considered a looser, hipper version of the Grammys, will be broadcast live on MTV on Sept. 7, returning to Los Angeles for the first time in a decade.

Spears, coming off two marriages, two children and two stints in rehab, sought to launch a comeback on last year’s show with a performance of the song “Gimme More.” Instead, she drew a torrent of ridicule for lumbering around on stage in an ill-fitting black bikini as she awkwardly lip-synced her way through the dance number. The incident proved a publicity bomb for Spears but a ratings boon for MTV.

Paparazzi trouble? Keep your clothes on, says LA’s top cop


New laws against paparrazzi? Who needs them?  If celebrities just kept their clothes on, the problem might go away. Anyhow, Lindsay’s got a girlfriend and Britney has cleaned up her act.

No, that’s not a paps.jpgpaparazzi photo agency talking. It’s Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton explaining why he boycotted a city council meeting on Thursday to discuss what should be done to clamp down on out-of-control photographers.

Comparing Barack Obama to Britney and Paris


Sen. Barack Obama has yet to sign a record contract orhilton.jpg party until dawn in Hollywood with a paparazzi entourage — but that’s not stopping his presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, from comparing him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
A television ad from the McCain campaign airing for the first time on Wednesday opens with images of the two blond starlets, before cutting to shots of Obama waving to adoring crowds. With the familiar chant “O-ba-ma” as background noise, a female voice intones: “He’s the biggest celebrity in the world. But, is he ready to lead?”
The ad’s script makes no mention of Britney — a pop singer — and Paris — a celebrity heiress — other than the visual cues. Britney is shown walking in a crowd with an umbrella behind her and Paris is seen striking a regal pose, apparently for photographers.
obama.jpgBritney, 26, and Paris, 27, have legions of fans and detractors who watch their every move. But will McCain’s attempt to link Obama with Hollywood celebrity fly with voters?
Last week, McCain struggled for media attention as Obama toured the Middle East and Europe. Obama’s speech in Berlin drew a crowd of more than 200,000, while McCain had lunch at a German-American eatery in Ohio.   

 (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)  

Miley Cyrus in Hollywood’s pressure cooker


The heat has been cranking up for months around 15-year-old singer and actormiley1.jpg Miley Cyrus, and it rose even higher this week as the star fended off a much-publicized advertising offer from a condom maker and confessed to feeling overworked on her hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana.”

From the media firestorm around Miley come conflicting reports about her life and career, and one wonders if the young woman is more pawn than princess in a red hot Hollywood chess game. It all brings to mind the recent, personal meltdowns of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, who also broke through to fame as teenagers.  
Dr. Kimberly Williams, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist at New York University’s Child Study Center, said the national media spotlight can be too much for young stars like Cyrus. “This is just a typical teenager who just has peer pressure, social issues at school to worry about, and so now we add the weight of the nation and that kind of scrutiny,” Williams said.
miley3.jpgEven though Cyrus wears a purity ring signifying her chastity until marriage, media reports this week said she received a $1 million offer from LifeStyles condoms to appear in an advertising campaign for the company. 
Cyrus’ representative told E! News the star had not even received an offer and that she would not even consider it. A spokeswoman for Lifestyles declined to comment.
Separately, Cyrus told E! News in an interview that she think her Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” may be nearing its end. Cyrus portrays Hannah, who at school is just an average teenager but has another, secret life as a pop singing sensation.

Will Britney pull it off at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards?


britney1.jpgAfter a disastrous peformance at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, pop singer Britney Spears will be back again for this year’s ceremony — but this time as a nominee.

Spears is nominated in the “Best Female Video” category for “Piece of Me”. She is up against Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks and newcomer Katy Perry for the award that will be announced on Sunday, Sept 7, at the MTV’s 25th annual Video Music Awards.

Britney Spears, Madonna pair up again


britney.jpgIt may not be exactly like their appearance together on the MTV Video Music Awards, but it will likely turn heads when pop singer Britney Spears again pairs up with Madonna in a filmed segment for The Material Girl’s upcoming Sticky & Sweet concert tour.

“Britney is going to film something for Madonna’s show in the next week or so,” Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s publicist, told celebrity magazine People in a story posted on its Web site,, on Monday.

Britney Spears up for Emmy nomination


brit.jpgBritney Spears helped the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” add more viewers, and now she stands to earn an Emmy nomination for her work on the show.

Spears, 26, is listed on an Emmy ballot of 41 names for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, said John Leverence, a spokesman for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Nominations for Emmys — U.S. television’s highest honors – will be announced on July 17.

Britney among those giving back to “Idol” special


pitt.jpgWith a slicker format,  more stars and better jokes , “Idol Gives Back” showed just how to stage a mass charity fundraiser on its second outing on Wednesday. 

 Jimmy Kimmel’s roasting of Simon Cowell’s nipples (!!), his haircut (“Who parted your hair? Moses?”) and wardrobe;  Annie Lennox’s emotional rendering of “Many Rivers To Cross”, and Fergie’s  handstands across the stage made it a night to remember. Then there was the “Idol” stage manager who, when she had to come onstage to adjust Brad Pitt’s microphone, admitted: “I just needed a reason to touch him.”

Jamie Lynn Spears to turn 17 pregnant– and engaged!


jamie.jpgOnce upon a time in America, kids grew up, dated, got serious, got engaged, then married and had kids. Now, it seems they just date, get pregnant, then get engaged — at least if they are Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney’s little sis, who turns the grand old age of 17 next week on April 4.

Word comes from Us Weekly magazine on Wednesday that Jamie Lynn, who stars as a high school student on the Nickelodeon TV network’s popular “Zoey 101,” is now engaged to her ‘long-time” boyfriend Casey Aldridge, the father of her as yet unborn baby.   

UPDATE: Britney Spears, back on TV


UPDATE: Since this was post on Monday, word comes from CBS that U.S. britney.jpghousehold viewership for “How I Met Your Mother” was up 9 percent for Britney’s appearance from one week before.  Monday’s show lured 10.6 million viewers overall, which was its highest total this year. Among adults 18- to 49-years-old and adults 25- to 54-years old, the show had its highest ratings in its three-hear history, CBS said.

MONDAY’S POST: Britney Spears’ latest attempt to bring some normalcy back into her life goes on full public display Monday night when she appears on U.S. television sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” She plays a receptionist in a doctor’s office who has eyes for one of the show’s characters, Ted, portrayed by Josh Radnor.