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Buzz Briefs: Britney Spears, Nick Lachey

Britney Spears
AP

Britney "Breaks The Ice" With New Animated Video

Jive Records released Britney Spears video "Break The Ice" to the public On Wednesday, but this time it wasn't held at a Hollywood venue; instead, it was a virtual black tie event online.

Spears premiered her video on Blackoutball.com, where fans could talk with each other in a chat room/"cyber cocktail party" while awaiting the video premiere. Fans also had to guess two passwords to be able to watch the video.


Photos: Pop Diva Britney
"Break The Ice" is the third single from her Blackout album, which has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Fans hoping to see the troubled pop star may be disappointed to only see an animated version of herself.

The fully animated video was directed by Robert Hales (Gnarls Barkley "Crazy") and was created in South Korea in anime/Japanimation style.

Nick Lachey And MTV May Revisit Reality TV Together

2MTV is considering a reality series focusing on students at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts.

A trade newspaper says the series was suggested by pop music star Nick Lachey, a 1992 graduate of the school. The school's artistic director says MTV has completed shooting a pilot featuring about a dozen juniors and seniors.

An MTV executive describes the possible show as a reality TV version of "Fame," the 1980s movie and TV series. Lachey would be an executive producer.

China: Harry Connick Jr.'s Old Set List Or Nothing

3Singer-pianist Harry Connick Jr. is the latest Western performer to bump up against China's cultural restrictions.

Connick said Thursday he was forced to make last-minute changes to his show last weekend in Shanghai because an old song list was mistakenly submitted to Chinese authorities to secure the performance permit for the concert.

Authorities insisted he play the songs on that list, even though his band did not have the music for them.

"Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not able to give my fans in China the show I intended," Connick said in a statement.

Embarrassed last week by Icelandic singer Bjork shouting "Tibet!" at the end of a Shanghai concert, Chinese authorities have promised to be stricter on foreign performers. The Culture Ministry said last week that Bjork's outburst in support of Tibet's independence movement "broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people's feelings."

Foreign performers have faced restrictions before in China. The Rolling Stones were censored in their China debut in 2006, most likely for their songs' suggestive lyrics. "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Beast of Burden," and "Let's Spend the Night Together" were banned from the concert.

Billy Crystal In Pinstripes

4Billy Crystal better stick to his night job.
The comedian, actor and Oscar presenter struck out in his new
career as a baseball player.

Crystal, who wore No. 60 a day before his 60th birthday, was
the Yankees' designated hitter and leadoff batter in Thursday's game
against Pittsburgh. After working the count to 3-and-1 against
Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm, Crystal struck out
by swinging over a pair of 88-mile-per hour fastballs. He was
replaced by Johnny Damon before he could get a chance at
redemption.


Photos: Billy At The Bat
Fellow funnyman Robin Williams was on hand at Legends Field to cheer on his buddy.

Crystal's debut -- and finale -- followed the likes of Garth Brooks and Tom Selleck as celebrities to play in spring training games.

John Ritter Jury In Deliberations

5The jury is set to begin deliberations today in the John Ritter wrongful death lawsuit.

On Wednesday, attorneys gave jurors drastically different views on whether anything could have been done to save the actor's life on the night he died.

The Ritter family lawyer said a proper diagnosis would have led to immediate emergency surgery and would have saved Ritter's life. But lawyers for the two doctors being sued say they acted properly and insisted there was no way that Ritter could have survived.

The suit seeks $67 million in damages.

Ritter died in 2003 at a Burbank, Calif., hospital. He was treated for what was diagnosed as a heart attack but actually died from the tear in his aorta.

March 12, 2008

Mariah Carey To Fill In For Janet Jackson On SNL

"Saturday Night Live" has replaced a flu-ridden Janet Jackson with another diva: Mariah Carey.

Carey, 37, will fill in for Jackson on the March 15 "SNL" telecast, NBC announced Wednesday.

Jackson, 41, was scheduled to perform live Saturday night in support of her latest album, "Discipline," which was released last month.


Photos: Women of the Year
The singer's publicist, Patti Webster, said Tuesday she dropped out because she has the flu and "needs some time to get better."

Carey's latest album, EMC2, arrives April 15.

Paris And "Good Charlotte" Boyfriend Cheer On Sis

It was a Hilton family affair.

Kathy, Rick and daughter Paris Hilton - along with Paris' current squeeze Benji Madden - were front and center Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz L.A. Fashion Week show for Nicky Hilton's high-end Nicholai line.

Before the models took the runway, mom Kathy mingled with the crowd, dad Rick snapped iPhone photos and big sis Paris exchanged whispers with Madden, the Good Charlotte guitarist.


Photos: Nicky's Designs
The latest designs from the younger Hilton sister included trench coats, knit tops, houndstooth accents and lots of leather trim. Nicky debuted the more-expensive Nicholai line at New York Fashion Week last year. She launched her first clothing line - the casual Chick by Nicky Hilton - in 2004.

Photos: Hilton Sisters
At the end of the Nicholai show, Nicky's boyfriend David Katzenberg presented her with a bouquet of white roses.

Insurer Can't Sue De Niro

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Robert De Niro by an insurance company that claimed he misrepresented his health for a movie role.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. insured the film "Hide and Seek." The company claimed the actor misrepresented his health when he wrote that he had never been diagnosed with or treated for prostate cancer.

According to court documents, De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer on Oct. 15, 2003, two days after he signed the medical certificate. De Niro underwent a prostate-gland biopsy on Oct. 10, 2003.


Photos: Robert De Niro
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu granted De Niro's motion for summary judgment on Monday.

"This ruling vindicates what we've said all along," De Niro's attorney Robyn Crowther said. "We are pleased that the court has found that Fireman's Fund can't sue Mr. De Niro for getting cancer."

De Niro's diagnosis and resulting treatment delayed the movie production. Fireman's Fund paid Fox more than $1.8 million to cover the cost of the delay. The film was released in January 2005.

George Strait To Get His Own XM Radio Channel

George Strait says he still gets a thrill hearing his songs on the radio, and now he'll have a whole channel of his music to get excited about.

"Strait Country" will launch April 1 on XM Radio channel 17 to coincide with the release of the country star's 37th album, "Troubadour," the satellite radio company announced Wednesday.

The station will run through May 31 and feature songs from Strait's catalog as well as exclusive interviews and programming about the star.

"It's always a thrill to hear one of your songs played on the radio, but to have XM Radio dedicate an entire channel to my music is just amazing," Strait, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, said in a statement.

The singer's career spans more than 25 years and includes 55 No. 1 hits. His latest single, "I Saw God Today" is No. 8 on Billboard's country singles chart, and his duet with Kenny Chesney, "Shiftwork," is No. 4.