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Mother Cast Celebrates New Shows, and St. Pat's Day

Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage.com

The cast of How I Met Your Mother put the "work hard, play hard" philosophy into action Thursday night as they celebrated the premiere of their spring season and St. Patrick's Day at the Palihouse Hotel in West Hollywood. Stars Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders and Bob Saget wrapped up a milestone week of filming with pop diva Britney Spears and turned out in their red carpet finery ready to par-tay. Jameson Irish Whiskey cocktails flowed, Irish-themed hors d'oeuvres (including mini corned-beef-and-cabbage tarts, whiskey wings, and mini shepherd's pies) were passed around, and Segel dished about Brit-Brit's acting chops. "She has really good comedic timing," he said. "Her improvs were really good. She was into it and very funny." Segel also discussed his moonlighting as a big-time Hollywood writer when he's not working on HIMYM. "I'm writing the script to the next Muppet movie," he said. "The fact that I have been sitting in front of my computer ... read more

Britney Is Bonkers for How I Met Your Mother's Ted!

Britney Spears by John Sciulli/WireImage.com

More (and I'm guessing there will always be more) details are trickling in on Britney Spears' upcoming How I Met Your Mother drop-by. Series creator Craig Thomas tells Us that in the as-yet-unscheduled episode, Spears will set her sights on no less than Ted Mosby, Architect himself. Playing the assistant to the dermatologist (originally Alicia Silverstone, now Scrubs' Sarah Chalke) tasked with removing Ted's embarassing butterfly tat, Spears' character falls hard for the patient but "keeps on screwing up, saying awkward things." Meanwhile, "Ted’s absolutely oblivious. Go, Josh Radnor — he has Britney Spears chasing after him!"Spears arrived with little baggage and nary an entourage, says Thomas, when she showed for Monday morning's table read. "She seemed to fit right in," he says. "She was having a good time. She was laughing. [The] vibe in the room was just very fun."Indeed, Neil Patrick Harris concurs that Spears' HIMYM storyline is very sweet, telling Entertainment Ton... read more

Exclusive: Who Stole Barney's Virginity? Butler Almost Did It

Neil Patrick Harris by Cliff Lipson/CBS, Brett Butler courtesy Brett Butler

It wasn't easy, but How I Met Your Mother has finally located the middle-aged woman with whom Barney lost his virginity many moons ago. Veteran character actress Stephanie Faracy — whose most recent credits include episodes of Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and Will & Grace — has landed the plum part. She replaces onetime sitcom star Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire), who showed up for work on Wednesday but was quickly let go after it was mutually decided that the role wasn't a good fit. (That explains why, as astute Ausiello Report readers can attest, a story I had announcing Butler's casting was quickly yanked from TVGuide.com late yesterday.)Butler's miscasting was just the latest wrinkle in producers' exhaustive search for Barney's "first." As Neil Patrick Harris revealed to me at TV Guide's Emmy After Party last month, producers originally approached Kirstie Alley to play Mrs. Robinson to his Benjamin Braddock. But for some unknown reason, the ex-Fat Actress declined. P... read more

When Emmy Winners Attack!

OK, first off, how freakin’ hilarious was The Bachelor Monday night? Holy human desperation, I loved it! And Hillary from my hometown made the first cut. Represent, Philly ‘ho!Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk last week’s Emmys. Yes, the in-the-round stage was a hot circular mess and why so many statues went to TV-movies, I’ll never know. It’s not like any of the good Sci Fi Originals get nominated. Hello, Mansquito? So robbed. But Seacrest didn’t totally suck, the opening Family Guy number was inspired and some of the winners were deserving.So if you’re like me and think you suffered a stroke that made the word Gandolfini sound like “Spader,” or ya can’t get your head around anyone from Torque ever winning anything, you might want to grab the champs on DVD. Turns out that the slights are, in fact, slight.Ugly Betty — Much like Betty’s Guadalajara poncho, you could spot America Ferrera’s Outstandin... read more

At the 2007 Emmys: Part 2

Me, pool, TV Guide's Hollywood office in the background. Pure corporate synergy.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 12:56 pm/PTJust got back from chilling at the pool and get a bit of color to offset the harshness of the black tux tomorrow night. Speaking of the penguin suit, as first and exclusively reported via my Facebook status bar, I picked up a new cummerbund and necktie at the Beverly Center yesterday evening. I actually left my old cummerbund in the hotel room here a year ago when checking out, and the tie, well, I always look for a new "tweak" to the tux when I wear it. As long as I didn't go with purple satin, said my wife.I found myself across the street from the Beverly Center when I swung by the Lab Series for Men Emmy gifting suite, located at the Sofitel hotel. Had I arrived sooner, I would have spied Neil Patrick Harris getting a professional shave at the very deft hand of straight-blade wizard Craig Whitely, as Neil's S.O. looked on. Nor did I manage to cross paths there with William Shatner, who came with his wife for massages and facials. The great Lab Serie... read more

A few months back, while ...

Question: A few months back, while discussing the Emmys, you wrote about The Office's Dwight (Rainn Wilson) having been nominated over Jim (John Krasinski). While Dwight is required to be more over-the-top, you said, Jim was more deserving of a nod. Having just finished Season 2 on DVD (I admit I haven't yet seen Season 3), I have to disagree. If you remove Dwight's bizarre antics from the show, Jim wouldn't have a chance to bring out his quirky expressions and dry sense of humor. I think it's a similar case with Ari and Johnny Drama on Entourage. Although Ari would still be funny trading barbs with Eric and Lloyd, I think Ari's cunning really ramps it up when he's insulting Drama. What's your take on this? Answer: Every straight man (and I mean that in the classic comedy sense, not the Ari-vs.-Lloyd sense) needs a foil, and vice versa, I suppose. Emmy nominations and awards often go for broadly comic characters and performances (see Jack and Karen on Will & Grace), and to that degree, ... read more

I haven't seen much ...

Question: I haven't seen much discussion of this, but it seems that How I Met Your Mother has evolved completely away from its original idea. At the start, it was presented as the story of a lovable klutz trying to find a wife in a singles milieu, and Neil Patrick Harris was scarcely mentioned. Now it's practically "The Neil Patrick Harris Show," and Ted was actually given a steady girlfriend for a season so they wouldn't have to talk about his search. Does that bother anybody? Answer: Didn't bother anybody I know. For one thing, there was a sense that the audience wanted to see Robin and Ted together, at least for a while, if only to understand why she later became "Aunt Robin" to the kids. Plus, I think it's fair to say that Mother has evolved rather successfully into an ensemble comedy, and it was probably wise not to ask Josh Radnor to actually carry the show. Finally, if you made it to the end of last season, you should know that the third season is going to revert back to Ted' ... read more

I'm so pleased with this ...

Neil Patrick Harris

Question: I'm so pleased with this year's Emmy picks for supporting actor in a comedy. I had figured that Neil Patrick Harris would be overlooked, and seeing his name on the list is great. He's truly great in his role and, to me, he's had a harder job than most TV actors, since he had to break the stigma of Doogie Howser, M.D. I know when the show started, I was convinced he'd still always remain Doogie to me. But Barney really is as awesome as he considers himself to be, and NPH is hilarious. Also, while I adore The Piven/Ari to no end, I am so happy about Kevin Dillon being nominated for Entourage. I feel like the four other guys are too often overshadowed by Piven, so this is great. The only thing I have to complain about in this category is that I don't know who I want to win! Way to go, Emmys, on getting this right! Do you have a favorite, Matt?  Answer: This really is one of the more satisfying categories, although some still gripe that Jon Cryer is a co-lead actor, not a ... read more

Emmy Nominees React to Their Golden Opportunities

Rainn Wilson, Neil Patrick Harris and Sally Field are among this year's Emmy nominees.

We know what you think about the nominees for this year's Primetime Emmy Awards, but what do the lucky nominees have to say about their good fortune? Some of your favorites reveal what went through their minds as the good news got out. Doug Ellin, executive producer of Entourage (Outstanding Comedy Series nominee) "The New York Times called Entourage the best show in its first season. If for some reason [the voters] appreciate it more and we win this time, there's nothing we've consciously done to change it.... I spoke to Jeremy [Piven], who's in London doing a movie, and I'm playing golf with Kevin [Dillon] in about two hours. Jeremy is kind of our home-run hitter, I knew he was going to get nominated, and when Kevin and Martin Landau also got nominated, it was just great." Tim Kring, executi read more

John Glover: Smallville's Luthor Is a Winner as Drowsy's Loser

Smallville's John Glover now narrates The Drowsy Chaperone.

On the CW's Smallville, John Glover plays the scheming and sexy Lionel Luthor. But this summer he's taking a break from channeling a businessman who wants to take over the world by portraying a lovable loser who can barely make it out of his apartment: the nameless Man in Chair, aka the narrator of the delightful Broadway musical spoof The Drowsy Chaperone. A veteran character actor who honed his skills on stage, Glover has remained active in the theater, despite his busy film and TV schedule. But his turn in Drowsy marks the first time he has graced the Great White Way in over a decade. The actor chatted with TVGuide.com about his return to Broadway, his small-screen success and why he's so good at playing bad. TVGuide.com: Although you're a theater guy, The Drowsy Chaper read more

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