Cover courtesy TV Guide Cover courtesy TV Guide
Britney Spears' visit to

How I Met Your Mother certainly has brought some quick buzz to the post-strike season. The March 24 issue of TV Guide went behind the scenes to get the scoop on the pop star's surprise sitcom gig; the exclusive cover story with posed Josh Radnor/Brit pic will be on newsstands this week (watch a clip of Britney and Neil Patrick Harris' Barney

here). Talking to the Mother cast last Thursday at their return party, it became clear that each wanted a "piece" of her - or, at least, admired the pieces she brought to the show.
Jason Segel
gushed, "She was just unbelievable. She had her lines memorized, jokes ready, and she killed it. And she's beautiful." Neil Patrick Harris, meanwhile, was surprised that Spears agreed to come on the show at all. "I didn't think she'd have the time to do it," he confessed. "I kept laughing, saying, 'You're serious? She's actually going to do it?'" Adds Alyson Hannigan, "[Britney] was sweet and funny. It was surprisingly normal." For Cobie Smulders, the combo of Brit and the March 24 episode's other big guest star, Sarah Chalke, was anything but toxic. Smulders (like Chalke, a Canuck) said, "Sarah is so funny, so nice, and she's the coolest chick. I know she seems like the coolest chick, but [she really is]." For the inside story on how Britney came to meet Mother, check out the March 24 issue of TV Guide, on newsstands this week. The premiere airs tonight at 8:30 pm/ET on CBS. - Anna Dimond POLL: Vote here for your favorite HIMYM episode. Related: " Q&A: Josh Radnor Dishes on the Little Show That Could " Mother Cast Celebrates New Shows, and St. Pat's Day