LOS ANGELES Pop star Britney Spears, who was hospitalized twice in January for psychiatric evaluation, seems to be feeling better as she is back to work on a TV show and said in a statement she was "having a blast."
The troubled singer saw her life spin out of control in 2007 and throughout early 2008, but this week she has been portraying a dermatology office secretary named Abby on the CBS television comedy "How I Met Your Mother."
"Working at 'How I Met Your Mother' has been so terrific. Everyone, including the cast, the crew and the producers, has been wonderful and Abby is such a fun girl to play. I'm having a blast!" Spears said in a statement released by CBS.
Spears, 26, rose to fame as a child star on the Disney channel and scored numerous hit songs as a teenager including "Oops ... I Did It Again."
In 2002, she was named the world's top celebrity by Forbes magazine after earning $39.2 million in one year.
But in late 2006, Spears split from her ex-husband Kevin Federline, and since then she has been in rehab, lost custody of her two sons to Federline, and was hospitalized twice in January and placed under mental observation.
In February, a Los Angeles family court gave temporary control of her personal and business affairs to her father, Jamie Spears, and a co-conservator, attorney Andrew Wallet. Their conservatorship currently extends to July 31.
But recently Spears appears to be on the mend. This week, she released a new video -- albeit an animated presentation of Britney -- to accompany her latest single, "Break the Ice."
News of her role on "How I Met Your Mother" reached the media on Monday, and all week she has been attending rehearsals and shooting scenes. The episode in which she will appear is expected to air on the U.S. TV network on March 24.
Earlier this week, one of the program's stars, Neil Patrick Harris told celebrity Web site E! Online (www.eonline.com) that she approached the show about the role of Abby and that security on the set was so tight even he had a tough time getting to work one day.
But, he added, Spears seemed to be doing well.
"Britney's shown up three days out of three, so she's batting 1,000," Harris told E! Online.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb)