NEW YORK - Britney Spears may get a shot at redemption during this year's MTV Video Music Awards.
Widely panned for her glazed-over performance at last year's show, Spears is now in negotiations with MTV to make an appearance at the Sept. 7 ceremony, a spokesperson for MTV said Tuesday. While the network said nothing has been finalized - only Lil Wayne and the Jonas Brothers are confirmed so far - Spears is already appearing in promotional ads for the telecast.
"This is for real," Spears tells VMA host Russell Brand in one of two spots for the VMAs, which were taped last week, according to MTV. In the ads, Spears, dressed in black with blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, giggles as she and Brand banter flirtatiously. She looks sexy, confident and fit - the antithesis of her appearance at last year's ceremony.
Spears' 2007 performance was heavily hyped to be her comeback after months of negative publicity and erratic behavior. Though her disheveled look and bleary routine during "Gimme More" only became the new benchmark for Spears' decline, it was also the most talked about performance not only of the show, but perhaps the year.
Since then, Spears, 26, has appeared to have cleaned up her act. Her father James has been in control of her personal and professional matters as her legal conservator, and she drew high ratings and reviews when she made guest appearances on CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" earlier this year.
Spears is working on a new album. If she were to perform, it would surely be a ratings bonanza; last year's VMA's was up 23 percent over the 2006 show.
Van Toffler, head of MTV Networks Music Groups, admitted as much in June when he said there was a possibility that Spears could appear at this year's event, to be held in Los Angeles.
"I'm not sure how we top Britney opening the show," said Toffler.
A Britney sequel just might work.