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Posted at 10:06 AM ET, 09/28/2010

Britney Spears on 'Glee': How will she do? Let's go to the video clips!

By Jen Chaney

The Britney Spears episode of "Glee" -- which, as I reported back in July from Comic-Con, puts Cheerio Brittany (Heather Morris) side-by-side with Miss "Toxic" herself -- airs tonight and promises to be the biggest celebrity TV cameo since ... well, certainly since Justin Bieber showed up on "CSI" last week.

But will Spears rise to the occasion? Let's look at clips from her TV past and decide.

Before proceeding further, let's just state that, yes, it would probably make sense to explore her performance in "Crossroads" when evaluating Spears's acting potential. But I try to speak and/or think of "Crossroads" as infrequently as possible, so let's just stick to Spears's TV work.

In 2006, she popped up as Amber-Louise, a Southern belle who co-hosted a talk show with Sean Hayes's Jack McFarland on "Will and Grace." And she wasn't bad, although she didn't have to stretch much. She just had to be perky and speak with a Southern accent, which she kind of already does. Watch a short clip below, then see more of her appearance here.

She was slightly less convincing as Abby, the naive, goofy receptionist she played in 2008 on "How I Met Your Mother," but that was immediately post-breakdown so she gets a little leeway there. Her appearance also gave "HIMYM" its then-highest ratings ever.

But let's be honest. Spears has always been at her best when she's playing the role she knows best: herself.

As she did on (holy '90s flashback) "Sabrina the Teenage Witch":

In several just stellar (cough) episodes of "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic":

And in numerous "Saturday Night Live" appearances, with Tracy Morgan:

And Will Ferrell:

And even in a self-mocking monologue in 2000, the first of two "SNL" hosting gigs on her resume.

If she brings that good-natured sense of self-deprecation and her signature provocative dance moves to "Glee" -- and I suspect she will -- she'll be just fine.

Will you watch "Glee" tonight to see Ms. Spears? Or will you watch for the same reason you always do -- to find out if Matthew Morrison's hair will ever move?

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities, TV  
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