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Quick Takes: Britney Spears' single debuts early

March 05, 2011

The early leaking of Britney Spears' latest single off her upcoming album has forced the 29-year-old pop star's record label to release the track sooner than planned.

"Till the World Ends," an upbeat dance anthem from the upcoming "Femme Fatale," was posted online Thursday. Spears' record label decided to push up the digital release to Friday — several days before its intended release — and also premiered the song on Ryan Seacrest's radio show that morning.

The song, written by up-and-coming dance-pop star Kesha, has already received critical praise, suggesting that Spears' roller-coaster career may be on the rise again.

The first single, "Hold It Against Me," debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January. The complete album will go on sale March 29.


'Locker' suit dismissal sought

The Oscar-winning director and screenwriter of "The Hurt Locker" have asked a federal judge to dismiss an Iraq war veteran's lawsuit alleging the film is based on him.

Attorneys for director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal wrote in a motion filed Wednesday that Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver cannot prove he is the basis for the bomb technician portrayed by Jeremy Renner in the film. They also argue that the movie is protected by California law and the 1st Amendment, and that Sarver cannot win the case.

Sarver sued Bigelow, Boal and the film's producers and distributor in March 2010, just days before the movie won best picture at the Academy Awards. Bigelow and Boal also received Oscars for their work on the film, which portrays a U.S. bomb technician defusing improvised explosive devices during the Iraq war.

Boal was embedded with Sarver's unit in Iraq in 2004 and wrote a story for Playboy titled "The Man in the Bomb Suit" that profiled the West Virginia native.

Sarver contends Boal based Renner's character on him, an accusation the writer has consistently denied. In a sworn declaration, Boal writes that he interviewed more than 50 military personnel who work in bomb disposal units and that Renner's character, named William James, is a composite of many of them.

—Associated Press

Radcliffe to take Broadway break

Daniel Radcliffe may have turned to Broadway for his next chapter as his wizarding adventure comes to a close. But he can't escape "Harry Potter" just yet.

The final film in the blockbuster "Harry Potter" franchise — "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" — is scheduled to premiere on July 15, right in the middle of Radcliffe's Broadway run as the wicket-selling J. Pierrepont Finch in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." The show is now in previews and opens on March 27 with no set closing date.

To accommodate Radcliffe's promotional work for the film, the producers of the Frank Loesser musical will not hold performances on July 7, 8 and 9.

—John Horn

Dobbs' show starts March 14

Lou Dobbs will make his return to television on March 14 as a part of a broader schedule shuffle at Fox Business.

The former CNN host, who joined Fox Business Network last November, will launch his new show — "Lou Dobbs Tonight" — in the 7 p.m. time slot.

The lead-in for Dobbs will be Neil Cavuto's business news show "Cavuto." Following Dobbs at 8 p.m. will be "Freedom Watch," which is hosted by former judge Andrew Napolitano. "America's Nightly Scoreboard" will move to 9 p.m. Eric Bolling's "Follow the Money" will take the 10 p.m. slot except on Thursdays, when "Stossel," hosted by John Stossel, will run.

—Joe Flint

'X Factor' starts search in L.A.

Simon Cowell said his new television talent show, "X Factor," will break the rules of the genre in search of star potential — that certain something that turned Lady Gaga and Susan Boyle into household names.

He's starting his search in Los Angeles.

Offering a record $5-million cash prize and a recording contract to the winner, "X Factor" will kick off its six-city audition tour at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on March 27 (for details and to sign up for a slot, go to The show originated in Britain, where it is already a hit and has discovered such top-selling artists as Leona Lewis.

—Scott Collins

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