Bass Says Britney ‘Family’ – ‘She’s Always Been There For Me’

st/bass27Britney Spears ended on bad terms with Lance Bass’s “N’SYNC” band mate Justin Timberlake a number of years ago, but that hasn’t kept Bass from maintaining a close friendship with the pop star. In fact, he got up close and personal with Spears when she gave him a lap dance during the last show of her recent U.S. tour. 
 
“I’ve been trying to catch her show for the last six months and my schedule has been crazy. I promised I’d go see the last show so I flew out to Vegas and she didn’t even know I was coming to the show so we surprised her on stage. It was priceless when she realized it was me,” recalls Bass. “I grew up with her. I knew her when she was 13 years old. I’m always there for her. She’s always there for me. She’s someone I consider family and will always be family.” 

Coming back from her very public meltdown, Spears is feeling better than ever and is mainly focused on motherhood, according to Bass. “Yeah, she’s fine. She’s loving those babies and loving being a mom. Being back on the road is great for her. She’s definitely doing amazing right now. She’s got great people around her. I think her main goal is to just take care of those kids.” 

As for his own career, Bass is busy producing various film and television projects, and will also be hosting the red carpet show at the 2009 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards tomorrow night (10/17). “I’m a huge reality freak-fan so I’m going be having a lot of fun on that red carpet, meeting a lot of the people I’ve been watching this season,” says Bass. “I’m sure there will be some dramatic moments on the red carpet with people trying to get their 15 minutes. But that’s one of the exciting things about this show – you don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes class gets thrown out the window when it comes to certain reality stars, but that’s the reason we watch.” 

MAGICALLY DELICIOUS: Jamie Ray Newman of ABC’s sexy, witchy “Eastwick” is gratified to see such Twitter users as Jessica Alba and Paula Abdul “tweeting that ‘Eastwick’ is their new favorite show.” And she’s happy that “Eastwick” has garnered tens of thousands of Facebook fans. So why aren’t the ratings better? 

“Oh, God, we have such a really special show. We’ve all been a little frustrated,” she admits, referring to her cast mates and new best friends Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price. “We beg of the network to put more advertising behind us. 

“The scripts get better and better – they’re brilliant. We haven’t seen anything like it on TV. Women love our show. We have all these procedural shows, cop shows, manly shows – there need to be more female-centric shows,” opines the red-haired beauty, who’s familiar to fans of Syfy’s “Eureka” as Dr. Tess Fontana. 

(“Eureka” has a 22-episode pickup for its next season, by the way, but Newman’s future involvement will depend on “Eastwick.”) 

Newman is also familiar to L.A. club goers as a singer who performs with various local jazz bands, including as part of the ad hoc group School Boy Crush. The latter includes musicians the caliber of Jane’s Addiction pianist Kristopher Pooley, with whom she played the ESPN Awards after-party. “Eastwick” watchers will get to see her do her singing thing in an upcoming episode of the show in which “we’re doing a ‘Fabulous Baker Boys’ homage. Honestly, it was so much fun. I got to wear an amazing red dress and sing on top of a piano,” the Newman, whose “Eastwick” role corresponds to Michelle Pfeiffer’s in the 1987 movie. “We wrapped at four in the morning. What a dream.” 

FAMILY MAN: Father of five Chris O’Donnell tells us he’s happy to report that things have been running smoothly at home while he’s been busy working on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” 

“It’s been fine. The kids are busy all day with school. I have my time with them in the morning or at night. Because I don’t get to see them all day every day, they’re more excited at night and on the weekends,” says O’Donnell, who’s happy to be getting a resurgence in his career. “It just changes your focus. Your weekends become all about your family. I like to go to their football games or watch them ride or do whatever they do.” 

LETTING BABY GO: Retired pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan is known for being quite protective of his young pop star daughter, Brooke. Now that she’s become more independent as a singer/song-writer and star of her own VH1 reality show, she tells us her dad has been lightening up. “He really worries about me. It’s for good reasons, though. He wants to protect me,” says Brooke. “Even though it’s a little overbearing, it’s not bad. He’s definitely gotten better.” 
 
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster