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As millions of people around the country tuned in at home to watch the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother on Monday night to watch — and judge — the first acting gig for Britney Spears in two years, the pop star and mother of two wasn’t anywhere near the TV in her Studio City home, but at Dominick’s restaurant with friends, sending text messages, sipping on Cokes and munching on ravioli — her favorite dish at one of her favorite haunts.

And while in some ways it’s a positive that Brit is out and about again without being on the leash of her father Jamie Spears, some insiders are concerned that this might signal a return to the pop star’s previously questionable behavior.

"No matter what her dad says publicly, and no matter how many tantrums she’s thrown, Britney loves the attention of the paparazzi and the crowds," one source explains to OK!, citing the pop star’s earlier trip to Dominick’s on March 21. "Her father had been able to sneak Brit out of the gates of The Summit, but then she heads to a restaurant where she’s eaten a million times before with Alli Sims."

When the 26-year-old superstar exited Dominick’s on Friday, where another source tells OK!, "they treat her like a queen," the singer had nothing but smiles for the couple of savvy camerman who had tracked her down. "She was happy to have been found," says the source. "If she goes out and doesn’t cause a ruckus, she gets down on herself."

However, one thing that won’t get Britney down in the dumps are the ratings from Monday’s airing of How I Met Your Mother. While the numbers weren’t Super Bowl-sized, they were the highest ever for the sitcom, which could be a good sign that we’ll be seeing more of Brit on the small screen in the future.

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