When NBC’s “Will & Grace” show is used just before Good Friday to mock the Crucifixion, the vehicle is a fictional TV network called Out TV, which is purchased by a fictional Christian TV network.

But, it turns out, that truth, once again, may indeed be stranger than fiction.

Out TV actually exists – billing itself as “the world’s first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” television network. The network airs programming throughout Canada.

In fact, the real Out TV boasts “more original programming than any other digital channel in Canada” – providing news, call-in shows, current affairs, documentaries, health and fitness shows and even cooking programs.

NBC and “Will & Grace” are under fire from the American Family Association and other Christian activists for its plan to use Britney Spears as a guest star playing a conservative who hosts on the fictional Christian TV network a cooking segment called “Cruci-fixin’s.”

The pop star will appear as a sidekick to the regular character Jack, who hosts his own talk show on the fictional homosexual network Out TV, which is bought by a Christian TV network. The episode will air April 13, just before Good Friday, as NBC seems determined to stir controversy about the show. “Will & Grace” is in its eighth and final season on the network.

The appearance by Spears is being billed as “her first prime-time television episodic appearance.” However, she also appeared as herself in an episode of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” in 1999 and was the star of last summer’s unscripted UPN show “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic.” The “Will & Grace” episode may, however, mark the first time Spears plays someone else in primetime.

The show is being taped this month.

As a young girl, Spears, now 24, was a regular on “The Mickey Mouse Club.” After becoming a pop singer, she starred in the 2002 film “Crossroads.”

“Will & Grace” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern.

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