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CBS bringing back viral hit Sparkles

'Mother' star's musical alter ego returns online

Mariah. Madonna. Robin Sparkles?

While the music biz is focused on the looming battle of the divas, execs at 20th Century Fox TV and CBS are trying to drum up online buzz for a return visit from their own would-be musical sensation.

Sparkles is the alter ego of Robin Scherbatsky, a core character on the Eye’s “How I Met Your Mother” played by Cobie Smulders. Canada’s answer to Debbie Gibson made her first appearance on “HIMYM” back in November 2006 via a fake musicvideo for the fake hit single “Let’s Go to the Mall.”

Thanks to a careful marketing plan, video for “Mall” generated a decent amount of viral attention via YouTube and MySpace, while also giving “HIMYM” some much-needed pop culture love. Now, with “HIMYM” riding a wave of positive PR due to a recent Britney Spears guest turn, Robin Sparkles is making a comeback.

The April 21 episode will feature the debut of “Sandcastles in the Sand,” another “lost” anthem by the faux Canadian crooner. Like “Mall,” song was penned by the Solids, the musical alter egos of “HIMYM” creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

Producers are once again planning to build a viral assault around the song, including a video shot last week in Malibu. Clip features cameos from 1980s icons Tiffany and Alan Thicke, along with former “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek.

Snippets of the “Sandcastle” video are expected to show up on MySpace Wednesday, with the full clip bowing on MySpace and CBS.com immediately following Monday’s broadcast. Auds will even be able to download the song on iTunes starting next Tuesday.

Variety has also obtained a copy of the “single,” available for streaming here.

This isn’t the first fake song Bays and Thomas have created this season. Earlier this month, “HIMYM” generated some attention for the fake website “TedMosbyisaJerk.com,” which features a whacked-out 20-minute audio diatribe against the show’s main character.

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