PASADENA, Calif. – If the creators of ABC’s “The Middle” have their way, poor Sue Heck’s teeth will never be fixed.

Actress Eden Sher wore a set of removable braces to her audition to play the daughter on the ABC comedy, helping her win the job. She hasn’t taken them off since, at least on camera. They’re the signature of the geeky, lovable loser that is high school soph Sue Heck.

It makes for a strange situation for Sher when she goes out in public.

“I don’t ever get recognized by anyone,” said the 21-year-old Sher, who in real life has straight teeth, clear skin and a youthful touch of Hollywood glamour. “I don’t get offended by it. I take it as a compliment.”

Getting ready for filming is particularly easy. Sher doesn’t wash her hair on filming day so it can be flat and oily on the air. She wears little makeup and is not allowed to wax her eyebrows.

Sher has had the removable braces since a short stint on “Weeds.” She had braces in real life but had them taken off in the midst of a season’s filming. Wanting continuity, the show had her orthodontist prepare a set of braces that can be taken on and off.

It’s a signature look she wouldn’t mind losing at some point.

“I would love to see Sue get her braces off at some point,” she said recently. “The writers have stopped taking my calls on this.”

The Heck family hasn’t been “paying their bills on time so it will be a little while before she gets her braces off,” said Eileen Heisler, executive producer, with a laugh.

It may turn out to be the longest teeth-straightening on record. “The Middle” is now in its fourth season on ABC’s Wednesday-night schedule. Next fall the show begins airing in syndication on ABC Family and many broadcast stations, a visibility boost that often significantly helps ratings for original episodes of a program.

Lance says he’ll be open with Oprah

AUSTIN, Texas – Lance Armstrong will make a limited confession to doping during his interview with Oprah Winfrey to be aired Thursday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Armstrong, who has long denied doping, will also offer an apology during the interview scheduled to be taped Monday at his home in Austin, according to the source.

While not directly saying he would confess or apologize, Armstrong, 41, sent a text message to The Associated Press early Saturday that said: “I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I’ll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That’s all I can say.”

A report last year cast Armstrong as the leader of a doping program on his U.S. Postal Service teams.

Spears breaks yearlong engagement

LOS ANGELES – Britney Spears announced Friday that she has ended her yearlong engagement, capping a week of changes that included her leaving “The X Factor” and promising fans she was returning her focus to music.

Within hours of confirming her departure from the Fox reality series, Spears also announced that her relationship with talent agent Jason Trawick had ended.

“Jason and I have decided to call off our engagement,” Spears said in the statement. “I’ll always adore him and we will remain great friends.”

Spears’ publicist Jeff Raymond said the breakup was a difficult decision made by “two mature adults.”

“I love and cherish her and her boys, and we will be close forever,” Trawick said.