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Quick Takes: 'Harry Potter's' Emma Watson puts Brown University studies on hold

March 08, 2011

"Harry Potter" star Emma Watson has given up her schoolbooks and gone back to practicing witchcraft — for the films, anyway.

Watson, who portrays Hermione Granger in the wildly popular movie franchise, posted a message to fans on her website Monday saying that she is taking time off from her studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I., to focus on the release of the final film this summer and other acting projects.

"I love Brown and I love studying pretty much more than anything but recently I've had so much to juggle that being a student AND fulfilling my other commitments has become a little impossible," the 20-year-old actress wrote. "…I will still be working towards my degree … it's just going to take me a semester or two longer than I thought."


Avon announces e-book romances

Avon Books announced Monday that it has set up a digital romance imprint, Avon Impulse, where books by new and established authors will be released electronically, with paper editions available on demand.

The imprint begins next week with an e-novella by Katherine Ashe, "A Lady's Wish," and "multiple titles" are planned each month. Avon Books is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The digital market has been especially strong for romance fiction, in part because fans can read e-editions in public without fear of embarrassment. Avon also cited decreased shelf space in physical stores as a reason for starting Avon Impulse.

—Associated Press

Pricey Picasso gets first viewing

Pablo Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," the most expensive painting to be sold at auction, went on public display in Britain for the first time Monday at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

The 1932 work, which sold for $106.5 million at Christie's in New York last year, has been lent to the Tate galleries from a private collection.

Before it was sold in May, the work had been in the collection of L.A.-based collectors Sidney and Frances Brody for almost six decades.

They acquired the work in 1951 from Paul Rosenberg & Co., who in turn had acquired it from the artist in 1936. During that period it was exhibited publicly only once, in 1961, to commemorate Picasso's 80th birthday.


Gheorghiu exits Met's 'Faust'

Angela Gheorghiu is out of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Gounod's "Faust" that shifts the opera to the 20th century, another cancellation in a tempestuous career after her withdrawal for an entire run of "Romeo et Juliette" that began last week.

The Met announced Monday that the soprano pulled out of Des McAnuff's staging next season for "artistic reasons." Gheorghiu's agent said that the production, which updates the action to the nuclear age, "didn't fit in with her conception of 'Faust.'"

Peter Gelb, general manager of the New York opera company, said Gheorghiu's future Met contracts will be honored but added that it would be hard to consider her for new productions.

"I'm not ruling it out, but I think Angela really has somehow limited her own future options," Gelb said by telephone. "We have some future plans still in place with Angela.… But you have to be there to sing."

Marina Poplavskaya, who had been scheduled to perform Marguerite later in the run, will take over when the staging opens Nov. 29.

—Associated Press

'Hawthorne' role for Anthony

Marc Anthony, husband of new "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez, now has a TV gig of his own.

Anthony, a Grammy Award-winning singer, will join the cast of TNT's medical drama "Hawthorne," which stars Jada Pinkett-Smith. He will reprise the role of police Det. Nick Renata, a character he introduced as a guest star last season.

—Greg Braxton

'Mother' gets CBS' embrace

CBS has renewed the comedy "How I Met Your Mother" for two more years.

The deal announced Monday with producer Twentieth Century Fox Television keeps the show on through the 2012-13 season. Actors Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders are each signed for that period.

—Associated Press

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