New Dan Brown novel coming in September
New York — At last, a new Dan Brown novel is coming.
Six years after the release of his mega-selling “The Da Vinci Code,” the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group announced that Brown’s “The Lost Symbol,” a thriller set during a 12-hour period and featuring “Da Vinci Code” symbolist Robert Langdon, will come out in September.
“This novel has been a strange and wonderful journey,” Brown said in a statement issued Monday by his publisher. “Weaving five years of research into the story’s twelve-hour time frame was an exhilarating challenge. Robert Langdon’s life clearly moves a lot faster than mine.”
The first printing will be 5 million copies, Knopf Doubleday said Monday, a modest number considering that “The Da Vinci Code” has sold more than 80 million worldwide and inspired a spin-off community of travel books, diet books, parodies and religious works.
A film version, starring Tom Hanks, came out in 2006 and made more than $700 million at the box office. Hanks will again be seen as Langdon when the adaptation of Brown’s “Angels & Demons” debuts in May.
Court to hear Madonna adoption appeal May 4
Blantyre, Malawi — Madonna’s appeal of a court ruling denying her request to adopt a 3-year-old girl from Malawi will be heard next month, a court official said Monday.
The pop star is not required to be present for the appeal, which may last two weeks. Liz Rosenberg, Madonna’s representative, said Monday she did not believe that Madonna would attend.
Joseph Chigona, registrar of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, said the case would come before three judges from the Supreme Court of Appeal on May 4.
Madonna has said she still wants to adopt Chifundo “Mercy” James. The singer has already adopted a son, David, from Malawi, a poor country in southern Africa.
Malawi requires prospective parents to live in the country for 18 to 24 months while child welfare authorities assess their suitability — a rule that was not applied when Madonna was allowed to take David to London in 2006.
Madonna’s Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, said he was hopeful the appeal would succeed.
“We believe the lower court judge erred by basing her judgment on an archaic law of over 50 years ago,” he said.
The judge in the lower court said Madonna’s previous adoption was the only case in which the residency requirement had been waived, and said she was concerned that doing so again could set a precedent that could jeopardize children.
Winfrey decides to pull program on Columbine
Chicago — Oprah Winfrey decided Monday to pull an already-taped episode of her talk show that was to mark the 10th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, saying it “focused too much on the killers.”
The episode, “10 Years Later: The Truth about Columbine,” was to air on the Monday anniversary of the massacre in Littleton, Colo., that killed 12 students and a teacher.
“I decided to pull the Columbine show today. After reviewing it, I thought it focused too much on the killers. Today, hold a thought for the Columbine community. This is a hard day for them,” Winfrey wrote on Oprah.com and her Facebook page. A similar message appeared on her Twitter feed.
A Harpo Productions Inc. spokeswoman confirmed the posts.
Columbine Task Force lead investigator Kate Battan, FBI special agent Dwayne Fuselier, Dave Cullen — author of the book “Columbine” — and Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis had taped the episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Winfrey said a program about a mother released from prison would run in place of the Columbine piece.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actress is pregnant
New York — Paging McDreamy: Do you know your fiancee is pregnant? Not really — just the actress who plays her.
Ellen Pompeo — who plays Dr. Meredith Grey, the future bride of Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on “Grey’s Anatomy” — and her real-life love, Chris Ivery, are expecting their first child together.
Pompeo’s publicist, Jennifer Allen, did not give a due date.
The 39-year-old actress and Ivery, a record producer, are one of Hollywood’s low-key couples. After three years of dating, they quietly tied the knot in November 2007 in a ceremony at New York City Hall.
Pompeo heads an ensemble cast on the ABC series. This season, Shepherd finally proposed to Grey, satisfying fans who’ve hankered to see the star-crossed surgical duo walk down the aisle.
NBC sending Curry into 2 war zones
New York — NBC “Today” show news anchor Ann Curry is heading to two war zones this week.
She is traveling to both Iraq and Afghanistan to report on how the wars are being reshaped under the administration of President Barack Obama. Her reports are to air on both the “Today” show and NBC’s “Nightly News.”
NBC would say little about her specific reports, except that she will be given some unprecedented access. She may also try to do some reporting in Pakistan.
Her “Today” colleague Matt Lauer gets the rep, but Curry has been a real globe-trotter. Since the beginning of 2008, she’s tried to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and been to the Congo, Serbia, Pakistan, Japan, China and France. She’s been to Darfur four times since 2006.