‘Iron Man’ digging to China

Posted: April 17, 2012

Iron Man may soon be covered in lead paint.

Walt Disney, the company not the ghost, said Monday that it will co-produce its next “Iron Man” movie with a Chinese partner in Hollywood’s latest effort to forge closer ties with China’s fast-growing film industry and billion potential filmgoers.

“Iron Man 3,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle, will begin filming this year, Disney and DMG Entertainment said. Disney said DMG will jointly produce the movie in China but gave no indication what parts might be filmed in this country.

“We know Chinese audiences love ‘Iron Man.’ So we are going to add Chinese elements and a Chinese story into Iron Man 3,” Disney’s general manager for Greater China, Stanley Cheung, said at a news conference.

Possible confrontations: Iron Man vs. a tank in Tiananmen Square.

Iron Man vs. the Terracotta Soldiers.

Iron Man vs. the North Korean nuclear program.

Nah, that one’s too easy.

‘Today,’ so yesterday

The 852 consecutive weeks of ratings dominance of NBC’s “Today” show, one of television’s most epic streaks, has apparently ended.

The Nielsen Co. said Monday that ABC’s “Good Morning America” beat NBC’s morning show last week by a razor-thin margin of 13,000 viewers — and ABC owes Tim Tebow a hearty thank you.

“Today” actually won in the ratings three of the five mornings last week. But “Good Morning America” won on Wednesday, when bounced “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Sherri Shepherd was featured, and on Friday, when co-host Robin Roberts traveled to Jacksonville to interview football star Tebow and his mother.

“GMA” beat “Today” by 330,000 viewers on Friday, Nielsen said.

The streak was a huge point of pride at NBC as the rest of the network declined. Morning shows are also an important revenue source, and a changing of the guard could have significant financial repercussions. The “Today” show earned an estimated $484 million in revenue in 2011, according to Kantar Media, more than “GMA” ($298 million) and CBS’ morning show ($156 million) combined.

“GMA’s” next milestone? Beating “Today” when Matt Lauer isn’t on vacation.

Speaking of “Good Morning America,” a Comcast glitch in parts of Colorado interrupted the KRDO broadcast on Thursday and replaced it with a few seconds of hardcore porn. Unable to get “GMA” back on the air, Comcast broadcast three hours of religious programming.

Tattbit

Craig Ferguson is going back to Scotland and taking “Late Late Show” viewers along for the trip.

CBS says the Scotland-based episodes will air the week of May 14. While there, Ferguson explores Edinburgh and Glasgow. He also returns to his hometown of Cumbernauld, with stops at his childhood home and high school.

On the trip, taped last month, he’s joined by actors Mila Kunis, Michael Clarke Duncan and Rashida Jones, as well as author-humorist David Sedaris.

Music will be performed by local Glasgow rock band The Imagineers.

Couldn’t get The Proclaimers? n

— Daily News wire services ?contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com.

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