ABC’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ not so strong. Maria Bartiromo to Fox Business.

The success of "The Best Man Holiday," with Terrence Howard, left, Nia Long and Eddie Ciprian, caught many in Hollywood off guard.
The success of “The Best Man Holiday,” with Terrence Howard, left, Nia Long and Eddie Ciprian, caught many in Hollywood off guard.
(Universal Pictures)

After the coffee. Before drinking more coffee because I’m on no sleep!

The Skinny: Last Monday, I was up late breaking news about New York Times reporter Brian Stelter going to CNN. Last night, I was up even later breaking news about the latest in the Nikki Finke-Jay Penske battle (see below). Hope I get to go back to breaking news about media instead of about media reporters I compete against! In today’s roundup, ABC had high hopes for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” but after a strong start, the show has lost some luster. Also, big cuts coming to Sony Pictures and another “Best Man” movie is already in the works.

Daily Dose: The fight between Hollywood journalist Nikki Finke and Jay Penske got uglier late last night. Penske, who bought Deadline Hollywood in 2009, has initiated arbitration against Finke, who left the site she founded earler this month to launch a new rival. Penske says if Finke starts a new site she is in violation of non-compete agreements. Here are the details.

Need a tougher S.H.I.E.L.D. At the start of the season, ABC’s heavily hyped “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” looked like a breakout hit. But two months later the bloom is off the rose. Ratings have fallen dramatically, particularly among the young men ABC was hoping to woo with the show, and media buyers are concerned. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is the first big prime-time show from ABC’s sister unit, Marvel Entertainment. The picture isn’t all bad though, as the show was sold for a lot of money overseas and so far is getting solid ratings abroad. A deep dive into “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” from the Los Angeles Times.


May you live in interesting times. On Monday, word broke that Sony had hired Bain & Co. to help make $100 million in cuts at its movie studio (here’s a tip, make everyone fly coach), which will no doubt mean layoffs. The move comes after griping by investor Daniel Loeb about the mangement at Sony Pictures. But Sony is hardly the only studio going through a transistion. There’s new leadership at Universal and Warner Bros. and Disney recently cut ties with one of its biggest producers. The New York Times takes a look behind the headlines. Also, more on the situation at Sony from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

Transferring funds. Maria Bartiromo, still the biggest name on CNBC after 20 years, is jumping ship to rival Fox Business Network. Bartiromo, who used to be known as the “money honey” when she burst on the scene covering Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, is a big get for Fox Business, which has yet to make a huge dent in CNBC’s ratings. Bartiromo will also contribute to Fox News as well. She’ll be reunited with her old CNBC boss, Roger Ailes, who oversees both Fox Business and Fox News. Details from the Los Angeles Times and TV Newser.

What’s next, “Best Man Groundhog Day”? After the massive success of “The Best Man Holiday,” a sequel to the 1999 movie “The Best Man,” director Malcolm D. Lee is already talking threepeat. Deadline Hollywood reports that Lee is in talks for a third chapter in what has become Hollywood’s most unlikely franchise. Odds are it won’t be another 14 years between movies this time around.

Noooo!!! It’s official. Nothing is sacred anymore. Variety reports that a sequel to the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is in the works. In a twist on the original, this one is about the less-than-loveable George Bailey III, who gets to see how much better life would be if he’d never been born. I have an idea: How about not making this at all, we all know how much better life would be without it.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Apparently NBC has two sets of rules when it comes to Alec Baldwin. Was the success of “Best Man Holiday” a surprise or is Hollywood clueless when it comes to knowing the power of the African American marketplace?
Follow me on Twitter and maybe I’ll bring the late night poetry back. @JBFlint.