When I was five years old, my mother and sister woke me up early one Wednesday morning and dragged me out to the living room. A real princess was getting married and they didn’t want me to miss it. While many may look back on that July day in 1981 and recall Diana’s 25-ft train or the hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, my memory is: “You woke me up for this?” Almost 30 years later, I still hold a grudge.
Unlike my five-year-old self, my daughter’s greatest dream in life at the moment is to be a flower girl—or at least get invited to a wedding. So, when Fri’s royal nuptials roll around will I drag my own five-year-old daughter out of bed at 4am ET to watch the live pre-wedding coverage from Buckingham Palace? No way. And thankfully with DVRs, VODs, etc, I won’t have too. But millions will. Estimates put William and Kate’s wedding viewers worldwide at 1bln-2bln—up from the 750mln Charles and Diana captured in ’81. While the morning broadcast shows will have plenty of coverage, cable has its fare share of royal programming—some of it going beyond the ordinary. A few highlights:
Those who need to bone up on the woman who will be queen can catch BIO’s premiere of “Biography: Kate Middleton” Wed at 1pm ET. For an offbeat wedding angle, check out GSN’s Royal Wedding-themed week of “The Newlywed Game” (couples from Queens, couples named William & Kate, etc).
Broadcasters and cable news nets won’t be the only ones with live wedding coverage. Wedding Central will start live coverage at 3am, airing uncut and commercial free. It’ll be available on-air and online at www.WeddingCentral.com, with encores throughout the day. E!’s “Live From the Royal Wedding,” hosted by Giuliana Rancic, runs from 4am-9am with encore coverage on both coasts. TLC, which is devoting 89 hours of programming to the event this week, will take over part of Times Square Fri and broadcast a pre-show and viewing party of the wedding (there will even be on-site weddings of 3 couples).
BBC America will feature a live, commercial free broadcast of UK flagship channel BBC ONE. CNN’s coverage begins at 4am ET and will be anchored by Piers Morgan, Richard Quest, Anderson Cooper and Kiran Chetry. CNN.com will live stream various angles of the day’s event, including views inside Westminster Abbey. MSNBC’s coverage kicks off at 3am, with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist stepping in at 5am to lead coverage. Shepard Smith and Martha MacCallum co-host Fox News’ coverage beginning at 4am. To get us in the mood, Fox News will simulcast Sky News from 1-6am ET on Wed and Thurs.
Get the dishy highlights after the I Do’s on Wedding Central’s Perez Hilton hosted “Will + Kate Forever” special, Fri at 7pm. It’ll be on-air and also online. In a similar vein, TV Guide has “Kathy Griffin’s Insightful and Hilarious Take on the Royal Wedding” at 8pm. For the fashion set, E! presents “Fashion Police: Royal Wedding,” Fri at 10pm. The day after the wedding, Comcast will offer up coverage of the ceremony from BBC on VOD.
For a more historical bent, Nat Geo airs “Royal Weddings Revealed” at 9am ET Fri and again at 8pm in prime. Featuring archival footage (some of which has rarely been seen by the public), the doc looks at the marital history of the British monarchy over the past 100 years.