TV Networks Grapple in Race to Cover Royal Wedding

By Beth Stebner
|  Thursday, Jun 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:39 PM EDT
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Year in Review 2010: Celebrity Weddings & Engagements

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Say yes to the best network.

Though networks like TLC and Lifetime have an impressive roster of wedding shows, from “Bridezillas” to “Four Weddings,” none can compare to the April 29th nuptials of Prince William to his fiancée Catherine Middleton. And networks are chomping at the bit to cover it, fictional or otherwise.

The last British royal wedding was in 1981 between Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana. That alone attracted over a billion viewers.

The networks are pulling out all the stops in their seemingly endless coverage. “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” have Jane Seymour and Sharon Stone as foreign wedding correspondents. Barbara Walters will cover for ABC, as she did for Charles and Diana’s wedding some 30 years before. Entertainment Weekly reports that TLC will air a week’s worth of wedding specials, ranging from “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons to dozens of royal shows documenting various aspects of kingly weddings.

And both Hallmark and Lifetime are making fictionalized accounts of the royal couple. The Lifetime movie, entitled “William & Kate,” will air on April 18th, followed, several months after, by Hallmark’s “William & Kate: A Royal Love Story.”

It’s also TLC that’s contending with BBC America for actual wedding coverage. The Daily News reports that TLC is currently promoting a “shortened version” of the actual wedding, while BBC America, along with its across-the-pond counterpart BBC One, will provide “full uninterrupted live coverage.”

Selected Reading: Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, Spectator

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