Thursday Watch List: The Big Very Early Morning

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you head on over to the Abbey with 1,500 of your closest friends for a quick elopement. LET’S GO!

THE ROYAL WEDDING – Coverage starts at 4:00AM (Everywhere) The Royal Family was too cheap to spring for a weekend wedding, and ALSO too cheap to spring for an evening wedding, which is how we’ve ended up with a Royal Wedding taking place at mid-day in London on a Friday. That means you better set your DVR or be prepared to wake up at o’dark thirty as the festivities begin. Here's a handy schedule of events. Prince William arrives at Westminster Abbey at 5:15AM. Kate Middleton’s ride to the church starts 36 minutes later. The ceremony starts at 6AM sharp.

Now, as to your viewing options. Shepard Smith and Martha McCallum will start their coverage on FOX at 4AM. Ditto ABC, where Baba Wawa and Diane Sawyer will preside over the coverage and presumably spend six hours trying to one-up each other. CNN will have Piers Morgan as their lead anchor, so avoid CNN. And NBC will have the “Today” gang on hand, along with Martin Bashir in London. Gotta have that British correspondent in your back pocket. The whole thing will end sometime around 8:30AM, when the consummation of the marriage is broadcast live to over a billion people. Okay, I’m kidding. You don’t get to see that part. But Lord knows Piers Morgan will try. ANTICIPATION: HIGHEST!

THE OFFICE – 9:00PM (NBC) Royalty aside, the biggest TV event of the next two days is Steve Carell’s final episode on “The Office,” which happens tonight in a special expanded episode. I’m told that Carell’s dress tonight is still a closely guarded secret, as is the cake! ANTICIPATION: BITTERSWEET!

NFL DRAFT – 8:00PM (ESPN, NFL Network) If the Royal Wedding isn’t your thing, spend your whole weekend watching the NFL absorb the latest class of college football stars. Then watch the NFL try and forbid them from actually playing. ANTICIPATION: CONFUSING!

NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE: JAPAN IN CRISIS – 10:00PM (Discovery) Oh hey, were you aware that Japan is still utterly devastated by last month’s tsunami and the potential nuclear fallout? I bet you thought it was over because the media moved on from it, but it’s actually still going on RIGHT NOW, and it’s kind of the most important thing in the world. Unlike plutonium, the media’s attention span has a half-life of .000003 seconds. ANTICIPATION: TRAGEDY!

20/20 – 8:00PM (ABC) If you just can’t wait until the wee hours of the morning for your Royal fix, ABC has a pregame show on tonight for a full hour. Then you can hop over to TLC for their two-hour pregame show starting at 9PM. It’s so much royal coverage, you’ll have chess pieces shooting out of your ears. ANTICIPATION: CRUMPETS!

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