Prince William-Kate Middleton Wedding Sends Cable Networks Into Programming Frenzy
Royal fever is catching on in the U.S., and cable networks plan to capitalize on the frenzy with a series of specials leading up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
In addition to Lifetime, which plans to air a biopic about the couple titled William and Kate, other networks such as BBC, TLC and Wedding Central will bombard U.S. audiences with programming to generate excitement about the event, which will take place April 29 at Westminster Abbey.
BBC Worldwide America, the American branch of the U.K.-based public broadcaster, leads the pack with the most extensive pre-wedding coverage. The network has already aired two specials, William & Kate: Modern Monarchy and Modern Monarchy: Here and There, and intends broadcast up to half a dozen others about the royal family before the event.
The network’s aggressive wedding drive will culminate with Royally Mad, a two-part series that takes four American royal wedding fanatics to London for their first time to visit the people and locations that feature into William and Kate’s story. So You Think You Can Dance's Cat Deeley will host the show, set to premiere April 12.
"We wanted to do a combination of programming that took an affectionate look at the wedding but could also have a sense of humor," Perry Simon, general manager of BBC Americas, told the Associated Press. He added, "It's wedding fever here. All wedding, all the time."
TLC also has a number of royals-themed programs on its slate, including specials on Princess Diana’s bridesmaid India Hicks and hoarders of royal memorabilia. Meanwhile, Wedding Central, a relatively new offshoot of women’s network WE TV, is working on its first original program, a documentary called William and Kate: The Wedding of the Century that will feature interviews with the people involved in making the big day happen.
The wedding itself will receive extensive coverage on most major news programs, but will not be broadcast in 3D as previously rumored.