Wedding coverage drop-ins include Diana biographer Tina Brown, Markle’s Northwestern University drama professor and a former Diana bodyguard as broadcast and cable news go all out for the big day.
The morning star and World News Tonight anchor lead live coverage starting at 5 a.m. ET on Good Morning America (Michael Strahan also will be in the U.K.). And 20/20 airs hourlong specials May 18 (a look at the two most important women in Harry’s life: Diana and Markle) and May 19 (a recap of the day’s highlights). Muir will anchor the network's evening news show from London the same nights. Freeform and ABC News digital platforms, including ABCNews.com and GoodMorningAmerica.com, mobile apps, social platforms and OTT services will also simulcast the five-hour special edition of GMA. And an augmented-reality feature on the ABC News app gives fans the opportunity to take photos with a 3D royal carriage or pose next to a 3D Queen’s Guard.
Royal ringer: Biographer Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess
CBS This Morning’s and Entertainment Tonight’s co-hosts will broadcast live from 4 a.m. ET, and a two-hour special, Royal Romance, airs at 8 p.m. ET. The network's streaming news service, CBSN, will also be covering the event live starting on May 18 and will stream CBS News' special coverage beginning at 4:00 a.m. ET on May 19. Entertainment Tonight is broadcasting from London the entire week leading up to the nuptials.
Royal ringer: Ex-Vanity Fair editor and Diana biographer Tina Brown
Live from 4 a.m. ET, the trio — three of the network's most prominent hard news anchors — will welcome contributors including Meghan Markle’s onetime Northwestern University theater prof (now a Boston University dean), Harvey Young. Even Christiane Amanpour will anchor Amanpour from Windsor on May 18.
Royal ringers: Along with CNN’s Max Foster, Harry biographer Angela Levin
Starting at 6 a.m. ET, the chief news anchor and America’s Newsroom co-anchor will be joined by Ainsley Earhardt, who is co-hosting Fox & Friends (5 a.m. ET) from the U.K. from May 17 to 19. Earhardt's morning show co-anchors, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, will stay in New York.
Royal ringers: Royal correspondent Louisa James; Diana pal Harry Herbert, son of The Earl Carnarvon; former Buckingham Palace communications officer David Pogson.
“Everyone loves a wedding so I do think it is an international story, but it’s even more special in the States since Meghan is one of us,” Guthrie tells THR. “It makes it all that much more fun to cover. It’s not every day you get to cover an American princess.” Adds Kotb, “We have our fascinators. Pinkies out! Curtsey! It’s royal wedding time!” The Today duo will broadcast from an “exclusive vantage point” starting at 4:30 a.m. ET, with Megyn Kelly and Kathie Lee Gifford at a nearby pub. Al Roker and Sheinelle Jones will join Today from the United Kingdom. Sharing a parent with USA, home of Markle’s former show Suits, NBC gained access to her Hollywood circle — including NBCU Cable chair and Markle mentor Bonnie Hammer — for May 16’s Inside the Royal Wedding. “Before anybody really knew who she was, beyond those who watched Suits, she used a platform, that was relatively small, to talk about women’s equality, women’s education, health and clean water,” says Hammer of Markle on the primetime special. Savannah Sellers, co-host of the network's popular Snapchat news show, Stay Tuned, will cover the wedding from London, and NBC News will also cover the event on all digital platforms with original content, video and interactive graphics on a special content hub on NBCNews.com.
Royal ringers: Historian Andrew Roberts and Diana bodyguard Ken Wharfe
Starting at 4 a.m. ET, AM Joy host Joy Reid will anchor coverage from New York, joined by her colleagues on the ground in Windsor, Stephanie Ruhle and Katy Tur.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.