If you want to watch the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, then you’ll need to set your alarm clock for 1 a.m. Friday. That’s when most TV coverage begins.
Most network and cable channels are providing some degree of coverage for viewers who have a fascination with British nuptials. The marriage of Charles and Diana was watched by 750 million in 1981, which pales compared to the 1 to 2 billion people expected to watch William and Kate’s wedding.
Here are some of your TV viewing options:
• BBC America, midnight: The cable channel plans to air the commercial-free telecast by the BBC with Huw Edwards as the anchor.
• MSNBC, midnight: Martin Bashir, Chris Jansing, Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist report from London.
• ABC, 1 a.m.: The network’s coverage will continue into “Good Morning America.” Barbara Walters will anchor a two-hour “20/20” at 9 p.m. that recaps the wedding.
• NBC, 1 a.m.: The “Today” morning team, along with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, will report from London. Ann Curry hosts a two-hour “Dateline NBC” at 9 p.m. Friday that will show highlights of the wedding.
• CNN, 1 a.m.: Piers Morgan, Richard Quest, Anderson Cooper and Kiran Chetry are the cable news channel’s team.
• Fox News Channel, 1 a.m.: Shepard Smith and Martha MacCallum co-anchor the coverage. “Fox and Friends” co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Jonathan Hunt will report from Westminster Abbey.
• E! Entertainment, 1 a.m.: Giuliana Rancic hosts “Live From the Royal Wedding” coverage along with Dermot O’Leary, Angela Rippon, Louise Roe, Robbie Laughlin and Catt Sadler. “Will and Kate: Road to the Altar,” hosted by Ryan Seacrest, airs at 9 p.m. followed by “Fashion Police: Royal Wedding.”
• Telemundo, 1 a.m.: The network’s Spanish-language coverage includes a live broadcast of the wedding.
• CBS, 1:39 a.m.: Katie Couric anchors both live coverage and the 8 p.m. Friday special “The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty.”
• The Weather Channel, 3 and 7 a.m.: Al Roker anchors “Wake Up with Al” from London.
And TV won’t be the only way to keep up with the wedding events. MSNBC.com and YouTube will stream the ceremony live and NBC news has created a royal wedding app for the iPad. E! is offering coverage on Facebook.
Morgan, the former British newspaper editor who’s taken over Larry King’s talk show spot on CNN, says he understands why Americans are so fascinated with monarchy marriages.
“The British monarchy is a unique institution,” he says. “And I think it’s been going through a pretty weird period since Diana died. It lost its biggest star.
“When I saw the interview that William and Kate gave, I felt that buzz again about the royal family, particularly here in America where you don’t have a royal family. I think you’re as excited here as we are back home.
“It’s one of those things that brings Britain and America together. I love the fact that Americans feel so warm towards the royal family. It means a lot to us back home.”