Is the media going royally mad in its coverage of William and Kate's wedding?
There are so many pressing questions about the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton: Will the groom wear a wedding ring? (No, but there's no sinister motive, it's just not tradition for the House of Windsor men.) Were the Obamas invited? (Nope, but Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and a half-dozen of the couple's exes were).
Answers to every royal question imaginable is available via the boatloads of TV coverage planned between now and the April 29 nuptials. Every major news organization will air the wedding, with some broadcasts kicking off between midnight and 2 a.m. West Coast time. CNN alone will have at least 125 reporters on the ground in London to cover the story, and BBC America will air a 5 1/2-hour live, commercial-free broadcast on wedding day.
Piers Morgan, who will broadcast his CNN talk show from London the week before the wedding, said the royal event is comparable to "two Super Bowls and an 'American Idol' finale." He said,"For a few hours, people might not be thinking about all the terrible things going on in the world or in their lives. They'll be cheering on this couple. I think we need stuff like that."
In the week leading up to the event, morning chat shows, evening news and prime-time specials will all be drenched in all things royal. Cable channels are going into overdrive as the Big Day approaches with royal-themed dessert shows (Food Network), London-based forecasts (The Weather Channel) and a royal version of "Hoarders" called "Extreme Royal Collectors" (TLC).
Read more about the media obsession with the young royals -- and the potential 2 billion-strong worldwide audience their Wedding of the Century may draw -- in this Sunday Calendar feature.
-- T.L. Stanley
Photo: Prince William and Catherine Middleton, announcing their engagement. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press