The last time TV covered the coronation of a British monarch, it did a sturdy job.
The pictures were black-and-white and kind of fuzzy, but we got the idea: A young woman we knew little about had become the royal head of a thriving empire.
Since then, TV has had a lot of time – 69 years, 11 months and five days – to improve its work. Now – with pretty pictures on endless networks – an old man we know too much about is crowned as the royal head of a shrinking empire.
The coronation of King Charles III starts at 6 a.m. Saturday (May 7) and may last for two hours or so. (Even that is an hour less than the previous one.) Most networks are planning to cover it from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.; here’s a round-up:
THE MAIN START
— CNN: Annderson Cooper anchors from outside Buckingham Palace, with reporting and commentary from Christiane Amanpour and Max Foster. Richard Quest and Julia Chatterley will anchor in the London studio, with experts Kate Williams, Emily Nash, Sally Bedell Smith and Trisha Goddard. Reporters will be along the procession route and will be in India, Australia and Kenya.
— Fox News Channel: Martha MacCallum anchors, alongside Ainsley Earhardt from “Fox & Friends” and British reporter Piers Morgan of the Fox Nation streamer. Also included are foreign correspondents Greg Palkot, Alex Hogan and Benjamin Hall, plus chief political analyst Brit Hume; royal experts include Duncan Lancombe and Chris Anderson.
— MSNBC: Alex Witt anchors.
— ABC: Michael Strahan anchors, alongside Lara Spencer of “Good Morning America,” national correspondent Deborah Roberts and foreign correspondents Ian Pannell, James Longman, Maggie Rulli, Britt Clennett and Lama Hasan. Experts include Robert Jobson and Victoria Murphy.
— CBS: The “CBS Saturday Morning” anchors – Michelle Miller, Dana Jacobson and Jeff Glor – will anchor from London. Also included will be royal experts Tina Brown, Julian Payne and Wesley Kerr, plus foreign correspondents Holly Williams, Mark Phillips, Imtiaz Tyab and Chris Livesay.
— NBC: Savannah Guthrie will anchor from the palace. News correspondents throughout England and beyond will include Keir Simmons, Kelly Cobiella, Molly Hunter and Meagan Fitzgerald. Experts include Wilfred Frost, Daisy McAndrew, Katie Nichol and Simon Lewis,
— CNN International starts at 1 a.m. ET.
— PBS – picking up the no-commercials coverage from the BBC – starts at 2:30 a.m. ET. All of the PBS things are available on some stations and on PBS apps and pbs.org.
— The Britbox streamer, also picking up British coverage, starts at 4 a.m. ET.
–Most networks expect to finish coverage by 10 a.m. That’s when CBS and NBC have Saturday-morning shows and ABC gives time back to the networks. But you can expect coverage to continue on the news channels, the streaming news channels (for ABC, CBS and NBC) and Peacock.
— ABC will have a second edition of the coronation coverage, for the West Coast.
— “The Coronation: A Day to Remember,” from BBC, will air from 6:30 to 8 p.m. that night on PBS. It will then reach AMC+ on May 12.
— The coronation concert will be 3-5 p.m. Sunday, live from Windsor Castle, on PBS. It will be preceded at 2 by a documentary about the selection of the concert’s choir.
DOCUMENTARIES AND SUCH
— “King Charles: The Boy Who Walked Alone” is on Paramount+.
— “King Charles: In His Own Words” debuted recently on National Geographic Channel, then added Hulu. On Friday, it reaches Disney+.
— “Charles R: The Making of a Monach” airs at 9:35 a.m. ET Friday on BBC America, then at 8 p.m. Saturday on some PBS stations. On June 1, it reaches AMC+
— ABC’s “Good Morning America” has been airing pieces by Lara Spencer, Maggie Rulli and James Longman, On Friday, it will be based in London.
— NBC’s Today All Day streamer will begin a preview marathon at 9 p.m. ET Friday.
— Britbox has “Arthur: A Life With the Royal Family” (about photographer Arthur Edwards) and “Countdown to the Crown: The Who’s Who and What’s What of the Coronation.”
— Past documentaries are available in several places, including the True Royalty TV streamer, Britbox, pbs.org and the PBS apps.