ABC, NBC Succumb To Royal-Baby Primetime Ratings Crack; CBS Just Says No

ABC News, which blew out large chunks of ABC’s daytime schedule today to cover the birth of Britain’s Royal Baby, announced this afternoon that Babs Walters will anchor a special royal-baby edition of 20/20 tomorrow. The Royal Baby: Heir to the Throne is the name of Tuesday’s 20/20, because Little Prince was already taken – not by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, silly – by NBC! That network’s baby special airs tonight – a very special “Dateline,” hosted by Natalie Morales, preempting the network’s low-rated Siberia.

NBC also broke into its daytime schedule today with a special report on the baby birthing. Little Prince promises us an intimate look inside the lives of proud parents Kate and Prince William, Duches and Duke of Cambridge. Also, we’ll see talks with their friends, and the latest details about the couple’s future plans as a family – plus rare childhood images of new-dad William and his little brother Harry. One night later, Babs — who will next spring step down as the reigning queen of celebrity journalism — will explain the lifestyle and inheritance the new prince will enjoy. She’ll also explain who is the extended family, who are the privileged babies His Royal Tot-ness will soon call playmates, what’s next for the baby and, how the grand mother he will never meet – that would be Diana – will influence his life. Ick.

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Royal family “news” is TV-ratings crack for American newscasters, whether it’s Princess Di’s car-wreck death or William’s marriage to Kate. And yet, CBS News — the only broadcast news operation that mostly gave the Royal Baby story a miss today and stuck with regularly scheduled programming, has yet to announce a primetime Royal Baby special with an insufferably clever name. CBS News has been billing itself as the more serious news division for some time now, though, in fairness, the birth did lead CBS This Morning this morning, as it did ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today show.

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