In a Flyover State: Have You Made aRoyal Investment?

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The year 2011 is not even three months old and we have already seen some Decision of the Year candidates, ranging from awesome to awful. There have been great ones like American Idol dumping the awful Kara DiaWhatsHerName and the out-of-place Ellen DeGeneres for dynamic space cadet Steven Tyler and the electric Jennifer Lopez, which has helped Idol do numbers a 10-year-old show simply shouldn’t do.

On the other end of the spectrum, it can’t get any worse in 2011 than Brent Musburger’s shockingly embarrassing decision to say “This is for all the Tostitos” before a gamedeciding kick in the NCAA championship football game sponsored by that brand.

But here is one decision you absolutely can’t get wrong if you’ve already made it, and one you maybe can still fix if you haven’t: You probably can’t spend enough money or hours on the TV event that is going to deliver more women next month than if Charlie Sheen… you know what, enough with him already.

Here’s my advice: Whatever airtime and money you have committed to the upcoming Royal Wedding, I’d think about more. Lots more. And if you haven’t gotten a piece yet of this mega-event in waiting, I would change that, and fast.

I always say beware the one-person focus group, as it’s amazing how many execs (and editors) let one piece of anecdotal evidence sway their thinking more than they should.

But I have to admit my wife is pretty in tune with what works in the massively successful programming genre that I call “Yenta TV,” which is all that stuff like Say Yes to the Dress, which is good television, but makes me want to strangle myself with a Vera Wang gown when it’s on 24-7 in my house. When I told my wife TLC announced a spinoff last week, she was so happy she almost considered letting me do something we hadn’t done since our honeymoon. Yup, I thought she was going to let me watch people playing racquetball naked on a German TV station (true story).

But maybe the only thing she likes more than those wedding shows—outside of berating me when I of course did absolutely nothing wrong—are the Royals.

When you mix Britain’s royal family with a wedding, forget about it. Now add in the fact that—and I think this is the case, but don’t care enough to find out—you have a hot prince marrying a commoner bride, well, now you have every girl’s dream. Except my wife, who always grew up dreaming of marrying some short, fat, balding journalist. I know, I can’t believe it either!

So for all of those reasons, this thing is going to be off the charts. Many outlets from news divisions to entertainment magazines are already long down the road in their plans to blow these nuptials out. Everyone with a show is going to be live from England that week, which will be a fantastic smackdown over massive and crucial exclusives like which wacko designer made the limo driver’s socks.

And you know what? I honestly don’t think there can be enough of it. Once the hype ramps up, look out.

So, if you don’t have a piece of this thing yet, I’d be changing that, now. I don’t care if you are Bravo or ESPN, you are going to want in.

Buy some old documentary about anything related to the royals. Run a 30-minute exclusive interview with a lady from Kansas City who once thought she saw someone who looked like Princess Di at a Walmart. Hell, run something about the crappy Kansas City Royals baseball team and just use shady marketing to mislead people into thinking it’s about the wedding.

But I honestly believe that once we get a couple of weeks out from the April 29 Wedding of the Century, viewers aren’t going to be able to get enough.

I, on the other hand, am planning on moving out of my house the entire month leading up to the event. For obvious reasons.

E-mail comments to bgrossman@nbmedia.com and follow him on Twitter: @BCBenGrossman

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