LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The romance between Britain's Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton is getting the TV movie treatment as celebrity-hungry U.S. media gears up for the royal nuptials in London on April 29.
But an actress is still being sought to play Middleton in female-oriented Lifetime television's movie "William & Kate", which is due to start production in Los Angeles in two weeks time.
William, 28, second in line to the British throne, will be played by little-known New Zealand actor Nico Evers-Swindell, whose credits include small parts in the TV crime shows "Law & Order" and "NCIS:Los Angeles."
Lifetime said British actor Ben Cross, best known for his role in the 1981 movie "Chariots of Fire" would play Prince Charles. But no one has yet been cast to play 29 year-old Middleton.
The TV movie will tell the story of the couple's friendship and later romance while students at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and the social and media pressure surrounding their relationship, Lifetime said.
"William & Kate" will be aired ahead of the April 29 wedding, and is one of a slew of specials planned in the United States where royal wedding fever is already high.
ABC News last week launched a "Royal Wedding Guest Book" on its website, where well-wishers can post messages to William and Kate. More than 900 messages have been posted so far.
Briton Piers Morgan, who recently launched his own nightly talk show on CNN, is planning to broadcast live from London the week before the wedding.
Morgan, a former British tabloid newspaper editor, told U.S. journalists he knew the late Princess Diana well, along with other members of the royal family including William's father Prince Charles and his second wife Camilla.
BBC America has announced a two-part special called "Royally Mad" in April, which will feature TV personality Cat Deeley taking four American British royal fanatics to London for a royal wedding-themed trip.
BBC America, which is available in 68 million homes, is also airing a slew of newly-acquired royal documentaries in April, and plans to stream the wedding live.
Meanwhile, TV channel Wedding Central plans a week-long celebration leading up to April 29, including a one-hour special called "William & Kate; The Wedding of the Century" that will feature interviews with royal insiders, cake-makers, florists and wedding planners.
"The royal wedding is sure to be the event of the century and as the only (U.S.) network dedicated to wedding content, we're thrilled to celebrate this wedding with our viewers through a new and entertaining show," said programing chief Elizabeth Doree.
Editing by Patricia Reaney