Prince William, Kate Middleton, Kiss

TV ratings for the William and Kate's fairytale royal nuptials were described as "mixed," even "lackluster."

Come again?

William & Kate's Royal Wedding





Per Nielsen estimates of the U.S. audience released yesterday, 22.8 million people tuned in the ceremony on 11 networks. 

If the wedding was a primetime show, it would have edged out Wednesday's American Idol Monday's super-sized Dancing With the Stars as the week's No. 1 hit. 

All in all, not bad for an event that aired here during the pre-dawn hours, unlike, for instance, Princess Diana's 1997 funeral (33.3 million).

But media types are pooh-poohing the numbers because, for all the buzz, the wedding probably won't be the biggest thing in all of TV history. (Worldwide audience estimates aren't due out 'til Tuesday.)

Now who expected the wedding to be the biggest thing in all of TV history? Media types, of course. Several months ago, a British tab up and decided nearly one out of every two persons on Earth was going to watch.

The thing is, maybe that many people did watch.

A whopping 400 million reportedly caught livestream coverage on YouTube alone. How many people watched on E! Online, Facebook, Ustream, CNN and all the rest combined? We don't know. (Over here at E! Online, we do know the wedding helped produce a Friday-record 23.6 million page views.)

So, yes, for now Prince Charles and Princess Diana's 1981 wedding, which aired on just three networks, will go down in the books with a higher U.S. household rating than William and Kate's.

But don't think the books are done being written.

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