Kim drops huge clue about Kardashians’ future

 

It's the reality TV series that made the Kardashians and Jenners the most famous family in the world, helping them build personal brands worth billions.

Kim, Khloe and Koutney Kardashian, along with their "momager" Kris Jenner, and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, are so famous their names are basically shorthand.

The family's long-running E! reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians - launched in 2007 - was the building block for their fame and Forbes rich list-worthy bank accounts that are now comparable to some of the world's most lucrative brands.

In 2017, the family signed its most recent deal with E! worth up to $US150 million, for the show that documents every aspect of their lives from babies and bombshells to the distressing (notably, Kim's 2016 Paris robbery ordeal) and glamorous - all caught on camera. Last week, the Kardashians shocked fans by announcing Keeping Up With the Kardashians' 20th season - to air in 2021 - will be its last. So what led them to finally pull the plug?

 

Kanye West's mental health crisis, E!'s financial position, and the Kardashians' increasing pay demands were all said to have been factors in the show's demise.

In 2019, Kim said that she and her sisters were prepared to keep filming KUWTK"while it's fun".

"I think we'll continue to film while it's fun. It's still fun," Kardashian told News Corp in November. "I love my life, I love filming, I love being a part of it. I love our crew, I love everyone that works on our show. I love working with my family."

As an executive producer, Kim has a say in the editing process - as do Kris, Khloe and Kourtney - but that rarely stopped her from exposing very personal moments on the show. "I don't regret anything," Kim said.

"You're never going to be perfect; you're always going to be evolving and changing," Kim said.

Kendall, Khloe, Kim, Kourtney, and Kris won a People’s Choice Award for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Picture: Getty Images
Kendall, Khloe, Kim, Kourtney, and Kris won a People’s Choice Award for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Picture: Getty Images

'IT'S NOT WORTH IT'

Perhaps the first sign KUWTK was nearing its final run was Kourtney's decision reduce her filming schedule.

And though Kim and Khloe indicated they still wanted to continue, Kendall (now one of the word's highest-paid supermodels who struts for Chanel and Victoria's Secret) and Kylie (who built her own makeup brand, Kylie Cosmetics) already reduced their filming schedule, even before Kourtney pulled out.

Earlier this year, Kourtney opened up about her decision to step away from KUWTK, saying filming it had given her "anxiety", after a dramatic physical confrontation with her sisters played out in front of E!'s cameras.

 

The way they were. Robert Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Khloe Kardashian in 2008. Picture: Getty Images
The way they were. Robert Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Khloe Kardashian in 2008. Picture: Getty Images

 

The family at a Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ launch party at Hollywood nightclub Les Deux, in 2008. Picture: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic
The family at a Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ launch party at Hollywood nightclub Les Deux, in 2008. Picture: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic

"It doesn't make me happy. I don't want to miss out on time with my kids and it's not worth it," Kourtney said on the show.

"It just seems like they put the show and work above my happiness and it's caused this distance between us."

Addressing the incident in March, Kim told The Tonight Show that Kourtney had "made the decision to take time off now, and I think she really needs it".

"I think that'll be so much better for her," Kim said.

 

Kourtney Kardashian walked away from filming KUWTK due to anxiety. Picture: Getty Images
Kourtney Kardashian walked away from filming KUWTK due to anxiety. Picture: Getty Images

 

Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian in New York last year. Picture: Michael Loccisano/Wire Image
Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian in New York last year. Picture: Michael Loccisano/Wire Image

Of the physical smackdown between Kim and Kourtney, Kim had said: "It was pretty intense".

"I feel like it's been a lot of built-up resentment from Kourtney, or just feeling like she doesn't really want to film anymore," she told Jimmy Fallon.

"She's not the type of person to make a decision and say, 'OK, guys, I'm not gonna film,' but she would come to work with an attitude every day and kind of take it out on everyone, from crew to us, and wouldn't really make that decision."

"We would kind of, like, just keep on pushing her and try to figure out why she was so unhappy."

 

Khloe Kardashian took the news that KUWTK will end the hardest, according to her mother Kris Jenner. Picture: Getty Images
Khloe Kardashian took the news that KUWTK will end the hardest, according to her mother Kris Jenner. Picture: Getty Images

THE KANYE FACTOR

Reports suggested that Kris Jenner "pulled the plug" on Keeping Up With The Kardashians over fears Kanye West - who also launched a bizarre bid for president - was causing "irreversible damage" to their brand.

Sources told The Sun that Kris "had enough" of West's unpredictable behaviour, which included constantly fighting with her "over production and the direction that the show is going".

Insiders told New York Post's Page Six column that the Kardashians had been talking about "what the end of their show looks like" for "three or four years" before their decision to ultimately leave E!.

"It's been a long time coming," the source said. Others revealed that Kim had reservations about exposing West's bipolar battle on KUWTK. She begged the "media and public to have compassion and empathy" towards him after his latest Twitter meltdowns.

 

Kanye West, right, with Kim Kardashian in 2016, has had a string of Twitter meltdowns targeting the Kardashians. Picture: Getty Images
Kanye West, right, with Kim Kardashian in 2016, has had a string of Twitter meltdowns targeting the Kardashians. Picture: Getty Images

Page Six noted that excluding West from the show - as Kris and her daughters could have done as executive producers - would have left viewers feeling cheated.

Tensions within the family escalated in July when West called Kris a "white supremacist" and referred to her as "Kris Jong-un" on Twitter, saying she was "not allowed around my children", and claiming he had tried to divorce Kim for a year.

 

 

West threatened to reveal the family's darkest secrets if Kim staged an intervention to deal with his bipolar, and threatened to "live stream" any attempt to "lock him up".

"Kanye is very unwell and everyone's very worried for him," a source told The Sun.

"He's acting extremely paranoid and seems convinced Kim and Kris Jenner are 'out to get him'.

"He's warned Kim that he knows the family 'secrets' and will put them all out there.

"There's a lot that isn't on the reality show - feuds, secret celebrity hook ups, surgery, financial deals and rows within the family."

 

 

The scandal prompted divorce rumours, including that Kim had "been meeting with lawyers to explore and talk about divorce," an insider told Us Weekly.

"Kim doesn't want to divorce Kanye. She envisioned spending the rest of her life with him, but at this point she has to get real for the sake of the family. The kids are the priority," the source said.

Tensions between the couple were captured on KUWTK as recently as last year, when Kardashian and West argued over the nude-coloured Mugler dress Kim wore to the Met Gala, which West had deemed too revealing.

 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a huge fight before this appearance at the 2019 Met Gala in New York. Picture: Getty Images
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had a huge fight before this appearance at the 2019 Met Gala in New York. Picture: Getty Images

 

 

"I just made this transition from being a rapper, looking at all these girls, looking at my wife," West said, in a rant which actually aired on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

"Like, 'Oh, my girl needs to be like the other girls, showing her body off.'"

And West didn't stop there. "I didn't realise that that was affecting my soul and my spirit as someone that's married and loved, and the father of now, what - about to be four kids?"

"A corset is like a form of underwear," West said. "It's hot. It's like, it's hot for who, though?"

West said he was conflicted about his wife's provocative image. "You are my wife, and it affects me when pictures are too sexy," West said in front of E!'s cameras.

Kim appeared genuinely confused. "You built me up to be this sexy person and confidence and all this stuff," she said.

"And just because you're on a journey and you're on a transformation doesn't mean that I'm in the same spot with you," she said, before West walked out of the conversation.

 

 

MONEY

E!'s owner, NBCUniversal, was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis leading it to slash staff and shows including the entertainment channel's flagship program, E! News.

Sources told Page Six that when the Kardashians had discussed their exit in the past, E! was able to keep them by offering them more cash. This time, the network couldn't afford their growing price-tag.

In 2017, the Kardashians and Jenners renewed their current contract with E! until 2020 for a reported $US150 million, and The New York Post reported that the family wanted more money to renew for further seasons.

There was also the ratings factor. Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which drew an audience of 5.8 million viewers in the United States for a season premiere in 2010, had 1.6 million viewers for one of its recent season 18 episodes, Page Six reported.

 

Kylie Jenner (far left), Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian in 2008. Picture: Getty Images
Kylie Jenner (far left), Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian in 2008. Picture: Getty Images

 

Of course, this audience is just a fraction of what the Kardashians and Jenners reach via Instagram where Kylie has 195 million followers, Kim has 188 million, Kendall has 139 million, Khloe has 121 million and Kourtney has 101 million.

As Kim said in an interview with The Business of Fashion: "Social media is its own show".

In a statement last week, Kim announced she and her family had made the "difficult decision" end Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

"It is with heavy hearts that we've made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians," she wrote.

"After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who've watched us for all of these years."

 

 

Makeup mogul Kylie Jenner, pictured in 2018, grew up in front of E!’s cameras. Picture: Getty Images for MTV
Makeup mogul Kylie Jenner, pictured in 2018, grew up in front of E!’s cameras. Picture: Getty Images for MTV

 

 

"Without Keeping Up with The Kardashians, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has watched and supported me and my family these past 14 incredible years.

"This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever." In a statement, E! said the US entertainment TV network respected "the family's decision to live their lives without our cameras".

KEEPING UP

The final season of KUWTK - to air in "early 2021", according to Kim - will signal the end of an era for the OG family of reality TV who seem ready for real reality.

So what's next for the Kardashians and Jenners after E!'s cameras finally stop rolling?

The family's top earners Kim and Kylie are now worth an estimated $US900 million each.

Kylie sold 51 per cent of Kylie Cosmetics to Coty last year, in a deal reportedly worth $US600 million.

"They are well and truly established now," a Hollywood management and celebrity branding expert - who has represented some of the highest-paid names in entertainment - told News Corp.

 

 

"The question you've got to ask yourself is - how relevant is that style of reality TV any more, regardless of who is in it?," he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"The evolution of social media provides so much of this sort of content now, fans don't really need to rely on a TV show to keep up with them.

"The Kardashian brand is so strong it can stand on its own, it doesn't need the show."

 

Kylie Jenner appeared on Forbes’ billionaires list in March 2019 at the age of 21. Picture: Getty Images
Kylie Jenner appeared on Forbes’ billionaires list in March 2019 at the age of 21. Picture: Getty Images

The Kardashians and Jenners all have their own empires. Kim has KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance and Skims - her shapewear/lingerie line. She recently trademarked a homewares brand, "KKW Home".

Of course, Kylie has Kylie Cosmetics, which includes her signature "lip kits" and a skincare line, under the Kylie Skin brand. Then there's inclusive-sized clothing label Good American (Khloe Kardashian, who has also had a career as a TV host including on Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian), Goop-style site Poosh (Kourtney Kardashian), and Talentless (via Kourtney's ex Scott Disick).

Kendall is the world's highest-paid supermodel, according to Forbes, with her modelling earnings sitting at an estimated $US22.5 million last year.

Even reclusive sibling Rob Kardashian - who, at one point, had his own E! spin-off series Rob & Chyna with his then-girlfriend Blac Chyna - has a side business, designing socks under the name Arthur George.

 

 

 

 

Khloe Kardashian is said to be taking KUWTK’s demise ‘the hardest’, according to her mother Kris Jenner. Picture: Getty Images
Khloe Kardashian is said to be taking KUWTK’s demise ‘the hardest’, according to her mother Kris Jenner. Picture: Getty Images

"Momager" Kris Jenner became visibly emotional when discussing KUWTK's ending with the series' co-creator and executive producer, Ryan Seacrest.

"You're going to make me cry all over again," Kris told On Air With Ryan Seacrest.

"It really hasn't (sunk in yet). I got very, very emotional this morning," Kris said, speaking on the day of the announcement.

"I think Khloe is probably the one who is taking it the hardest and really hasn't stopped crying since we announced. She's been so sweet and just emotional about it.

"I woke up and was in the gym at 5am with Khloé and Kim, and we just kind of sat there and looked at each other and said, 'whoa, what a ride.'"

"I think the number 20 used to sound good until 2020, but the number 20 just seemed like the right time I think for us to take a minute and breathe and everybody slow down a bit … figure out what our next steps are," Kris said.

"We've had such an amazing run and we're so grateful … for every single moment."

The final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (season 20) will air on Foxtel in 2021. Season 19 premieres on E! in Australia this week (September 18).

 

 

 

Originally published as Kim drops huge clue about Kardashians' future

The golden era of Kimye in 2018. Picture: Getty Images
The golden era of Kimye in 2018. Picture: Getty Images
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian pictured in Paris 2018 – the first time she returned to the city after her 2016 robbery ordeal. Picture: Getty Images
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian pictured in Paris 2018 – the first time she returned to the city after her 2016 robbery ordeal. Picture: Getty Images
Kendall Jenner on the runway at the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Picture: Getty Images for Victoria's Secret
Kendall Jenner on the runway at the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Picture: Getty Images for Victoria's Secret

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