When Keeping up with the Kardashians Released in 2007, the production didn’t have the budget to provide hair and makeup. Fast-forwarding through 20 seasons and nine spinoffs that spanned an additional 18 seasons and 440 total episodes, it’s safe to say that the Kardashian-Jenners have no problem asking for glamor, and whatever else they would like, in their contracts.
Now, after 15 years of their hit reality show that reinvented pop culture and changed the definition of celebrity, arguably the world’s most famous family is wrapping up their reality show journey in ME! on June 10 and heading to Hulu.
While the details are scarce, Kris jenner and his daughters Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall other Kylie They have signed a multi-year deal with the streamer, with the new content expected to launch in late 2021.
“From what I understand, they came and went a lot. They were really torn,” says Farnaz Farjam, the executive producer who has been working with the family since day one.
“It is such an important part of their lives. They are so grateful for all the years and all the opportunities that the show has given them. I think they just needed a clean break. Season 20 seemed like the right time.”
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When the show began in 2007, the family was best defined by the OJ Simpson trial, a sex tape, and a box of Wheaties. Kim Kardashian met Farjam, later a producer of ME!‘s Simple life, at Paris Hilton’s home when she was helping high society organize their closets.
Today, she sits atop her own billion-dollar empire, alongside billionaire sister Kylie Jenner, thanks to the cosmetics, perfume, skincare and clothing lines, all made possible by the platform. provided by To keep up to date.
According to those closest to the Jenner matriarch, she always had a keen sense for business opportunities and her eye was on the prize.
“I think Kris Jenner always had a plan,” says Farjam, recalling the first time she met the family at a local Calabasas restaurant next to their clothing stores, Dash and Smooch. One time ME! green light keeping up with the Kardashians, Farjam was assigned the series on behalf of Bunim / Murray Productions, launching his nearly 15-year association with the family.
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“She had done a lot of homework. She used to do infomercials, so she knew how promotions worked and certain things,” Farjam says of Jenner. The producer recalls that Jenner thought the show could be used as a promotional platform for his two small clothing stores, which featured heavily in the early days of the reality show. But Jenner could never have predicted the eventual empire her family would dominate today.
“At one point, he realized that the stores weren’t the brands, but the family was the brand,” says Farjam. “She used all her resources and the people she knew in the industry and managed to navigate. She is very smart. She is very business savvy. I think she got into the business knowing she had a higher intention, but I don’t. I knew how big it was going to be. Every time it got bigger, it would say, “Oh, I can make it bigger!” That’s what makes it so shiny. “
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About midway through the career of KUWTK, the Kardashians had officially risen to the A list, sitting in the front row at fashion shows, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood who’s who and appearing on the cover of fashion.
They also began their journey as budding business women with Kimojis and custom apps. The family that was “famous for nothing” were no longer just reality stars.
While the series allowed the Kardashian-Jenners to achieve seemingly impossible dreams, at some point, the family became larger than the show. After all, Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie make millions from just one Instagram post.
“They didn’t have to do anything they didn’t want to do, and they knew it,” says Rod Aissa. NBCUniversal TelevisionExecutive Vice President of Unscripted Content for Entertainment. “I think they continued because they love doing the show and doing it together, and they love the fan base that they have built.”
With To keep up to date leaving its waves, ME! – which has been largely defined by the Kardashians – is entering a new era of programming.
For example, Laverne Cox has just been named the new face of ME!signature red carpet franchise. Live events such as award shows will continue to play a key role for the cabler, according to Aissa, who still believes strongly in the format of family documentaries, including shows like The Bradshaw group on ME! While the Kardashian-Jenners’ exit from the broadcast is emblematic of a rapidly changing world of media, NBCU rely on linear cable television.
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“The numbers are still significant and the fandom is huge,” says Aissa, pointing to hits like the US. Christly knows best other Bravo’s real housewives from Atlanta, which still, in its thirteenth season, ranks as one of the highest-rated cable television shows.
“What we’re trying to do on the linear side is really influence some of those fandoms, whether it’s pop culture or ME!, or true crime like Oxygen. That’s really unique, as opposed to just being a storage house for a ton of content like some of these streaming services. I think that’s why people keep showing up on cable in a meaningful way for advertisers. “
The last deal that ME! inked with the family, in 2017, was for a total of $ 100 million (roughly $ 130 million) according to inside information. The hefty pay was worth it for the chain, which aired To keep up to date in 90 countries and 20 languages.
In 2020, with just a handful of episodes broadcast during a global pandemic that sank the economy, nearly $ 50 million (approximately $ 54.5 million) was spent on advertising. KUWTK, according to Kantar. Last year, in a more normal ad market with more episodes to sell, the series grossed approximately $ 187 million (approximately $ 241.5 million).
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Even at the end of his career, KUWTK has been a key factor for ME! with an impressive public attendance. Season 20 has attracted more total viewers (live + DVR) than tuned for seasons 18 and 19, according to data from LG Ads, which reports that live viewing for the current season and last season over-indexed 8: 00 from the cable network. pm hour by 23 percent. Additionally, 29% of viewers did not see any other content on ME!, in addition to the Kardashians, this season.
“The program could have continued,” says Aissa, and shares that the separation was a “very friendly decision”, and very emotional for the family, the network and the team.
“The Kardashians allowed us to bring people into celebrities the way we want to, where we celebrate their fandom and not tear it down,” he said. NBCU says the executive. “We’re focused on what else we can do in pop fandom and how we can celebrate all things Hollywood, and we’re very focused on re-branding and making very strategic moves because the whole landscape has changed. We want to look at our brand and say , ‘This is what we stand for,’ even outside of the Kardashians. “
Keeping up with the Kardashians: then and now