Bible. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is over after 20 seasons and 14 years on TV. But why is KUWTK ending? We’ll explain that later, but first, let’s look back on KUWTK’s legacy.
KUWTK, which is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest, premiered on E! in 2007. The show starred the Kardashian-Jenner family—Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner—as they went through the highs and lows of love, fame and family. In its first month, the show became E!’s highest-rated series, and it didn’t take long for the members of the Kardashian-Jenner family to become household names.
In 2017, Variety reported that the KarJenners signed a “below $100 million” deal to renew the series through 2020, which would pay Kris and the Kardashian sisters, who are executive producers on KUWTK, around $4.5 million per season. While that seems like a massive amount of money (which it is), it’s clear to anyone who keeps up with the Kardashian-Jenners off-screen that the family don’t need KUWTK anymore. With multi-million-dollar beauty brands, fashion lines and Instagram deals, the Kardashian-Jenners have outgrown reality TV. But is that the reason the show is ending? Ahead, we break down the real reasons KUWTK is over.
When is KUWTK ending?
Kim Kardashian announced in an Instagram post on Tuesday, September 9, that the show’s 20th season will be its last. Though she didn’t reveal the month, Kim confirmed that the final season will air in early 2021. Based on the premiere dates of previous seasons, it’s likely that the final season of KUWTK will premiere in March and end in June. In her post, Kim thanked Ryan Seacrest for producing the show, KUWTK‘s production team, Bunim/Murray, and E! for providing the series with a platform.
Read her full statement below. “To our amazing fans – It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians. 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 – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children. We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way. Thank you to the thousands of individuals and businesses that have been a part of this experience and, most importantly, a very special thank you to Ryan Seacrest for believing in us, E! for being our partner, and our production team at Bunim/Murray, who’ve spent countless hours documenting our lives. Our last season will air early next year in 2021. 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. With Love and Gratitude, Kim”
Why is KUWTK ending?
The big question. Why is KUWTK ending after 14 years and 20 seasons on E!? A source told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, September 8, that it was a “mutual decision” between the family and E! to end KUWTK. The insider also revealed that part of the decision to end the series was because most of the cast members now have families of their own and it became difficult to film them together.
“There was no big reason why the family decided to end KUWTK; it was a mutual decision,” the source said. “The kids who started the show now have their own kids and it’s getting very hard to film all together or get enough footage separately. The family is grateful for their time and is happy they have all of these memories filmed for the rest of their lives. The family wanted time to focus more on their family and future projects and the show is a major job that takes up a lot of time.” (The insider also notes that there’s “no truth” to Kris joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo, E!’s sister network.)
While it doesn’t seem like there was any drama behind the scenes of KUWTK, fans still have their theories as to why the series is ending now. One theory is that Kim doesn’t want to air her marital woes with Kanye West. Kanye went viral July after he went on a Twitter rant about Kim and Kris and claimed that they wanted to “lock” him up like in the 2017 film Get Out, where a Black man is kidnapped by his white girlfriend’s family. The drama led to rumors that Kim met with a divorce lawyer to separate from Kanye. TMZ reported at the time that Kim told E! that she refused to use the Kanye incident, which happened just as KUWTK started filming, for a storyline for the show.
According to TMZ, Kim, who explained in an Instagram post at the time that Kanye’s rant was related to his Bipolar disorder, doesn’t want her husband’s mental health exploited for ratings. Likewise, she also doesn’t want her children to see footage of the incident in the future, which is why she wanted none of it filmed, according to TMZ.
Fans also theorize that KUWTK is ending because Kourtney, an original cast member, quit the series in May. The Poosh founder confirmed she left after a physical altercation between her and Kim in an episode that aired in March 2020. In an interview with Vogue Arabia at the time, Kourtney explained that the series became a “toxic environment.”
“I have been filming the show non-stop for 14 years,” she said. “I was feeling unfulfilled and it became a toxic environment for me to continue to have it occupy as much of my life as it was. Privacy is something I have come to value and finding that balance of private moments with being on a reality show is hard. People have this misconception that I don’t want to work, which isn’t true. I am following my happiness and putting my energy into that which makes me happy.”