The final season of popular reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (KUWTK) will begin airing in early 2021. After 20 long seasons, spanning over what will be 14 years, the Kardashian-Jenner family announced on September 8 that they will no longer be returning for another season.
A reality empire coming to an end
In a joint statement signed by the entire family, including Kim Kardashian-West, Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, Scott Disick, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner, the famous personalities said, “It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians.’”
“After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and several spinoff shows, we’ve decided as a family to end this very special journey. 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.”
Despite an IMDb rating of 2.8/10, the show seems to have been received well by audiences, considering its continued success over a decade. However, some followers of the popular family expressed their relief and approval that the show was finally coming to an end.
KUWTHK premiered in October 2007 and turned the Kardashian-Jenner family into global superstars. The show spawned a multimillion dollar media empire complete with cosmetics companies, mobile apps, clothing lines and tabloid obsession with every detail of their lives. Kris Jenner first entered the public eye as the wife of Robert Kardashian, a high-powered attorney that helped defend OJ Simpson. Many now consider Jenner one of the smartest business people in the industry. Jenner helped coin the term “momager,” while managing the careers of her megasuccessful children for a 10% cut of their earnings.
What’s next for the Kardashian clan
The success of the show led to several reality spinoffs. Kris Jenner’s former spouse Caitlyn Jenner (known for much of KUWTK’s run as Bruce Jenner) starred in “I Am Cait,” which follows her life after her gender transition. Khloé’s marriage to Lamar Odom was portrayed in “Khloé & Lamar.” Other spinoffs followed sisters Khloé and Kourtney on various business endeavors as well as Scott Disick’s real estate ventures in “Flip it like Disick.”
During an interview on “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” Kris Jenner revealed that Khloé Kardashian has not taken the announcement well. “We had to tell the crew yesterday, so we were all crying, but I think Khloé is the one who is taking it the hardest and hasn’t stopped crying since we announced … It’s been a hard decision. I’m not going to lie. It’s been very emotional,” she said.
The members of the famous family also posted about the show’s end on social media, reaching their millions of fans.
To her 188 million followers, Kim Kardashian-West penned: “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.”
However, another assertion for the show’s timely ending could be that its ratings have dropped. With so many people “cutting the cord” to cable television, KUWTK’s reality high point seems to have come, and gone.
Kourtney has openly expressed interest in leaving the show, seeming to be really “over it” in the last few seasons. Kim also is facing a troubling year dealing with husband Kanye West’s mental health issues and infamous presidential campaign.
It’s likely this is not the last we’ve seen of the Kardashian clan. Kim has already announced a podcast deal with Spotify and has hinted at political aspirations. The other siblings all have their various beauty and fashion brands to manage, and Kendall Jenner is still a highly-paid top model.
Media analyst Rich Greenfield suggested to the New York Daily News that this is just a step in a new direction. “Kris Jenner is brilliant,” Greenfield said. “If you look at what she’s helped the family create so far, I think there’s tremendous opportunity for them in the digital world.”
Season 19 of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” premiered September 17 on E! and Season 20 will kick off in 2021.
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