Kim Kardashian West announced the end of Keeping Up With The Kardashians after 14 years in a statement to fans on Tuesday, without explaining the reason for its exit.
It has since been suggested the reason behind the show’s departure from E! is because the family asked for more money but the network were unwilling to cough up, following reports their previous five season contract was worth $150million.
MM received information that E!’s parent company NBCUniversal have been hit with financial woes amid the coronavirus crisis and were unable offer the cast members any more money to film the hugely-successful show.
During the fallout, the network also lost its flagship E! News program, which had aired on the channel for 30 years and has now been replaced by Daily Pop and Nightly Pop.
Whenever Kris and her kids have suggested leaving in the past, bosses have always been able to offer more money – but not this time.
Sources have said that the cast wanted to increase their pay cheque for their next contract, but the network were unable to come to an agreement.
It has been well-reported in recent years that TV ratings for the Kardashian’s show have dwindled in comparison to the program’s heydays when it attracted more than four million live viewers.
Following its premiere in 2007 the attention-grabbing reality show was continually on the rise until it reached its peak three years later during the season four final which pulled in on average 4.8 million viewers.
The 18th and most recent season of the E! stalwart, which was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak, enticed just 1 million viewers during it’s premiere earlier this year. Falling by 400,000 compared to the previous series.
Other episodes from the series, which featured a physical fight between sisters Kim and Kourtney, fell to between 871,000 and 910,000 viewers.
While a money row is one explanation for the show’s end, it has also been reported that Kris decided to pull the plug on Keeping Up With The Kardashians after three of her daughters threatened to quit the long-running show.
The mother-of-six, 64, called time on the show after 14 years when Kim, 39, Kourtney Kardashian, 41, and Kylie Jenner, 23, all expressed their desire to end the program.
However, a source told MM that Khloe Kardashian, 36, and Scott Disick, 37, are believed to be ‘devastated’ the reality show is coming off air early next year after 20 seasons.
The family has been ‘locked in an ongoing debate’ over the future of the show for ‘months’, before announcing on Tuesday that they would no longer be filming the hit production.
An insider told MM: ‘Kim has all the drama with Kanye West going on – he’s refusing to put anything personal on the show, and it’s increasingly difficult for Kim to find time to film the show.’
Discussing Kylie’s departure, they added:
‘Kylie is making billions of dollars through her make-up line and product endorsements – she doesn’t need the show, and like Kendall, has always struggled with fame and being in the spotlight.’
They also noted that she is free to tour with her daughter Stormi’s father Travis Scott.
Meanwhile, Kourtney had already taken a step back from the show and decided to become a secondary character during the most recent season to focus on raising her three children Mason, 10, eight, and Reign, five.
Kourtney previously said she felt the show had become a ‘toxic environment’ and was consuming to much of her day-to-day life. The insider claimed she is ‘glad’ the show has finally come to an end.
A different source told the Sun however that the decision was not made by one person and was decided following a discussion between the whole family.
On Tuesday, Kim Kardashian shocked fans by announcing that her family’s iconic reality show would be ending after 14 years on the air.
The announcement was an open love letter to the devout fan following they have accumulated over their years on the air, but it did not explicitly state a reason for pulling the plug on the series.
While viewership has dwindled and the cast members’ pay-cheques have only increased, it has long been questioned when the reality show would air its final season.
Sources close to the situation claimed to MM that the Kardashian-Jenner family decided to step away from the show because their ‘brand [gets] way more play on social media outlets and through their personal businesses than on TV.’
According to the sources, the Kardashians initially used their television series, which premiered in 2007, as a means of marketing themselves and the plethora of products they have put out over the years.
But with the growth of social media and streaming platforms threatening the fate of cable, motivation to maintain the series diminished.
A source explained: ‘Social media has largely replaced what “Keeping Up” once provided.’
It is no secret that viewership has dropped in recent years and less than 900,000 live viewers on average tuned into the 18th and most recent series of the program.
With the Kardashian family now arguably bigger than the show, it can also be called into question whether it is justifiable to keep paying them millions of pounds per season to keep the show going.
It was previously reported by TMZ that the family received a $150million pay day in 2017 when they signed on for a five season deal, meaning they are paid $30million per episode.
The family have also been hit by personal struggles as Kim’s husband Kanye, 43, suffered a very public breakdown and Kim reportedly refused to reference Kanye’s episode on the show.
Kim’s concern for her family life may well be behind the decision to call it quits on the show, as the majority of scenes are now based around Kim and her sister Khloe.
Kourtney also featured heavily on the show before she decided to take a step back to focus on motherhood last series, which sparked a physical fight between herself and Kim.
The brawl was widely panned by fans who said that they were portraying negative behavior on their program, which may also have been a consideration when pulling the plug on the show.
Discussing their decision to end the show, Kim wrote in her statement: ‘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,’ she added.
‘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.’
MM have contacted representatives for comment.