Written by Thais Jacomassi
Illustrations by Maria Soloman
With a shocking post on instagram, Kim Kardashian West announced the long-running reality series following her and her family is coming to an end after 14 years on air. “It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye,” she wrote. The show will end with its 20th season, scheduled to air early next year.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians, featuring Kim and her sisters, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie alongside their brother, Rob, and their mother, Kris Jenner, became a staple of pop culture in the early 21st century and helped shape the family’s careers and lives. It is a show that propelled the popularity of reality TV and what consumers expected of it, but the suspension of the show comes as no surprise. Since the beginning of their careers as reality TV stars, the family has gained millions of social media followers and they have become a household name. Besides show ratings beginning to drop, the family simply no longer needs the promotion anymore.
A spokesperson for E! Network said in a statement, “We thank the entire extended family and our production partners, Bunim Murray and Ryan Seacrest Productions, for embarking on this global phenomenon together.”
This does not mean the end of the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty. In fact, it is highly possible that they may try to push for a deal with online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. By not being restricted by cable TV limitations and advertising structures, the family’s franchise could expand in countless directions including a more genuine representation of them as people. There is tremendous opportunity for them in the digital world. It is no lie that reality TV is often scripted and made to be a parody of sorts, so breaking away from that formula could expand the family’s fanbase and show that they have matured past that.
With a networth of $30 million, Kendall Jenner has become the world’s highest paid model doing runways for Versace, Burberry, Tom Ford, and countless other luxury brands. After seven years, she has become one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry. Her younger sister, Kylie Jenner, gained her success after curating Kylie Cosmetics in 2015. Since then, she has also branched out into skincare and was granted the controversial title of ‘youngest self-made billionaire’ by Forbes in 2019. Their older sister, Khloe, ventured into the clothing industry with her own company called Good American which claims to have ‘invented a new women’s size in jeans’ and runs on a platform of inclusivity.
Kim, the one responsible for gaining media attention and bringing her family into the spotlight, has also ventured into the cosmetics business with her cosmetics and fragrance company, KKW Beauty which generated around $100 million of sales in 2019. Along with this, she has turned her shapewear line, Skims, into a success after a rocky start and has announced a social justice podcast on Spotify.
These are few of many of the family’s accomplishments and despite the countless controversies surrounding them, it is no lie that they helped to shape pop culture into what it is today and will continue to do so.