The End of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”

Katriona Page, Contents/Copy Editor

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Kardashian-Jenner family and E! announced that reality T.V. show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” will end with the release of its 20th season in early 2021. 

In an Instagram statement, Kim Kardashian West wrote, “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…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.”

She also thanked Ryan Seacrest, “KUWTK” executive producer, E! and the production team at Bunim/Murray.

“The heartfelt announcement was signed by Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Rob Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Scott Disick,” E! wrote in a press release.

In a statement to “Variety,” the network added: “While it has been an absolute privilege and we will miss them wholeheartedly, we respect the family’s decision to live their lives without our cameras. It is not our final goodbye yet, we are excited to have the new season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians launching on September 17 with the final season airing in 2021.”

While Kardashian West nor E! offered an explanation for ending the show, Kourtney Kardashian, one of “KUWTK”’s central characters, has publicly expressed her desire to stop filming. In the show, this has led to conflict between her, Kim and Khloe, and in season 18, Kourtney stated she would be taking a break from filming. 

Still, the announcement comes as a surprise to fans, as the show has enjoyed massive success and inspired twelve spin-off series, such as “Life of Kylie” and “Flip It Like Disick.” Since it first aired in 2007, “KUWTK” has consistently attracted high viewership ratings and became one of E!’s most profitable shows in 2017, E! struck a three-year renewal deal reportedly worth up to $150 million. 

Additionally, the show is credited with launching the Kardashian-Jenners to fame; prior to the show, family matriarch Kris Jenner was best known as the ex-wife of Robert Kardashian, an O.J. Simpson lawyer, and Kim Kardashian West was known as Paris Hilton’s best friend and participant in an explicit video. Now, the family epitomizes the “famous for being famous” phenomenon, and have started countless successful brands independent of the show, such as Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty.

On social media, several high-profile celebrities, from supermodel Shanina Shaik to actress Kat Dennings, expressed their disappointment with the news, and within an hour of Kardashian West’s announcement, “#KUWTK” was trending on “Twitter.”