After 20 seasons on E!, the Kardashians are “Keeping Up” with the times.
The former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” stars inked an overall deal with Hulu in December 2020 to produce “new global content,” as announced during Disney’s Investor Day. The first installment of said deal is “The Kardashians,” a family docuseries starring matriarch Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, and Kourtney Kardashian, with Rob Kardashian expected to have a cameo. Kourtney’s fiancé Travis Barker is also set to appear, as well as other close members of the clan. “The Kardashians” premieres April 14.
Yet the shift from E! to Hulu, as opposed to fellow NBCUniversal network, streaming platform Peacock, marked a significant shift in the reality TV space — one that, according to Khloé, is reflective of modern media.
“We wanted to be with someone that’s tech forward, so we’re with the times,” Khloé told Variety. “For us to be still on cable was just not so on brand for us.”
Kim added, “We wanted it to be as current as possible. We hated how long we had to wait. That was like the death of us, because once we got over something, we had to rehash it all over again.”
The rumored nine-figure deal with Hulu was thanks to Kris’ tough negotiation strategy: “She fights like a pit bull,” Khloé said of her mother.
Kris agreed that “money always matters” when landing a deal. “I think that anybody would be foolish to say that money doesn’t matter anymore,” Kris said of switching from NBCUniversal to Disney.
Walt Disney Television’s chairman of entertainment Dana Walden confirmed Hulu shelled out to land the Kardashian-Jenners. “We stepped up to a great deal that they very much deserve,” Walden said. “Who would you want more for your unscripted slate than the Kardashians? They perfectly symbolize our strategy, which is taking big shots, but the right shots, and betting on incredible talent and best-in-class opportunities in each genre.”
Khloé added, “We always have our private family conversations, and we’re pretty brutal, me and my sisters, with what we will settle for or not settle for. But not all money is good money. It has to be a good fit, and Hulu was just the perfect fit for us.”
Meanwhile, Kris could not confirm or deny whether a bidding war ensued after parting ways with E!. “We had options for sure,” the mogul said, “but I’m not one to kiss and tell.”
Each Kardashian-Jenner family member will earn the same salary, as Variety reported. “We’re all equals,” Good American founder Khloé said.
While “The Kardashians” is already greenlit for two seasons and 40 episodes, Variety noted that the Hulu series is expected to be a “premium” version of “KUWTK” with more expensive elements like overhead drone shots.
Executive producer Ben Winston, whose production company with James Corden, Fulwell 73, is behind the show, shared that the motto for “The Kardashians” is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it comes to carrying over “KUWTK” elements. “It feels different, but yet, ultimately builds on the great show that they did,” Winston said.
As Kris noted it “wasn’t this master plan” for her family to become reality stars, Kim clapped back at criticisms that the Kardashian-Jenners are famous for “doing nothing.”
“We focus on the positive. We work our asses off. If that’s what you think, then sorry,” the SKIMS multi-millionaire said. “We just don’t have the energy for that. We don’t have to sing or dance or act; we get to live our lives — and hey, we made it. I don’t know what to tell you.”
“The Kardashians” premieres April 14 on Hulu.
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