Eight seasons after Keeping Up With the Kardashians debuted on E! and changed reality TV as we knew it, the show’s end seems near.
Throughout the years, producers adjusted to the family’s ever-changing dynamics. Kourtney welcomed two kids. Khloe and Kim both wed and divorced. Kim began dating Kanye and had a baby. Kendall and Kylie came into their own as young women. The older Jenner children reestablished relationships with their dad. Kris and Bruce separated.
Now it seems producers are losing two show essentials: viewers and commitment from the Kardashian-Jenners.
“I don’t necessarily care about the show. I would rather film this — me doing what I do — than being around my family,” Rob Kardashian told Wall Street Journal in October. He added would much rather work on his sock line, Arthur George, than continue with the show.
According to TMZ, Bruce Jenner is also over KUWTK. Sources close to the former Olympian reported he will not return for a ninth season if it’s renewed. Instead, he hopes to spend his days engaging in hobbies and spending quality time with his children.
Although the show could very feasibly go on without Rob and/or Bruce, it seems viewers are also losing interest. The eighth season premiere in January attracted half a million fewer watchers than ordinary episodes during peak seasons of the show. Numbers have fallen even more since then: The premiere drew 2.6 million viewers. Last week’s episode attracted 2.4 million, which is half as many viewers as Real Housewives of Atlanta attracted on the same night.
To be fair, Keeping Up With the Kardashians is still one of the top cable shows on Sunday nights. But the downward trend is likely concerning to decision-makers… They are surely hoping to make up for it with this Sunday night’s Kim/Kanye Engagement Special.
UPDATE TMZ reports the Kardashians support Bruce’s decision to leave they show — because they don’t think it is an issue for it to go on without him. They are currently shooting season 10, so it will be a while before KUWTK is off the air.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians airs on E! every Sunday night at 9/8c.