Keeping up with the Kardashians doesn’t kome cheap.
The world’s most famous family is headed to Hulu, with their new reality series “The Kardashians” premiering April 14. And according to the cover story in today’s issue of Variety, the streaming platform ponied up a rumored nine figures for the deal, after the clan parted ways with the E! Network in September 2020.
“Well, money always matters,” matriarch Kris Jenner told Variety about the decision to jump networks. “I think that anybody would be foolish to say that money doesn’t matter anymore.”
“We had options for sure,” Jenner said of getting courted by other services, but she’s not naming names: “I’m not one to kiss and tell.”
The glossy new reality show — which Variety describes as “like a premium version” of their original, 20-season long juggernaut — will feature Jenner, along with her five in-demand daughters: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie. (Rob Kardashian is reported to be sitting this one out, although he could make a cameo from time to time.) Collectively, the family is worth an estimated $5 billion, with television making up only a small part of their income. It’s important for branding, the article notes, but the women’s biggest paydays come from partnerships and their other businesses, including Kylie Cosmetics and Skims.
All of the gals had a say in the financial terms of their new TV venture.
“It definitely played a factor because we give so much of our personal lives up for entertainment,” Khloé said in the article. “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,” she continued, adding that they’ll split the paycheck from the streaming enterprise evenly.
But they left the dirty work of negotiating with Hulu — which is owned by Disney — to their mom. “She fights like a pit bull,” Khloé said of Jenner. (Dana Walden, Disney’s chairman of entertainment for their television division, told Variety that they “stepped up to a great deal” in order to make the new show with them happen.)
For their efforts, Hulu is getting a “documentary style” series that will depict events closer to when they actually happen in real time. As Kim put it, having to rehash old dramas for E! took its toll: “We hated how long we had to wait [to portray real events],” Kim said in the interview of their former series. “That was like the death of us, because once we got over something, we had to rehash it all over again.”
Even still, she remains ready and willing to air out the details of her romantic life.
The new storylines will include her public split from husband Kanye West, though Kim said she’s careful not to badmouth her ex on camera: “I don’t think I would ever criticize the father of my children on my TV show. That’s just not really what I’m about.”
As for her current relationship, Kim said that she has “not filmed with” comedian beau Pete Davidson, but she’s “not opposed to it.” And she’ll definitely be chattering about him on-screen. She promises that the reboot will cover “how we met and who reached out to who and how it happened and all the details that everyone wants to know.”
So far, Hulu has ordered two seasons of “The Kardashians,” which is 40 episodes. After that, Kim says she would consider taking a break from reality stardom.
“Sometimes I think, ‘Oh, my God, the dream. I can stop being Kim K. in 10 years,’” she said. But does she really plan to step out of the spotlight?
“No,” Kim told the magazine. “I don’t.”