HOW THE KARDASHIANS Changed the world
Love ’em or hate ’em, the first family of reality have redefined celebrity
She was only nine years old when the E! cameras started following her then-unknown family around, documenting their every move. So it’s no real shock that Kylie Jenner admits, “I can’t remember a time before Keepingup With the kardashians.”
And to be honest, with October 14 marking 10 years since the series premiered, neither can we!
With the show proving a huge success, things got “really crazy, really fast” for matriarch and mastermind Kris and her kids Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Robert Kardashian, as well as her then-husband Bruce Jenner – now Caitlyn – and their daughters Kendall and Kylie.
“I wasn’t thinking fame. I was just thinking, ‘How cool!’” recalls Kim, the superstar of the klan.
“I just thought my life seemed interesting... If only people knew the crazy things that go on in this household, it would be so funny. And everyone kept saying that. They’d come over and be like, ‘Oh my god, you need your own reality show.’”
And, boy, were they on the money!
In 2007, Kim – at the time best known for being Paris Hilton’s assistant and gal pal – hit the headlines when a sex tape she’d filmed in 2003 with her thenboyfriend Ray J surfaced.
Keen to take her secondborn’s “15 minutes of fame and turn it into 30”, Kris began discussing the idea of a reality show with producer Ryan Seacrest, who was on the hunt for a family to star in a reality show in the vein of Theosbournes.
“No-one could have predicted the Kardashians’ and Jenners’ success,” Ryan says of the show, which has since seen the klan amass an estimated net worth of more than $500 million, thanks to KUWTK specials, nine spin-off series, product lines and more endorsement deals than you can shake a KKW Beauty contour stick at.
They’ve also dominated social media, with more
than 437 million I Instagramt f followersll b between them!
“We’ve built this brand, and I’m so proud of it,” Kim boasts. “For everyone saying I have no talent... [I say], ‘Not bad for a girl with no talent.’”
But even sexier than their success? The drama and scandal that’s allowed them to deliver an impressive 13 seasons of addictive TV...
“She didn’t make it seem like it was going to last this long,” Kendall says of Kris’s initial pitch to the family, while Kim adds, “I don’t think any of us thought it would.” And a decade on, we’re still hooked! From affairs
and divorces to overdoses and robberies, nude selfies, plastic surgery, Vogue covers, a 72-day marriage and one gender transition, the reality rollercoaster of their lives is the gift that keeps on giving. “It’s wild to look back and see footage from the last 10 years,” says Kim, who’s been married twice on the show, divorced once, and gave birth to two of the six children who make up the next generation of the Kardashian klan. So what’s the secret to the show’s immense success? “There were so many of us,” suggests Kris. “Instead of just being able to watch one or two people, you had this family with 10 kids [including Cait’s four children from previous marriages]. There is just a lot of dynamic between each family member and I think that made it really interesting.” Kim says the fact that they started at the bottom and made their way to the top is another big selling point. “I think it’s great that the show is aspirational. I started off in a small apartment, and now I’m in this huge home.” Meanwhile, Ryan says it’s down to the fact that the family had “a deliberate intent to be vulnerable and capture that from the beginning”, which is something Kris insisted on from the get-go.
“I sat everyone down and said, ‘If we’re going to do this, we have to be all-in. We have to really be who we are,’” she explains.
And while living their lives on screen has led to plenty of highlights – like weddings, babies and blow-out holidays! – it hasn’t all been easy.
Kim says the “most difficult thing” to film was their reaction and adjustment to Bruce’s decision to transition to Caitlyn in 2015.
“Just seeing my mom and Khloe having such a hard time... We never really edited content before, but we did edit a bit of Khloe’s reaction, just because she was so upset,” she recalls.
But despite the tough times, the klan won’t be calling, “Cut!” any time soon.
“When we first started, I jokingly said, ‘We’ll be on Season 32, Kylie gets married,’” Kris laughs.
“I was kidding, and here we are, and it’s season 14, so be careful what you wish for.”
As for Kim? She’s got her fingers crossed it’s forever!
“I love sharing my life,” she says. “And I hope it goes on for as long it can.”
Never leave us!
10th Anniversary Special drops 6pm Monday September 25 on hayu
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