We Finally Know What Went Down Behind The Scenes As The Kardashians Made The "Excruciating" And "Devastating" Decision To End "KUWTK"
"I'm scared of the future without it. It's been the most amazing chapter of my life."
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You may have heard that Keeping Up With the Kardashians is coming to an end after 14 years and 20 seasons. Last night, the seventh episode of the final season aired. Here’s what unfolded...
Before we get started this week, a warning!
I'm sure you remember Season 17's extremely meta episode where Kim and Khloé broke the fourth wall and confronted Kourtney and Kris over their lack of commitment to KUWTK, begging them to offer up more of their personal lives to the cameras or risk losing the "mothership" of their brand.
As I outlined in this piece published in September last year, the episode felt pivotal. It confirmed my long-held suspicions that the family's hearts were no longer in KUWTK, and its days were numbered.
This week, the self-referentiality reached new levels, with an entire episode dedicated to the family grappling with their future and ultimately deciding to say goodbye to the show as their contract with E! drew to a close.
There are no B or C plots this week — just 45 minutes of extremely emotional footage unpacking their reasons for bowing out, and midway through I had the crushing realization that in just a few short weeks, we'll never again get to experience the thrill of a brand-new episode of KUWTK.
The show opens with the family explaining that they've been toying over whether to renew their contract with E! in a "multiyear, multiseason deal" or simply end the show.
Kris, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé gather to make the final decision. In a poignant twist, they've set up iPhones to document the moment while protecting their production crew, who at this stage are unaware of the discussions.
Kourtney, who's been unable to make a single call about literally anything in the last 14 years, announces that she’s a "newly decisive" person and thinks it’s "definitely time" for the family to end the show.
Unlike Kourtney, the rest of the family manage to summon a modicum of emotion for the occasion. Kris calls the show the family's "biggest blessing" and acknowledges that it forms the "foundation" for everything else they do.
However, she wonders whether the Kardashians should "start a new chapter" since they’re no longer "unanimous" in wanting to continue with KUWTK.
Kim agrees. She says that while they’ve "loved" sharing their lives on camera, there are "so many factors" that have made filming complicated recently.
It’s interesting that these comments about ~complicating factors~ and ~new chapters~ were made at the same time Kim was beginning to contemplate divorce.
It seems clear that a motivating factor in her deciding against renewing the show was starting this next phase in her life without being obligated to hash out the details of a messy divorce involving four small kids on camera.
It does make me wonder, though, if her decision would have been different had it not coincided with the end of her marriage.