Keeping Up With The Kardashians has had an explosive Season 16, culminating in long-awaited footage of when the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson scandal first broke. While fans were certainly tuning in, there’s no word yet when KUWTK Season 17 might premiere — or whether the E! reality show has even been renewed. The Kardashian’s three-year contract with E! runs out at the end of this year, and the family will have to re-negotiate with the network for any upcoming seasons.
Given that there’s no real pattern to when these seasons come out (Season 16 started in March, Season 15 in August, Season 14 in September), it’s unclear when we’ll have a definitive answer about the future of the show. But it’s a promising sign that no one from the cast of KUWTK has indicated that they’re looking to opt out in coming years — in fact, quite the opposite. With Mason Disick filming his first confessional in Season 16, the show is poised to introduce a whole new generation of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
The only question that remains is whether E! is willing to match their terms. The Kardashians’ 2017 contract was rumored to be between $100 and $150 million, and Season 15 saw a steep decline in viewers that some interpreted as a sign of flagging interest in the series. While Season 16’s numbers are back up, according to Variety, E! has made no official comment on whether they have additional seasons planned.
In October 2017, an E! spokesperson spoke to Variety about the future of KUWTK, confirming that the Kardashians’ hit show had been renewed through 2020. "We have aired 13 wildly successful seasons of the franchise as well as 11 spinoffs, and Season 14 is off to a strong start," E! said at the time. "We are incredibly proud of our partnership with the Kardashians and they remain an important part of the E! family. We look forward to continuing our collaboration for years to come."
In April 2019, a source told RadarOnline.com that Kris Jenner was already in "tight negotiations" with the network over a new contract for upcoming seasons. "Kris is trying to broker a deal that will keep their show on until the end of season 21," the source claims, adding that Jenner wants "complete wraparound control over the entire production." With such a longstanding relationship with the network, hopefully Jenner can settle on terms she’s happy with — and given the the success of Season 16, she’s likely in a good position to bargain.
A detailed look at KUWTK‘s viewership confirms that the show is better off than it was a year ago. The Season 15 finale drew fewer than 900,000 viewers, down from the season premiere’s 1.3 million. Season 16’s premiere matched Season 15’s numbers, with 1.3 million once again tuning in. While numbers have not yet been made public for the Season 16’s two-part finale, the draw of the Jordyn Woods scandal will hopefully mean these episodes have a higher viewership than last year’s finale.
Some have wondered whether the relevance of KUWTK holds up in the age of social media. But honestly, our desire to know the intimate details of the Kardashians’ lives has shown no sign of waning in recent years. And as evidenced with the Jordyn Woods scandal, there are some stories that are still best captured on camera (as opposed to, say, inspirational quotes posted to an Instagram story). Kris Jenner’s a tough negotiator, and the Kardashians are a hot commodity — it would be shocking if E! decided to pull the plug now.
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