Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/E!
It seems like Keeping Up with the Kardashians just can't keep up anymore. The E! reality show hit an all-time ratings low on Sunday, and is reportedly in danger of being canceled. Normally, it's not surprising when a reality show loses steam after eight seasons. But in the case of the Kardashians, they're still wildly popular. The media can't get enough of Kim's baby or Khloe's marriage crisis. So why isn't anyone tuning in to watch the show that started it all? Here are five theories.
1. The Kardashians are more interesting in real time. If you're following Kris Jenner and her brood on Twitter, looking at their photos in magazines and reading up on the latest gossip on iVillage, then why do you need to watch the show? By the time it airs, all the events are old news. Plus, Khloe's cursing is censored on cable.
2. The family stopped being themselves and started being TV stars. This is a standard problem with reality TV. Take, for instance, Jersey Shore: it was really fun to watch in the beginning, when Snooki and company were just goofy kids having fun at the boardwalk. As soon as they became mega-stars, those antics started to seem rehearsed, and their storylines about working part-time jobs didn't make sense. The Kardashian sisters' lifestyle hasn't changed that much, since they were privileged from the start. But these days, you do get the sense that they base all their decisions on what will look good on camera.
3. The real stories are buried under fake stories. When it came to light that Lamar Odom was a drug addict and his marriage to Khloe was secretly falling apart, it destroyed any remaining illusion that we're seeing the Kardashians' real lives on TV. There are things they're not showing us. That's fine, but it makes it hard to watch them on TV pretending that everything is fine.
4. Wedding and baby anticipation has stalled. We've seen Kim get married, then divorced. We've watched Kourtney have two babies. Khloe and Lamar probably won't be starting a family anytime soon, nor will Kourtney likely marry Scott Disick. With no major milestones coming up for anybody, the show feels a lot less like must-see TV.
5. The family is fed up. They're not saying it in so many words, but there are hints that the Kardashian siblings are tired of being under their momager's thumb. Rob told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't really care about the show, and would rather be at work designing socks than playing up to the cameras. Kim's boyfriend Kanye West has barely appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, even though this season centers entirely on his baby. And what's going on with Khloe? She's still filming the show and acting like she's happily married, while dropping hints on social media that she's anything but. Khloe is not a woman who's afraid to speak her mind, and one of these days, we wouldn't be surprised if she just snapped.
Even if the show ends, we don't see the Kardashians themselves going anywhere. Their name is still a valuable brand, and their fans are still really invested in their lives. It's just a question of where they go from here, and whether they'll finally allow themselves to have a shred of privacy.
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