When it debuted in 2007, Keeping Up With the Kardashians quickly became something of a surprise sensation.
What was supposed to be low-budget throw-away reality series about a sex tape star and her family of aspiring D-listers soon turned the Kard clan into one of the most famous families on the planet.
A decade later, however, Kardashian fatigue appears to have set in in a major way.
Rumors about KUWTK getting canceled after been circulating pretty much since the show’s inception.
But for the most part, it’s been a lot of wishful thinking from those who are tired of audiences and TV execs validating Kim and company’s raging narcissism.
These days, however, the numbers support the theory, and the possibility of KUWTK getting canned is now very real.
The Kardashians’ ratings have been on the decline since 2014, and this season has marked their show’s most precipitous drop to date.
Ironically, this was supposed to be rebuilding year for the long-running series, as the Kardashians’ real-life drama made tabloid headlines in the weeks before the season premiere.
Whether it was Kim being robbed at gunpoint, or Kanye West checking into a mental hospital for a weeks-long psychiatric evaluation, a steady stream of personal crises sparked a new wave of interest in the Kardashians around the start of this year.
And that may be the problem.
In addition to the fact that all of these stories have been extensively documented by the tabloid media before they’re ever portrayed on Keeping Up, as the family becomes more famous, they seem less likely to give fans an honest glimpse into their lives.
In the early days of the show, the sisters didn’t have much going on in the way of real drama, so they made mountains out of molehills, portraying petty squabbles as potentially relationship-ending feuds.
Now that they’re actual celebrities, the Kardashians want the one thing that effective reality stars can never have: their privacy.
Major events are downplayed, so as to allow the family to maintain strict control of their reputations.
It’s one of the many problems that arises when a reality show’s stars are also its executive producers.
On top of that, the Kards just assume you’ve been following them on social media and keeping up with their social media exploits.
There’s no room for the casual viewer anymore, as plot points like Khloe’s relationship with Tristan Thompson spring up out of nowhere with zero explanation.
At this point, the family certainly doesn’t need the income from KUWTK any longer, but getting canceled would create a major dent in their brand.
Sources say Kris would consider cancelation to be a colossal embarrassment, and the momager reportedly feels the timing couldn’t be worse, as we’re just weeks away from Kylie Jenner’s spinoff, Life of Kylie.
Perhaps the younger generation will still be able to capture an audience the way Kim and company used to.
Or perhaps after years of alienating the masses, the Kardashians are actually on their way out.
Watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians online to get caught up for what may be the show’s final season.