“The Kardashians have signed a record-breaking, $100 million-plus deal to remain with E! for another four years, sources have exclusively confirmed to Page Six,” writes Emily Smith in today’s New York Post.
The deal is a record for a reality TV show, the story says.
The report continues, “Manager [and mom] Kris Jenner recently secured the astonishing deal for herself and daughters Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.”
Bruce Jenner, who is reportedly going to have his own, separate show, is not part of the deal, the report says.
“The deal covers at least four more seasons of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ as well as spinoffs, which have included ‘Kourtney and Khloé Take the Hamptons,’” the story says, adding that Kanye West is not part of the deal, “but he will continue to appear on ‘Keeping Up.’ Show creator Ryan Seacrest is also believed to be getting a sizeable fee.”
The New York Times, in an online follow-up story that just carried the byline “The New York Times,” said that a spokesperson for E! parent NBCUniversal Cable called the $100 million number “grossly inaccurate.”
The Times also disputed the length of the deal, reporting that E! “has reached a deal with the Kardashian family to extend the run of its reality show, ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians,’ on the network for three more years, according to a person briefed on the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.”
The Times also writes, “the paycheck is likely to be substantial and at the top of the reality genre, TV industry executives said, because the family holds significant bargaining chips.
“‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ is one of the bright spots at E!, which like other cable television networks is suffering ratings declines. Prime time ratings at E! for the total year 2014 declined 10 percent for viewers 18 to 49 years old, at an average of 386,000, according to Nielsen data.
“‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians,’ meanwhile, has managed to hold on to its audience, with the eighth and ninth seasons both attracting an average of 3.5 million viewers live and seven days after an episode was televised, Nielsen said.”
So, could the Kardashians be pulling down $100 million in a 4-year deal? That would be $25 million a year, in total, for the six named Kardashians and Jenners in the Post, or $4.1 million annually for each of the six. “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” alone taped 20 episodes last year. So just for those episodes alone it works out to $208,333 per episode per person (assuming that all 6 were in each episode, and that the money is divided equally, which it probably is not). And that’s just for the flagship series.
Let’s compare that with some numbers from the most popular show on TV, “The Big Bang Theory.” According to Deadline.com, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco signed three years deals last year that will bring EACH of them $90 million over the three years. In addition, Deadline reported that “Big Bang” actors Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar signed packages worth “more than $70 million” each for three years. That’s a total of $410 million over three years for five cast members (not the four years the Post says the Kardashian deal is for). And “Big Bang” is a single show that tapes 24 episodes a year.
Apples and oranges? Somewhat, but certainly an overall E!/Kardashian clan deal for $100 million for four years is conceivable.