Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner is seated on a stage inside the Beverly Hilton earnestly talking about how she finds it strange when camera crews — which have been part of her family's life since 2007 — aren't around.
She needn't worry any time soon, of course. Those cameras will be around for three more years now that E! network, which airs "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and its spinoffs, has inked a deal with the family that would keep them on the air. "I'm just hoping for 23 more seasons," Jenner quipped. These days, though, Jenner's facetious statement might not be entirely out of the realm of possibility. But is that the problem — when shows or a concept become stale?
Jenner, along with other reality TV heavyweights — Mike Fleiss ("The Bachelor," "The Bachlorette"), Conrad Green ("Dancing with the Stars"), Brent Montgomery ("Pawn Stars"), Bertram van Munster ("The Amazing Race"), Eli Holzman ("Undercover Boss") — took part Thursday in the Hollywood Radio & Telvision Society's "The Unscripted Hitmakers" panel to discuss the genre wieldy imprint on television — but they agreed the reality TV needs some newness to keep viewers interested.
E! thinks there's even more to keep up with: The network confirmed Tuesday the Kardashian brood has signed a three-year deal with it.
The pact gives viewers three more seasons of the network's flagship "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," taking the show into Season 9. The deal covers the entire Kardashian litter, including those who don't boast the last name formally: Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian Odom, Rob Kardashian, Bruce Jenner, Kris Jenner, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner — and also extends the network first-look deals with the clan for unscripted ideas, concepts and projects.
The apple, it seems, doesn't fall too far from the money-making tree. News of the deal comes a day after Ryan Seacrest, whose production company backs "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," inked a deal with Fox to continue on as host of "American Idol." Seacrest has yet to finalize an agreement covering the three years "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" will remain on the air, but likely will as part of an upcoming agreement with E!'s parent company, NBCUniversal.
It's only logical that E! would aim to keep the celebrity family on its roster. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" has produced hit spinoffs for the network, including "Kourtney and Kim Take New York" and "Khloe and Lamar," which is currently airing. The most recent season of "Keeping Up With the Kardasians" averaged more than 3 million viewers — a far cry from the less than 1 million it garnered for its premiere when it launched in 2007.
The 18-episode seventh season of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" premieres May 20.
The question will probably be asked by viewers now that former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom is also a former Dallas Mavericks player. Odom, husband of Khloe Kardashian, and the world champion Mavericks have announced they are parting ways after Odom's lackluster play and emotional roller coaster this season.
"The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it's in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team," Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com. "I'm sorry that things didn't work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs' organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship."
Could E! Entertainment's "Khloe & Lamar," the reality show, be blamed for Odom's decline?
Speculation is already circling. Sports radio talk Dan Patrick said the series is at least partially to blame for distracting Odom. And reports circulated last month in gossip magazines that Odom was upset with the show, which was in production during his trade, the couple's fertility issues and their move to Dallas.
"Khloe & Lamar" escalated the star profile of Odom last season, and he excelled on the team while winning the NBA's Sixth Man award. Though the show was clearly not a distraction last season, it may come under a spotlight as one of the main causes for Odom's misfortunes this season.
Athletes who have become involved with the Kardashians have hit bumpy roads. Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets is often booed by crowds following his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian. And football star Reggie Bush's career has somewhat stalled following his breakup with Kim following a long romance that was also the focus of a reality show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"
What do you think? Is the Kardashian Kurse Kontinuing?
The second season of "Khloe & Lamar," the reality show featuring Khloe Kardashian and her basketball player husband, Lamar Odom, will be heavy on love and new beginnings.
A press release from E! detailing story lines for the upcoming season, which starts Feb. 19, says that the couple's devotion is put to the test when Odom is suddenly traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks.
"Khloe's been a California girl all her life, so the adjustment is sure to be one of her greatest challenges yes, and one that will be a shock to the whole Kardashian family dynamic," said the release.
Among other story lines: Rob Kardashian moves to Dallas to join his big sister and brother-in-law, Odom attempts to repair his strained relationship with his father, Kardashian and Odom try to start a family and Khloe "revisits her passion for radio" when she begins hosting a daily radio show in Dallas.
After the drama of "Kourtney & Kim Take New York," which chronicled the deterioration of Kim Kardashian's short marriage to Kris Humphries, "Khloe & Lamar" will have its own share of drama.
Kim Kardashian isn't just famous for doing nothing anymore. Sony Pictures Television has announced she's joining the cast of the Lifetime series "Drop Dead Diva," now in its fourth season, for a multi-episode arc.
In a change of pace, the reality star won't be playing herself, she'll play an actual character. As Nikki, she'll be the new love interest of guardian angel Fred (Ben Hoffman), who partners with his ex, Stacy (April Bowlby), on a new business venture. There's great potential for all kinds of romantic hi-jinks to ensue -- though it's doubtful it'll hold a candle to the "real life" shenanigans of "The Kardashians."
"Drop Dead Diva" creator and executive producer Josh Berman praised the casting in a statement: "I'm ecstatic to welcome Kim to the Diva family. In discussing the role of Nikki with her, I'm blown away by her smarts, sense of humor, and passion. This series is all about reinvention and I'm so excited to see Kim 'reinvented' in the world of 'Drop Dead Diva.'"
This isn't the only big-time acting gig Kardashian has lined up for this year. She'll also be appearing in Tyler Perry's new film, "The Marriage Counselor" and has a guest spot on the sitcom "Last Man Standing."
The fourth season of "Drop Dead Diva," about a shallow model who dies and is reborn in the body of a plus-size lawyer, begins filming in February.
The welcome banner for Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian in Dallas seems to be fading, and their series, "Khloe & Lamar," may be headed for the loss column.
Much of the focus of the E! reality show's upcoming season will revolve around the couple's sudden and unexpected move after the Los Angeles Lakers' star was traded to the world champion Dallas Mavericks. But producers now also have an unexpected story to deal with — Odom's unimpressive performance thus far with the Mavericks, who are struggling with a 2-4 record this season.
Odom's initially uninspired play has already sparked noisy grumbles in Dallas. In his first game, he scored only four points on one-for-six shooting before being thrown out in the second half for whining about a charging call. In his second game, he made only one of 10 shots and ended up with six points. And in his third game, he only scored four points in a two-for-11 shooting disaster.
So far Odom seems to be on the opposite track that earned him the NBA's Sixth Man award last season for being the NBA's best player coming off the bench. Times sports writer Ben Bolch wrote about Odom's decline last Sunday in an item with the headline, "Sixth man to nowhere man."
And Erik Lambert of the website Gather.com said Odom has been "a non-factor" with the Mavericks, sitting at the root of the problem for the team. Wrote Lambert: "...The 33-year-old big man has let an extended off-season and the family life with wife Khloe Kardashian ruin his drive to succeed."
How the show will reflect Odom's lackluster debut remains to be seen — the series ignored Odom getting tossed in the fourth game of the NBA Western Division semifinals last season against the Mavericks when he became combative with his opponents. But so far, the man that Kardashian calls "Lam Lam" has been a "dud dud."
Some of the sharpest lines of 2011 came from scripted and unscripted TV shows as varied as "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" to "Breaking Bad." They were funny, hurtful, sinister...and utterly entertaining.
"I am not in danger, Skyler, I am the danger... I am the one who knocks!"
-- "Breaking Bad's"Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) after she tells him she's fearful that a hitman will come to their house and kill him.
"No one will probably care about you. Let's be honest."
-- "Keeping Up with the Kardashians'" Kris Humphries to fiance Kim Kardashian during an argument when she protests that moving from Hollywood to his native Minnesota after they start having children will damage her career.
"It was already in the glass. Not in the jar."
-- "Justified's" Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) to a man she's poisoned with the "apple pie" moonshine she's poured into his glass from a large jar
"The things I do for love."
-- "Game of Thrones" Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to his sister Queen Cersei as she shoves young Bran Stark out of a high window in an abandoned tower after the boy spots the siblings having sex.
"You look really familiar."
-- Ray Romano's character to Patricia Heaton's Frankie in "The Middle" when he spots his former "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star during a camping trip.
"Wow, you're on fire tonight. What are you closing with--blackface?"
-- "Whitney's" Alex (Chris D'Elia) to his girlfriend Whitney (Whitney Cummings) after she commits a rash of disastrous missteps at a classy wedding
"A comedian can spend his whole life digging through the comedy mines for sound bites he can use to sustain his family. Sometimes a fellow can lose hope, and then Rick Perry gives you 53 seconds that can change a man's life. Oh lordy, I give you this thing I found...the Dope Diamond!"
--Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" on the infamous moment in a Republican presidential debate when Texas Gov. Rick Perry forgot the third agency he would ban from government, below
Life can be stressful for Hollywood entertainers and personalities. The strain obviously took its toll on several who lost their composure, control and dignity, making for some of the most unexpected and memorable celebrity meltdowns of 2011.
CHARLIE SHEEN: Probably no other celebrity will be more scrutinized in 2012 than Charlie Sheen, who staged the mother of all meltdowns this year that eventually cost him one of the most high-paying jobs in Hollywood. Sheen took to the airwaves early this year to blast his bosses at CBS' "Two and a Half Men" after production on the series paused following his stint in rehab. He called executive producer Chuck Lorre "a clown" and referred to him as "Haim Levine" -- which some interpreted as an anti-Semitic slur on Lorre's last name. He appeared on numerous talk and radio shows bragging about having "tiger blood," compared himself to a warlock and constantly said he was "winning." Fired from the show, Sheen became calmer later in the year, endured a Comedy Central roast and even got a new job -- a comedy on FX called "Anger Management" that is slated to premiere in 2012. No doubt many will be watching Sheen to see how he follows his explosive 2011 fall.
KIM KARDASHIAN and KRIS HUMPHRIES: Well, they said it wouldn't last -- and it didn't. The queen of all celebutantes, Kardashian seemed to have everything: fame, wealth, a strong family and a hit reality show show on E!, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." But what she really wanted was a husband. Her dream seemed to come true when her courtship with basketball player Kris Humphries led to a lavish "fairy tale" wedding in November which cost a reported $10 million and warranted a two-night prime-time special. But the fairy tale crashed and burned 72 days later when Kardashian filed for divorce citing "irreconcilable differences," provoking an outcry from fans who felt the entire event had been staged for profit. The backlash startled Kardashian, who said she really had been in love with Humphries--a claim she likely made about singer and former flame Ray J when they made the sex tape that launched her "career."
CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: Former U.S. Senate candidate O'Donnell had just wanted to promote her new book when she appeared in August on CNN's Piers Morgan show. But the interview became tense when Morgan began pressing her about whether she supported gay marriage. Even after she bristled, Morgan pressed on, asking her what she felt about the "don't ask, don't tell" credo in the U.S. military. When she accused him of being rude, Morgan said, "I think I'm being charming and respectful." But the damage was done -- one of O'Donnell's advisors off-camera told her to leave, and the Delaware Republican took off her mike and walked off. Morgan said later it was his first walk-off in 25 years of doing interviews.
KAT VON D: Live morning TV can be extremely unpredictable. Take the case of "Good Day L.A." on Fox 11. In July, Kat Von D, the tattoo artist who got engaged to Jesse James soon after his breakup with Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, was scheduled to appear on the show to promote her TLC reality series, "L.A. Ink." But Von D, who had previously announced that the couple had split, stormed off the set right before she was supposed to go on. Von D fled the station when she was introduced with a clip from the show in which she surprised James by showing him her new tattoo, a picture of him as a youth. Her abrupt departure perplexed the show's anchors -- producers said that her only request for the planned interview was that Bullock not be mentioned. Von D tweeted moments after her exit: "Dear Good Day L.A., Thanks for the waste of a perfectly good morning. Lack of compassion and respect for each other never fails to disappoint me."
KTLA'S HENRY DICARLO: KTLA weatherman Henry DiCarlo joked that he hadn't had coffee or breakfast the December morning when he erupted during a live report in what later became known as "Henry's hissy fit." DiCarlo had been at Union Station around 6 a.m conducting a live report for Toys for Tots. When he then started his weather report, a full screen graphic appeared and DiCarlo was heard to say, "You know what, it's so interesting. I'm in the communications business and it seems like there's so little communication. When you send a weatherman out to do the weather but you also want him to do a story, you might want to give him a little extra time." He became more frustrated, said someone else in the studio would handle the weather and stormed off -- a moment captured by cameras. DiCarlo explained a few days later that he had been planning to do a four-minute segment, but the producer in the studio started yelling at him through his earpiece about 35 seconds into the report. "It doesn't matter when the circumstances were -- it wasn't a pretty sight for me to act like that, and I get that," he said. But he didn't actually apologize for the outburst, telling his colleagues: "But personally, you guys have seen much worse from me, so I didn't think I was that bad."
Last night, veteran journalist Barbara Walters unveiled her annual list of the world's most fascinating people in a 90-minute special on ABC. The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs topped the list, marking the first time it included someone who was no longer living.
More curious, though, at least for David Letterman, was the inclusion of professional egomaniac Donald Trump. Letterman has been outspoken in his criticism of Trump's headline-grabbing behavior this past year. When Walters stopped by "The Late Show" Wednesday night, he asked her to explain the Donald's inclusion on her list.
Sounding as if she was trying to convince herself as much as anyone, Walters insisted Trump belonged on the list "because, whatever you think of him, the man is fascinating. The day after someone else is elected, Donald Trump is still going to be saying that he's the candidate."
Like Trump, the Kardashians are not so much "fascinating" as they are "overexposed," but they too made Walters' list. She asked Letterman if he liked the Kardashians and, perhaps worried about endangering future bookings, he struggled to find an answer.
"Uh, well, I used to. I mean, I don't even ... honest to God," he stammered. "What about that 72-day marriage?"
Walters explained that the segment with the Kardashians was taped back in September, before Kim's abrupt split from Kris Humphries, Kourtney's pregnancy, or Khloe's impending move to Dallas. At the time, the family insisted they had no other big news on the horizon.
"You cannot trust the Kardashians," Walters declared. For once, she sounded as if she meant it.
"Khloe & Lamar" are apparently saddling up for a move to Dallas.
The E! reality show featuring Khloe Kardashian and her pro basketball player husband, Lamar Odom, is moving production to Texas in the wake of Odom's trade from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks.
Though several reports say the move will be a major story line for the show, E! network representatives would not confirm the relocation, saying in a statement, " 'Khloe & Lamar' is in prodution now, and the show covers what's going on their lives."
While the spinoff of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" has always had more than its share of drama, the series will likely draw more attention in the coming season to see how producers handle the circumstances behind the relocation.
Odom was distraught late last week after he learned that he was part of a pending trade deal that would have sent him to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Hornets star Chris Paul.
Even though the NBA blocked that deal, Odom was said he was upset at the prospect of having to leave Los Angeles, "where my life and family is." He cried during an interview with radio show host Stephen A. Smith and speculated whether coaches or others in the Lakers organization were upset with his involvement with the reality show.
Several sportscasters and fans accused Odom of being "unprofessional" and of throwing a tantrum when he took the trade talk personally. And even though Odom sounded surprised that the Lakers would trade him, rumors about a possible Odom trade have been circulating since May, ever since the Lakers were swept in the Western Conferences semifinals of the NBA playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks.
In the final game, Odom was ejected when he became combative with Mavericks players. He had no idea that it would be his last game in a Lakers uniform.
On Saturday, he asked the Lakers to trade him, and he was dealt to the Mavericks. That reunion between Odom and his rivals, who now must play together, should provide electric footage for "Khloe & Lamar."
The Kardashian husbands (both current and former) have sure proved their headline-making abilities this week. Thursday saw LamLam (a.k.a. Lamar Odom) in the news after reports circulated that the Lakers traded him to the New Orleans Hornets -- and then didn't. And Friday morning Kris Humphries, who has kept a relatively low profile lately, finally spoke out on "Good Morning America" about his split from Kim Kardashian.
The former Nets star, who was accompanied by his mom, talked about his focusing on basketball and family in the wake of the breakup. And he expertly deflected the more personal questions by then bringing things back to, uh, basketball and family. "It's been different, but through everything I'm just focused on family and preparing for basketball — you know, basketball is something I've always taken very serious — and moving forward.
"You know, for me, it's just … certain things happen in life, and you've gotta move on. I'm excited to be where I'm at with the NBA season coming up, and I'm ready to go. ... Really, right now I'm focused on basketball, and other things will take care of themselves."
When Kim Kardashian announced that she was splitting from Kris Humphries last week, just 72 days after their wedding, conspiracy theories swirled and fans wondered, Was the whole romance a publicity ploy? As Kristen Wiig said in a "Saturday Night Live" skit about the controversy, in the persona of Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner: "I know a lot of people think Kim got married just to earn over $17 million from the wedding, but that's not true. She also got married for attention."
Analysts agree it's too soon to tell whether the controversy will have any lasting effect on the family business, which includes not just the TV franchise (the second season of "Kourtney and Kim" premieres on E! Nov. 27 and will provide a glimpse of Kim's unraveling marriage) but also boutiques, books, fragrances, jewelry, self-tanner, candles and the Kardashian Kollection of apparel, shoes and accessories for Sears.
"It's probably good publicity," said Paul Swinand, an equities analyst with Morningstar who covers Sears. "Since Sears' problem is that it's a little dowdy and a little old, some news that's a little outlandish is probably a good thing."
Jo Piazza, author of "Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money," thinks fans feel betrayed: "The phrase I've been using is that we've seen the wizard," Piazza said. "The curtains are parted, the fairy dust is wearing off and we know how the machine works now."