THR Presents With Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner – The Hollywood Reporter
Last September, it was announced that the 20-year run of Keeping Up With the Kardashians on E! would come to an end. Yet, just a few months later, Disney announced that a new docuseries, titled The Kardashians, would air on Hulu. The family partnered up with executive producer Ben Winston and showrunner Danielle King to deliver a new series that would give audiences a different side to their favorite reality stars.
“We had done Keeping Up With the Kardashians for so long, and for so many seasons and years, and we were all ready to call it a nice round 20,” Kris Jenner told THR Presents during an FYC panel for the show on June 15. “That sounded really good. And we all agreed that it would be a good time to take a break. And the more we were off for about a year, we really missed it. And when the opportunity came around with Hulu — and who doesn’t love working for Disney? — it sounded so amazing and fabulous, and to be part of a streaming network was really attractive. And so that’s where the conversation got started, and I think that as we kept talking about it, and it sounded more and more exciting, and sort of a new chapter, I think we were all really into it.”
For Khloe Kardashian, it was an exciting “fresh” start to have the audience “see us in a whole different way.” For Kendall Jenner, who was 10 years old when Keeping Up first started and therefore was more private, The Kardashians was an opportunity to open up for the fans.
“Kylie and I kind of consciously were more private on the first show,” explained Kendall. “And now with this show, we were both really excited to be more open and be more open to the show. I think it was really exciting for us, I think we’re both at a really cool place in our lives that we’re really willing to open up on more and share. … We’re really willing to dive in. And you’ll see that a lot more on season two, too.”
Ben Winston, who counts The Late Late Show and the Friends reunion among his credits, shared a story about how he came to executive produce The Kardashians.
“I’d just done the Friends reunion and Grammys, and I decided I was going to go away for a while and I was going to put my phone in the safe, and I promised my wife that I was gonna like try and remember what my children’s names was and like, meet her again, and put the phone in the safe,” he explained. “And my partner James Corden called her on the last day of our holiday, and she got six missed calls from James, and she was like, ‘There’s something wrong, James is calling me over and over because your phone’s in the safe.’ And I thought, ‘Oh god, I better call him back’ and he said, ‘You’ve got to get to a phone. Kim Kardashian wants to get ahold of you.’ … I was both terrified because it’s such a beloved show of so many years and it’s one of those things that sometimes it’s you shouldn’t meddle with something when it’s so loved. And so I was definitely concerned about being the company that ruined the Kardashians and, like, killed it. I just couldn’t have faced Kris Jenner. But I was also incredibly excited about it, because I thought, ‘What an incredible challenge.’”
What came out of those conversations was a docuseries that is more personal. “I think that was maybe a misconception on our first show, was that there were things that might have been staged or scripted,” Kendall said. “And I think we really want didn’t want it to feel that way. It is a docuseries. And I think it helps feel more authentic in my opinion.” Kardashian added that the family is all very involved in the editing of the show and will give notes about certain scenes, and for her personally, she doesn’t like to “take stuff out.”
When asked where she draws the line of showing her life yet also keeping up boundaries, Kardashian, whose relationship with Tristan Thompson was front and center this season, said it’s up to the individual family members.
“Each person has their own set of boundaries or what they feel like showing, and we all respect that each person might have something that they’re more comfortable showing and something that they don’t want on camera,” she said. “And we have to respect that because this is not only our job, but it’s our real life, too. Kendall and Kylie because they were so young when we started, I think they have more boundaries, but rightfully so because they’ve seen a lot of our mistakes, or they’ve seen a lot of things that we’ve put on camera and they’re like, ‘OK, I don’t want to put my relationship or something like that on camera.’ The older ones, I was 22 when we started, and you do things and you just don’t realize how long something’s gonna go on for or really what you’re exactly signing up for. But now it’s just like second nature to me. I don’t really know anything else because I’ve been doing this since I’ve been 22.”
The first three minutes of the new show start off with an incredible drone sequence that takes us through the homes and offices of the Kardashians, diving through every nook and cranny of the spaces. King, whose credits include Million Dollar Listing, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue and Secret Millionaire, says she got the idea from her husband while watching sports.
“My husband was actually watching, like, a special on the Cowboys. I’m not a sports person, but this drone was going through the entire Cowboys stadium, and it went through this car window. And I was just like, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing, that’s the opening of our show,’” King said. “It tells the audience right off the bat, we’re creeping in through windows and backyards, and we have full access to this family. I loved what it said.”
The Kardashian-Jenners also talked about their biggest challenges this season, which included Khloe Kardashian reflecting on reliving Thompson’s cheating scandal on screen.
“That definitely isn’t fun, but when things are so public, there’s no way around it. I mean, it’s something that I feel viewers would feel slighted or maybe [say], ‘This isn’t a docuseries, it’s not reality, because you’re not talking about this or showing this,’” Kardashian said. “And the truth is, Kim was filming something else when this story came out on the media. Somehow, it’s always caught on camera. It’s not easy, but it’s also, I think, a form of therapy for me at the same time. I like to see how the rest of my family responds to things, like those little things mean a lot to me.”
Kendall pointed to her cucumber scene, which exploded online.
“It’s hysterical, but I like watching it back because I was like, ‘Why did I cut it like that?’” Kendall said. “I literally was talking to one of our chefs and I was like, ‘Can you help me? Can you teach me like, what did I do wrong? How can I do better?’ I really took it seriously, but I think it’s hysterical and I love it honestly, because it couldn’t be more me. Like I am a noodle that does weird things.”
For Kris, the challenges come from being a mom and watching her children relive their lives on screen. “When you have kids, and they have partners or spouses and you know, baby daddies, and boyfriends and when they break up with somebody, I feel like I just broke up with somebody,” she said. “When they hurt, I hurt. And it gets me, you know, really, I love them so much. And I just want everybody to be happy.”
“The whole family is fearless,” said King. “It’s so rare to work with people who understand like, ‘we signed up for this, and we’re going to show you and we’re going to let you in.’ And they just genuinely do.”
This edition of THR Presents was brought to you by Hulu.