Seacrest, 45, served as executive producer of the show since its debut in October 2007 and also had a hand in the creation of its spin-offs, including Khloé and Lamar and Kourtney and Kim Take New York. On Wednesday, September 9, the radio host dished on how the series began during an episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan.
“It was about 14 and a half years ago, [Kris Jenner] was looking to do a show with the family. I — as a producer at the time — was looking for my first series to produce,” the American Idol host recalled on Wednesday. “We met and I remember they were going to do a barbecue at their house. She said, ‘Why don’t you send a camera up and shoot this barbecue?’ I said, ‘Great, we’ll do that.'”
Despite their excitement, Seacrest and his team hit a little bump in the road before their big project. “We don’t own a camera,” he teased. “So we had to go get a camera from Best Buy.”
When they finally started to film the Kardashian-Jenner clan at their California home, the producers knew they had an instant hit.
“There was yelling, there was laughter, there were hugs — all of the ingredients to make a great show,” Seacrest said. “We made a seven-minute tape out of it and we showed it to E!, and initially the executives said, ‘We can’t commission a show on seven minutes.’ They pushed back. … We put the show on the air weeks later.”
KUWTK went on to become one of the longest-running reality TV series to date, airing 18 seasons between 2007 and 2020. On Tuesday, September 8, Kim Kardashian announced that the show is ending next year after season 20.
“To our amazing fans – it is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the KKW Beauty mogul, 39, wrote in a statement on social media. “Without Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has watched and supported me and my family these past 14 incredible years. This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever.”
Soon after, other family members shared the same announcement on their individual social media accounts, thanking their fans for all of their support. “Change is hard but also needed at times. I love you all,” Khloé Kardashian wrote via Instagram. “Thank you for the memories!”
Season 19 of KUWTK will premiere on E! on Thursday, September 17, at 8 p.m. ET. The final season is expected to air in 2021.