I can only surmise that the rest of the entertainment media are in those grifter Kardashians’ portly pocketbooks. Because why else is no one reporting the steep rating declines for this new season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The show’s Season 9B premiere was down -29% in P18-49 vs Season 8, and down -17% vs S9A premiere, and down -10% vs S9A finale. Let’s not forget that Seasons S8 and S9A were down from S7, etc. The Kardashians are krashing. Of course, the failure couldn’t happen too a more deserving family. I for one loved the big backlash aimed at Anna Wintour for putting Kim and Kanye on Vogue cover. That issue should have come with a barf bag. Let’s not forget that its newstand sales proved only a less-than-average 250K copies – not the 500K hyped. Every time a US magazine writes about the K’s, almost every comment brutalizes the family. The fact is media who keep publicizing them are out of touch with public hatred of them. And that’s without people knowing that, whenever the Kardashians go out, they call the paparazzi in advance and tell them where they’re going and then get a big kickback every time a photo agency sells their picture.
So what does this mean for E!? The Kardashians are still its highest rated and highest profile series, even though down from their heyday in 2011. But with the next contract, their show won’t even be profitable given the price per episode. There are no other hits on the horizon. Escape Club lost -58% of lead-in and was -22% lower than Rich Kids Of Beverly Hills‘ debut/premiere and -31% lower than Total Divas’ debut/premiere. And those two series were already hugging the ground in terms of ratings yet were the only shows renewed in the Suzanne Kolb era. The only thing E! can tout is digital growth and growing mobile but that’s true for everyone.
So let’s talk about Suzanne Kolb. I hear she’s being replaced as E! President (there’s a head hunter firm working on this now) because she’s been an unmitigated disaster at the top and the results show. First, there was the unnecessary WGA battle with Fashion Police: this was mishandled with the writers, the WGA, and Joan Rivers. E! wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of press about Chelsea Handler’s departure even though they knew it was a contract year. So they got buried by her manager Irving Azoff and have no replacement with Chelsea leaving in September. All they have is a list of comedians and their Q scores. (I hear even Jim Carrey is on the list.)
A smart and strategic channel president Kolb isn’t, and not creative either. Failed series under her tenure include almost everything, from Mrs. Eastwood And Co, What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, Chasing The Saturdays, The Wanted Life, Opening Act, Playing With Fire, Party On, and The Soup Investigates. The previously mentioned Escape Club also is shaping up as another poorly rated series. And that Viscount Of Vapidity, Ryan Seacrest, is leaving E!’s Red Carpet so they’ll have to use the unwatchable Ross Mathews or Maria Menounos hired after being kicked off both Extra and Entertainment Tonight.
E!’s ratings overall were down -20% in 2013. And in 2014 they’re down another -20% from last year’s numbers for the same period. In other words, it’s bad at E! and Madison Avenue knows it.