E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians has catapulted Kim Kardashian to fame, taking her from a little known “it girl” to a bona fide star and household name. But now, with negotiations under way for the 5th season of the hit show RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively that Kim has become so popular the show simply may not be able to afford to keep her.
It’s a great problem for Kim, but not-so-great for the show, which gets a boost from her star power. But as Kim has become more and more popular, she may have opportunities too lucrative that it doesn’t pay to stay on the show.
"Kim's advisors feel that it's time to explore bigger deals on bigger networks,” a television business insider with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations tells RadarOnline.com exclusively. “She's right to feel like she doesn't need to open up her personal life to make a living on TV. It looks like Kim can make a lot more money than the TV show can pay her, especially through her endorsement deals and doing appearances on bigger network shows.”
The insider tells RadarOnline.com that Kim is said to be especially bullish on her opportunities in the commercial world, where she recently enjoyed major success in a sexy ad for fast food giant Carl's Jr.
"Kim makes more money from that commercial than from an entire season of The Kardashians!” The source says.
At this juncture, E!'s options could be limited. The source says that they can dig deep and make Kim an offer she and her representatives can't refuse, or they can re-fashion the Keeping Up With The Kardashians show to just focus on the remaining cast members, Kris Jenner, husband Bruce, and younger kids Rob, Kendall and Kylie.
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The source tells RadarOnline.com, "Neither path makes much business sense, especially when the Miami spinoff is doing just fine. The most likely scenario is shutting down the show and focusing on the Miami-Khloe-Kourtney franchise. It just doesn't make financial sense to pay Kim $300,000 an episode when she can pop in on Khloe and Kourtney free of charge whenever she feels like it. She's got bigger offers and nobody blames her for wanting to take a look at them."
Well, almost nobody. The source says that the uncertain future of Keeping Up With The Kardashians certainly weighs heavily on producer Ryan Seacrest, who is also facing a high-profile departure from his day job when Simon Cowell leaves American Idol at the end of this season.
"This puts a lot of pressure on both Ryan and E! to come up with another major reality hit before the end of the year,” the source tells RadarOnline.com. “Kardashians has been a huge, star-making show for everyone but if it leaves the air, something will have to come in and pick up the slack, and Ryan is too intense a competitor to leave that task to another producer. He wants to prove he has the golden touch."