“Life With Kylie” comes as the Kardashian family faces falling ratings
It’s been a sad reality for the Kardashian-Jenner clan lately.
Social media superstar Kim Kardashian’s reality TV flagship, “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” has been sinking, with only 1.48 million viewers tuning in for the premiere of the latest season, the lowest in almost a decade. “I Am Cait,” which followed around Kim’s former stepdad Bruce Jenner as he transitioned to life as Caitlyn Jenner, was canceled. And the future of “Rob & Chyna,” featuring Rob Kardashian and his on-off fiancee Blac Chyna is unclear.
Coming to the rescue is Kylie Jenner, Kim’s 19-year-old half-sister, who has a new reality TV series on E! The network today announced “Life of Kylie,” which premieres this summer and stars Jenner modeling and working on her cosmetics line, hanging out with BFF Jordyn Woods and presumably crashing high school proms. The 30-minute long, eight episode series is the latest spinoff of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which launched Kim, Kris, Kendall, Kylie and Kourtney onto television screens everywhere.
Kylie hasn’t been spared the brickbats: last month, numerous upset fans who’d ordered highlighters from her Kylie Cosmetics line reported receiving empty packages. Still, her youth and millennial social media savvy may just be the injection of new blood the fam needs. “She can put a fresh spin on a format that has perhaps become shop worn and a bit old hat to even the most hardcore fans,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “This could provide a much needed refresh and reboot.”
Just 10-years-old when “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” debuted, Jenner’s 120 million followers makes her the ninth most popular celebrity on social media, according to research firm D’Marie Analytics (only Kim K. is ahead in sixth place.) She does especially well with the coveted audience of women between the ages of 13 and 21, which sees her as a role model.
“Her entrepreneurship is aspirational for that audience whose attention she’s captivated,” says Frank Spadafora, chief executive of D’Marie. According to Forbes, Jenner earned $18 million last year, more than any other member of the family who was not Kim Kardashian. (The entire clan is said to have made over $120 million in 2016) D’Marie estimates that a social media post from Jenner has the equivalent ad value of $440,000.
Jenner’s friendship over the years with entertainment personalities that included Gigi and Bella Hadid, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber has also helped by casting her as a relatable, friendly face for young Gen Z-ers. “She’s created this girl squad that’s over her social media and she consistently posts personal, behind the scenes photos of her life,” says Spadafora. “Focusing on Kylie is a smart move.”
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