How long can they keep this up? The Kardashian Krisis Kountdown begins

Inside Television: Could the end be nigh for this notorious reality TV show?

For many it was the rise of reality TV which signalled the end of civilisation, so now that the end is nigh for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the reality TV institution about one incredibly wealthy Los Angeles family, does that mean we get a reprieve?

Since the cameras started rolling in 2007, the Kardashian clan have produced eight seasons of the main show, plus several spin-off series including Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Khloé & Lamar. Along the way they have amassed an estimated combined fortune of £80m (the cast of TOWIE are well jel).

In April 2012, E!, the US TV channel which produces Keeping Up with the Kardashians, signed a deal to keep the family on the air until at least 2015. Since then, several factors have converged which threaten the family’s ability to honour that commitment. Here’s a list of said factors, which make up my Kardashian Krisis Kountdown: (1) It’s long been rumoured that Kim Kardashian’s babydaddy Kanye West disapproves of her involvement and would prefer her not to continue. Can the series continue without its star? (2) In a shock announcement this week, matriarch Kris Jenner confirmed that her marriage to Bruce Jenner, the Olympic athlete and plastic surgery fan is over. (3) The ratings are down. Last week’s show had only 1.7 million viewers, compared with the 3.6 million it regularly pulled in its prime.

“Who even are these people?” you ask, irascibly. “What have they done to deserve to be famous? And why would anyone waste their time watching this nonsense?” Ah, you see, these questions prove you don’t understand the first thing about popular culture, but I’ll humour you with an explanation, all the same.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians is TV’s incredible perpetual motion machine. It requires no fuel in the form of plot, character or even meaningful dialogue, and yet it keeps on spinning, powered only by Kim Kardashian’s magnificently vacant beauty.

This is marvellous to behold in itself, but it also makes The Kardashians and other such shows ideal viewing when you don’t have the energy to follow a more complicated story. Perhaps you’re busy doing the washing up, or simultaneously editing a GIF of Kourtney Kardashian yawning in another iPad window? Or perhaps you’ve worked a 14-hour day at the office and just want to collapse in front of the television and not have to form another coherent thought for the next 60 minutes.

There is room in our TV schedules for challenging drama, cutting-edge documentary and 24-hour rolling news; and there is also room for mindless reality television. Plenty of room, in fact. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t flicked all the way up to Channel 513 lately.

Imagine if Wossy could say what he really thinks

Have you ever noticed how Jonathan Ross always lists the film he saw last week among his all-time favourites? And how that film, by complete coincidence, usually stars an actor lined up to appear on his talk show that very evening? This mysterious synchronicity struck me anew last week, as The Jonathan Ross Show returned to ITV.

There are good reasons for Wossy’s indiscriminate passion for cinema, of course, not least the need to rebook guests for upcoming shows. But what might late night talk shows be if hosts weren’t obliged to be quite so chummy?

Last week a spat between US late night host Jimmy Kimmel and self-proclaimed genius Kanye West offered us a fascinating glimpse of this alternate reality. It resulted in an eight-minute monologue from Mr West (subject: his own genius).

This Saturday night, guests on Jonathan Ross’s show include the famously touchy Gordon Ramsay. Dare he make a crack about those missing Michelin stars?

Catch-Up TV

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear / The Enemy of The World

iTunes

After the discovery of nine lost episodes in Nigeria, it seemed like the run up to the next Doctor Who couldn’t get any more exciting. That was before this week’s revelation that Ben Wheatley will direct the first two episodes of the new series cranked the excit-o-meter up to 11. As the the man behind some of Britain’s most brilliantly odd films in recent years, including Kill List and A Field In England, Wheatley is a very appropriate and welcome signing. He also boasts relevant experience of multi-dimensional time travel: One of his first jobs in TV was creating clips for BBC2’s 2006 comedy series Time Trumpet.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Amy Poehler

Netflix

The Golden Globes broadcaster NBC has announced that comedians and bezzy mates Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will present the awards show for the next two years running after a boosting the ratings to a six-year high last time around. If they need any inspiration for skits, Netflix has a compilation of Amy Poehler’s best bits from Saturday Night Live which should help.

Absent From The Academy

vimeo.com

There are lots of interesting, independently-made documentary shorts to be found on Vimeo. This one by writer and digital video journalist Nathan E Richards explores a curious fact about UK higher education. While students from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds are over represented in universities (proportional to the general population) black professors are far under-represented, just 85 of 18,550. Why is that and how does it affect student culture?

Devious Maids

Sky On Demand

The last time “the servant problem” was so hot, it was 1892 and The Lady magazine was contemplating a double-page spread. Not only are the below-stairs storylines coming up trumps in this series of Downton Abbey, but Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has written a kind of rebuttal to the dramas about rich lady problems he helped popularise. Devious Maids on TLC tells the story of four Latina housemaids working in wealthy American homes and it’s as gloriously hammy as anything that went on in Wisteria Lane.

On Benefits and Proud

Demand 5

The welfare debate in this country shows no sign of slowing, especially with gleefully provocative programmes like this on the air. Channel 5‘s documentary is one of three in the “...And Proud” series and its those two words which will rankle / amuse most (depending on your way of looking at things). The good news is Demand 5 is free, so you won’t need one of those benefits-funded flat-screen cable TV packages to watch it.

Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot