10:04am PT by Lacey Rose, Marisa Guthrie
E! Re-Ups Kardashians; $100 Million Report "Grossly Inaccurate"
NBCUniversal has finalized a new deal with the Kardashians that will keep the clan on E! for the foreseeable future.
But the new deal, a three-year extension for the Keeping Up With the Kardashian franchise, is not the "big ass" $100 million deal that the New York Post reported. "The story is grossly inaccurate," said an NBCUniversal spokesperson, who declined to provide additional details.
The multiyear deal does not include patriarch Bruce Jenner, who will exit Keeping Up after the upcoming 10th season. He’s been in talks for his own show on E!, which would explore his much-ballyhooed sex transition. According to one insider, the show would begin post-transition, which he's expected to discuss in a sit-down with former ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer.
Though ratings for the Kardashians' collection of shows have slid as the franchise has aged and the landscape has continued to fracture, the family is nonetheless a critical piece of branding for the pop culture network, which has yet to identify a true heir apparent. From a promotional standpoint, the family collectively has 80 million followers on Twitter alone and has been able to snag magazine covers -- from Vogue to US Weekly -- and media stories in a way few others can.
Kim Kardashian’s relationship with husband Kanye West has been a boon for the Ryan Seacrest Productions franchise, though sources say West is not part of the family's new mega-deal. The two-part ninth-season finale in September – which featured never-before-seen footage leading up to their wedding – delivered the show’s most-watched episode in more than a year, with a cumulative 5.8 million viewers tuning in to both episodes, which marked a 10 percent increase over the season-nine opener.