Ryan Seacrest Reacts to KUWTK Ending After 20 Seasons: They 'Changed Entertainment Forever'
On Wednesday, Seacrest, 45, reacted to the news that the hit E! reality series, which he co-created and executive produces, will be ending after 14 years and 20 seasons.
"Thank you to the whole family," Seacrest continued. "The sisters, especially Kris Jenner. I know her as my partner and dear friend. I feel like I'm family with her. I think she's one of the savviest business people on the planet. She manages family and an incredible empire, it's no small task."
Seacrest reflected on how he created the E! series, which premiered in October 2007.
"It was about 14 and a half years ago, she was looking to do a series with the family," he said of Jenner, 64. "I was looking for my first series to produce. We met, and I remember they were gonna do a barbecue at their house. We had to go get a camera from Best Buy."
The American Idol judge recalled filming the Kardashians and Jenners at their family barbecue. "There was yelling, laughter, hugs, all the ingredients to make a show. "
"We made a seven-minute tape out of it and showed it to E! We put the show on the air weeks later," he said.
"Thank you to the Kardashians," Seacrest added, "who have changed entertainment forever."
On Tuesday, Kim Kardashian West shared that the family's hit reality series was ending in a heartfelt statement on behalf of herself, Jenner, sisters Kourtney Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner; brother Rob Kardashian; and Kourtney's ex, Scott Disick.
"To our amazing fans - It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians," the statement began. "After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children. We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way."
The family thanked "the thousands of individuals and businesses that have been a part of this experience and, most importantly, a very special thank you to Ryan Seacrest for believing in us, E! for being our partner, and our production team at Bunim/Murray, who’ve spent countless hours documenting our lives."
As for the final season, it "will air early next year in 2021."
Kris, Kourtney, 41, and Khloé, 36, also shared the statement to their Instagram accounts on Tuesday.
KUWTK has followed the famous family and the ins and outs of their personal and professional lives, including romances, breakups, divorces, births, the launch of multiple businesses, and Caitlyn Jenner's transition.
E! networks said of the cancellation: "E! has been the home and extended family to the Kardashian-Jenners for what will be 14 years, featuring the lives of this empowering family. Along with all of you, we have enjoyed following the intimate moments the family so bravely shared by letting us into their daily lives. While it has been an absolute privilege and we will miss them wholeheartedly, we respect the family's decision to live their lives without our cameras. It is not our final goodbye yet, we are excited to have the new season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians launching on September 17 with the final season airing in 2021. We thank the entire extended family and our production partners, Bunim Murray and Ryan Seacrest Productions for embarking on this global phenomenon together."
Season 19 premieres Sept. 17 on E!