Ending KUWTK Was 'the Hardest Decision,' for the Kardashians, Source Says: 'It's Time Move On'
"Since not everyone is having fun filming anymore, they decided to stop while their fans are still happy," a source tells PEOPLE
After 14 years and 20 seasons, not every Kardashian sister is enjoying having America keep up with them.
Following the family's shocking announcement on Tuesday that the iconic reality series will be ending in 2021, a source tells PEOPLE the decision was far from easy.
"This certainly was not a decision that was made overnight," the source says. "It was the hardest decision, but ultimately what everyone feels is best."
"For the show to work, everyone in the family needs to be involved wholeheartedly," the source adds. "This is not the case anymore. Kourtney [Kardashian] has been over it for a long time. Kylie and Kendall [Jenner] as well. It’s basically only Khloé [Kardashian] and Kim [Kardashian West] that still have fun. The family has had a lot of conflicts about filming. Since not everyone is having fun filming anymore, they decided to stop while their fans are still happy."
A rep for the Kardashians and Jenners had no comment.
Indeed Kylie, 23, and Kendall, 24, have appeared less frequently on the series in recent years, and Kourtney, 41, took a step back from filming last season in an effort to protect her private life. (Kourtney's reticence also led to a physical fight between her and Kim.) Brother Rob Kardashian has only made intermittent appearances over the last few years as he avoided the spotlight.
Plus, the Kardashians and Jenners are more than reality stars now — they an empire to run, from Kim's SKIMS shapewear and Kylie's cosmetics company to Khloé's Good American apparel and Kourtney's lifestyle website, Poosh. Of course, Kendall keeps busy as an international supermodel.
"They all have successful business ventures that they want to focus on, too," the source explains. "It's difficult to film, have special family time and focus on their other businesses. It's time for them all to move on."
Kim, 39, is also studying to become a lawyer focused on criminal justice reform, as husband Kanye West continues his unlikely bid for president of the United States.
"Without Keeping Up with The Kardashians, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has watched and supported me and my family these past 14 incredible years," she acknowledged in her statement. "This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever."
RELATED: Kim Kardashian Has Been Trying to Get Kanye West Help ‘for Weeks,’ Source Says: ‘They Want Him to Be Healthy’
The series, which was co-created by Ryan Seacrest, premiered in 2006. It 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.
In an interview with Seacrest on Wednesday, Kris said her family is ready for a break.
“I think the number 20 used to sound good until 2020, but the number 20 just seemed like the right time I think for us to take a minute and breathe and everybody slow down a bit … figure out what our next steps are," she said. "We’ve had such an amazing run and we’re so grateful … for every single moment and everyone we work with."
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! The final season will air in early 2021.
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