Twentieth Poised To Put Jenner To The Test
When fans of Keeping Up with the Kardashians tune into Twentieth Television’s Kris with Kardashian mom Kris Jenner next Monday (July 15), they’ll find it has a familiar feel to the E! reality show.
The hour-long talk show, which is getting a six-week tryout on six Fox O&Os, will feature a guest co-host every day, likely including Kris's famous kids Khloe, Kourtney and Kim. And it’ll tape on a set that looks like the Kardashian home.
“For fans of [Keeping Up], there is a sense of comfort — ‘I know what to expect from this show,’ which is fun, celebrity, beauty, fashion, fitness and food,” says Stephen Brown, executive vice president of programming and development at Twentieth Television. “The set looks like the foyer in her house. It has the feel that you’re being invited into her home.”
The set’s designer, Anton Goss, has also designed sets for Warner Bros.’ Ellen, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and the NBC primetime reality show The Voice.
Brown says interest in the show is already high. Its first two promotional spots were viewed online more than 400,000 times in the first week they were out.
“We also set up a place to sign up for tickets,” says Brown. “It crashed our system. That’s anecdotal. We have to produce a great show. But our first challenge — marketing and awareness — is tremendously helped by their popularity.”
On Twitter, for instance, Kris Jenner has more than three million followers. Daughter Kim has 18 million.
“Just to tweet ‘Hey, watch my mom’s show’ is going to be really helpful,” Brown says.
Kris is an entertainment talk show with a mix of Hollywood insider gossip, lifestyle tips and celebrity guests.
“I told our executive producer Bob Lifton that there has to be a sense every day of unexpected delight,” Brown says. “We have to be surprised and happy because it’s a fun summer show.”
Each day, Jenner starts by introducing her co-host who will stick around for the full hour.
"We already have 12 co-hosts lined up out of the first 30 days, including Mario Lopez, Maria Menounos, NeNe Leakes and Tom Bergeron,” Brown says.
Mario Lopez co-hosted Fox’s The X Factor with Jenner’s daughter Khloe last season. She isn’t returning to that show, however.
The first 15 minutes after the introduction will be similar to “Hot Topics” on Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams Show, except instead of talking about random celebrities as Williams does, Jenner will zero in on her family, specifically what happened in their lives the night before.
“She has a pretty spectacular life,” Brown says. “Even Kim and Kanye West moving into their new house with a new child is fodder for great storytelling. There is Khloe and Lamar Odom and Kourtney and Scott Disick and their kids. There’s always a lot going on.”
The second quarter will focus on pop culture and celebrity gossip. The show’s second half-hour will feature lifestyle tips and a celebrity guest.
“It will be lighthearted and fun,” Brown says. “The celebrities will come in during the third or fourth segment.”
Jenner will also tape field pieces. “It’s important for us to get out of the studio and do a little bit of comedy, a little bit of light stuff,” Brown says. “We’ll put Kris in different situations. It might get claustrophobic being in the studio all the time.”
On each episode, Jenner will give the studio audience gifts, like the celebrity swag bags that stars get at awards shows. Those usually include a mix of beauty products, clothes, accessories and hot new gadgets.
The Kris summer test will take place on five Fox TV Stations: WNYW New York at 11 a.m.; KTTV Los Angeles at 3 p.m.; KMSP Minneapolis at noon; KSAZ Phoenix at 11 a.m.; WJZY Charlotte, N.C., at 2 p.m.; and KDFW Dallas at 3 p.m.
Kris will lead out of Wendy Williams in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
This year Wendy is extending its original episodes through July, unlike most years and most other syndicated shows that wrap up in May or June. Wendy was recently renewed through the 2016-17 season. The show is tied this season at No. 7 among talk shows with Disney-ABC’s Katie and NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey with a 0.9 women 25-54 rating.
“It’s smart to do a test because they can see what’s working and what needs to be tweaked,” says Shari Anne Brill, principal analyst at Shari Anne Brill Media. “They can see if the show has the legs to go national. [Jenner’s] high profile in Hollywood is what got her this show. But it takes a certain skill set to host a show.”
The first Kris episode tapes this Friday at the Culver Studios in Los Angeles.
“We are almost day and date,” Brown says. “We’re shooting the day before. We have to be fresh and topical or otherwise we lose relevancy.”