Behind-The-Scenes Facts So You Can Keep Up With The Kardashians

Considered one of the most famous families in the United States, and certainly one of the most photographed, just about everyone knows about the Kardashian-Jenner family.

They share a lot of their lives with the public on a daily basis thanks to their television show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, as well as their posts on social media, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Here are a few behind-the-scenes secrets about the filming of the series, and the family, that you might not know.

The Family Decides How Much They’re Each Paid

kardashian-jenner girls plus lamar odom kanye caitlyn jenner and kris jenner
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Yeezy Season 3

Rather than being paid individually by the network, the Kardashian family is paid in lump sums by E!, and then they choose how to divvy it up among them.

The main cast members of the show are considered to be Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Scott, Kendall, & Kylie. With Kendall and Kylie making far fewer appearances than their sisters, and with Kourtney taking a step back from filming in later seasons, they don’t take home as big of a paycheck as Kris, Kim, or Khloe.

Kris’s Hand Is In Every Cookie Jar

kardashian jenner family with scott disick on red carpet in las vegas
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kris Jenner is considered to be the original Momager, and she takes that job seriously. None of her children would be where they are today without her, and she knows that, which is why the Kardashian-Jenner matriarch takes a 10% managerial cut from each of her children.

It might not seem like 10% is that much, but in 2018, Kris earned more than $15M off of Kylie alone. Considering how much each of her girls is worth, Kris is living quite comfortably.

Everyone Has To Sign A Waiver To Appear On The Show

kylie and tyga at revolve desert house april 2016
Photo Credit: Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic
Photo Credit: Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic

The family has most people in their life sign NDAs, but they also have to have everyone who appears on the show sign a waiver—which doesn’t always happen.

There have been episodes where people (such as Khloe’s on-again-off-again boyfriend and father of her child, Tristan Thompson) have been blurred out in scenes. It’s not because they’re trying to conceal their identity—it’s just because they didn’t sign a waiver to allow the use of their likeness in that footage.

Filming Days Last For 10–12 Hours

kim amd kourtney filming scenes for keeping up with the kadashians in miami
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Unlike with a scripted television show, there is no clear schedule for a filming day for KUWTK. Filming days are said to last 10 to 12 hours, sometimes even longer, so they can be sure to capture all the footage or storylines they might need.

It’s also a running joke (except it’s maybe not a joke) that crew members are at Kris’s house 24/7 because it’s a central meeting place for the family, and you never know what could happen there.

The Exterior Shots Of Their Houses Aren’t Real

keeping up with the kardashians jenner house exterior
Photo Credit: Keeping Up With The Kardashians via E!
Photo Credit: Keeping Up With The Kardashians via E!

This makes a lot of sense from a privacy perspective. In earlier seasons of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, you would see exterior shots of their real home, but this led to issues for the family with people showing up at the gate or trying to get on the property.

In later seasons, the series switched to exterior shots of homes that don’t belong to the family members, but all interior shots are filmed at their real homes.

Scenes Are Often Reshot

kim kardashian and kris humphries appearing on jay leno
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Even though the idea of reality television is that it’s not scripted, that’s not always the case. While the first take of a scene may come about naturally, there have been many moments that have been reshot for various reasons.

One producer admitted years ago that when Kim’s second husband, Kris Humphries, proposed to her on the show, they reshot his proposal scene because Kim didn’t like her original reaction to the moment.

They Pay For Their Own Vacations

kris jenner and khloe kardashian in pool on vacation with daughter true
Photo Credit: Instagram / @khloekardashian
Photo Credit: Instagram / @khloekardashian

In many reality TV franchises, vacations that are filmed for the show are often at least partially paid for by the production, but that’s not the case with Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

In an episode of the show, Kourtney was complaining about various aspects of the series, including the fact that they have to foot the bill for their own vacations, even when they’re taking trips that are filmed for the show.

Some Family Members Have Their Hair And Makeup Done Every Day

kim kardashian and kris jenner at an event in century city calif.
Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion
Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion

On days where they’re filming Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which, in theory, could be any day since you never know when something worthy of TV will happen, some of the family make sure to have their hair and makeup done professionally.

Kim is said to spend at least two hours every single day so she’s camera ready, and Kris reportedly spends at least an hour getting her hair and makeup done on a daily basis.

Major Personal News Must Be Revealed On The Show

kris jenner with kylie kendall and kim  at business of fashion event
Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion
Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion

While they can’t always control how a news story breaks, the family tries to always reveal personal news on the series and not comment in public, in order to boost ratings and encourage people to tune in.

Even if the story has already broken before a season or episode has aired and they can’t avoid commenting, they always try to keep some aspects a secret and tell people it will be addressed in an upcoming episode.

Kanye Is More Involved With The Show Behind The Scenes

kourtney kim and kanye at paris fashion week in march 2020
Photo Credit: Pierre Suu/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Pierre Suu/Getty Images

From the beginning of his relationship with Kim, Kanye has said that he doesn’t have much interest in being featured on the series. He makes the occasional appearance and is apart of the big family scenes because he’s present, but he’s more involved with the series off-screen.

Kanye is more involved with the creative side of the show, often sharing his thoughts about the presentation of the show and its marketing strategies.

Kim Helps Tip Off Producers About Where They Should Be Filming

kourtney khloe kim kardashian and scott disick filming in miami
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

Kim has been in the public eye for long enough now that she understands what her fans want to see and what scenes viewers are interested in.

In order to give the fans the best scenes and episodes, Kim will tip off or advise the producers as to where they should be filming. For instance, if she knows something big is happening at one of her sisters’ houses, she’ll tell the producers so they can head over there.

The Nannies Don’t Get Their 15 Minutes Of Fame

kim kardashian carrying north west in calabasas
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

None of the Kardashian-Jenner family have hidden the fact that they have a few sets of extra hands to help with their children, but they do keep that off-screen.

The various nannies that each family employs are rarely seen during an episode of KUWTK because they want to maintain the sense of them being a normal family, and they want to show the parents as being hands-on. Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Kylie are all fairly involved with their children, but they do have some extra help.

Some Scenes Are Shot On Cell Phones

kim kardashian taking selfie on phone at samsung event 2012
Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Samsung
Photo Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Samsung

While some scenes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians are filmed by 30 crew members filling up Kim’s kitchen, that’s not always the case.

For more intimate or intense moments, scenes are sometimes shot by a single person on an iPhone instead of inviting a whole crew in. The series had to rely on phone footage during the pandemic, as well, because the crew wasn’t able to meet in person or work together.

The Show Was Originally Meant To Promote The DASH Boutiques

kim kourtney khloe at dash boutique
Photo Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage
Photo Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

Both Kim and Kris have said in interviews that part of the reason they agreed to Keeping Up With The Kardashians was that they thought it would be good marketing for the DASH boutique chain.

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe opened their first DASH store in Calabasas in 2006, and the first season of KUWTK premiered in 2007. The original boutique and chain of stores was featured in the first few seasons of the show, but the series became much bigger than a marketing opportunity for their clothing stores.

The Name For The Show Came From An Unprepared Executive

E! people's choice awards red carpet Kris Kourtney Khloe and Kim
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Ahead of the 2007 premiere of the series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians producers had difficulty deciding what to call the series. Names such as “Living Kardashian” and “Kardashian: Krazy With A K” floated around, but nothing felt right.

During one pitch meeting, executive producer Farnaz Farjam showed up without any ideas for the name of the series, claiming she was “too busy keeping up with the Kardashians” to come up with anything.

NDAs For Everyone

khloe kylie kris and kourtney celebrating tristan thompson's birthday 2018
Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Remy Martin
Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Remy Martin

As a famous family, they’ve agreed to make a lot of aspects of their lives public, but the Kardashians want to make sure that they’re the ones controlling what is made public versus what stays private.

Everyone who interacts with the family, whether that’s friends, family, or staff, is asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Kris Jenner reportedly has a stack of them sitting next to her front door, ready for any guest who enters her home.

Kris Has The Final Say On Everything That Airs

kris jenner during interview at conference in west hollywood
Photo Credit: JC Olivera/Getty Images
Photo Credit: JC Olivera/Getty Images

Kris Jenner has the final say on basically every aspect of the show, from storylines to cast to final cuts, which is far more influence than most producers have in reality TV, even if they’re on the show.

Kris is able to cut any footage from the show that she doesn’t want to be aired, and she’s able to choose anyone to be on the show without having to consult the network or other producers.

The Women Are Often Sold As A Package Deal

kardashian jenner sisters at apple store presentation in 2015
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage via Getty Images

While one Kardashian or Jenner sibling is impressive, what brand wouldn’t want to feature all five of the women, and maybe even their mom too?

Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie grew up knowing that they were seen as a package deal and have often committed to marketing campaigns like one they did for Calvin Klein in 2018, knowing that they would all have to make it work or they would lose the deal.

Kris Jenner Pitched The Idea For The Show To The Network

bruce jenner with kris plus kourtney and kim red carpet
Photo Credit: SGranitz/WireImage
Photo Credit: SGranitz/WireImage

There are a few conception stories surrounding how Keeping Up With The Kardashians came to be, but the most popular (and plausible) story is that Kris Jenner pitched the idea to Ryan Seacrest, who then brought it to the network.

Kris’s friends and family were often commenting on how crazy her clan of children was and how entertaining they were as a family, which gave her the idea for the reality show.

They Spend Thousands Of Dollars A Day On Security

kim and north getting out of car with body guard
Photo Credit: gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Photo Credit: gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

It’s no surprise that a family as famous as this one would place an emphasis on safety and security, especially after a number of incidents such as Kim and Kanye being robbed in Paris.

Every child in the extended Kardashian-Jenner family has 24-hour security and bodyguards with them at all times to ensure their safety. They spend tens of thousands of dollars each month ensuring that they’re all kept safe.

Going On Location Takes A Lot Of Behind-The-Scenes Prep

kris and kylie jenner with kim kardashian in malibu restaurant
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Kardashian/Jenner Apps
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Kardashian/Jenner Apps

They might make it look easy to show up somewhere and be ready to film, but the crew has a lot of organizing to do beforehand.

Once, while doing an interview, Kris Jenner was meant to be going to Costco, but the trip had to be canceled because the store wouldn’t allow Kris to bring along all the crew members she wanted. Rather than break the rules, Kris wanted to maintain a good relationship with businesses where they tape, so she opted against the trip.

They Try Not To Speak For Each Other

khloe, kim, rob, and kourtney kardashian with kris jenner giving interview
Photo Credit: Beck Starr/FilmMagic
Photo Credit: Beck Starr/FilmMagic

The family avoids speaking to the paparazzi as much as possible, but they also make an effort to avoid speaking for each other.

With the number of stories and rumors that are in the public surrounding the Kardashian-Jenners, the family has made a pact not to speak for any of their siblings or family members. They don’t want to put words in someone else’s mouth, so they try to stick to only talking about things related to themselves.

Don’t Discuss Money On Camera

khloe and kim kardashian filming KUWTK confessional
Photo Credit: E! via Instagram / @kimkardashian
Photo Credit: E! via Instagram / @kimkardashian

While we all know that the Kardashian-Jenner family isn’t short on funds, they typically avoid discussing anything to do with money, salary, or earnings while filming Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Money can be a touchy subject within the family, too. Kourtney took Kim to court in 2015 because Kim created a character that resembled her for Kim’s mobile game app, but Kourtney was never properly compensated for the character.

The Show Was Renewed After Just Weeks On Air

keeping up with the kardashians early season poster
Photo Credit: Instagram / @kuwtk
Photo Credit: Instagram / @kuwtk

Though early critics of the show predicted that it would fail because the public wouldn’t be interested in the family, Keeping Up With The Kardashians became a smash hit by all accounts.

The first season only contained 8 episodes, and though a network normally takes time to decide whether they want to renew a series, KUWTK was renewed for a second season before the first one had even finished airing.

The Family Has Cameras Installed In All Their Cars

kim kardashian looking at phone sitting in car
Photo Credit: KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: KAREN MINASYAN/AFP via Getty Images

In order to ensure that every important moment or conversation is filmed, the Kardashian-Jenner family has had cameras installed into all of their cars—and that’s a lot of cars! For any moments where a camera crew isn’t present in the car with them, they can rely on the car cam footage.

Without the car cams, viewers wouldn’t have had a front-row seat to moments such as Kim, Kylie, and Khloe getting into a car accident during season 10 of the series.

The Family Avoids Talking To The Paparazzi

paparazzi surrounding kim kardashian in beverly hills
Photo Credit: Photo Gilles Mingason/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Photo Gilles Mingason/Getty Images

The family will do interviews for television shows, magazines, podcasts, and YouTube videos, but they try to stay away from the paparazzi.

When the show was first airing and the family was less well-known, they spoke to the press more often when coming out of events or when being photographed coming out of a restaurant, but not anymore. Kim says it was too easy to spill secrets or say things that they wanted to save for their series, so the easiest way to avoid it was to avoid the paparazzi.

All The Kids Have Rules About Television And Technology

kim kardashian's four kids north, saint, chicago and psalm at home
Photo Credit: Instagram / @kimkardashian
Photo Credit: Instagram / @kimkardashian

Though they’re featured on a TV show and on social media, all the Kardashian-Jenner parents have rules for their children about TV time and technology.

Kourtney and Kim have both spoken about the rules they enforce for their children relating to how much time they can spend watching TV or looking at a cell phone or iPad, whereas Kylie has said that she doesn’t allow any television in her house for her daughter Stormi.

Most Crew Members Have Worked On The Show Since The Beginning

crew filming KUWTK in miami florida 2012
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Trust is a major priority for the Kardashian-Jenner family, which extends to the crew for Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

While there’s normally some turnover of the crew working on a television show, the majority of the crew for KUWTK have worked on the series since the first season. They’re trusted by the family, and they’re compensated very well as a result of their loyalty to the network and the Kardashians.

Kris Keeps A Very Clean Home

kris jenner at outdoor event in LA
Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for RH
Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for RH

It’s no surprise that Kris Jenner keeps an immaculately clean home, especially when it’s going to be broadcast on TVs all over the world.

When filming scenes at her home, the momager requires that all producers and crew either take off their shoes or wear surgical-style shoe coverings. With that many people coming in and out of the house, she does her best to make sure they’re not tracking dirt inside with them.

Filming Is Sometimes Prioritized Over School

kourtney kardashian walking with mason and penelope
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
Photo Credit: Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

As the babies of the family are starting to grow up, the older kids are beginning to appear on the show more. While school and education are still important, there are times when the kids will get to miss out on school so they can go on vacations or attend shoots.

Kourtney’s eldest son was even homeschooled for his kindergarten year because they were involved in filming a season of the show.