Say what you will about Kim Kardashian and her family–and lately that’s been a lot–most people really like them, enough to watch their shows and buy their products, claims E! Network bigwig Suzanne Kolb. What’s the fascination?
“At their core, the Kardashians are an incredibly bonded, loving, large family who live an incredibly large life,” Kolb told celebrity Web site The Wrap.
“There’s a pretty large number of [TV] families with that blend that resonate with viewers … I think there’s something emotionally aspirational around that family dynamic and visually aspirational about the way that family lives,” she added.
It’s true! Kolb maintains that every piece of research she’s seen about the reality TV family, shows that viewers “aspire to be them or to befriend them.”
But Kolb also seemed to acknowledge that people watch for the same reason some follow NASCAR. They’re looking for a pile up. “You watch for sort of over-the-top-situations and really a very soapy family dynamic,” she said.
The Kardashians have become a marketing force unto themselves. Kim has more than 12 million Twitter followers and she doesn’t hesitate to push products on them without revealing her commercial ties.
And, their shows continue to draw viewers whether they’re watching for aspirational reasons or hoping to see a train wreck. Lately it’s been more of the latter.
Since Kim announced her sudden plans to divorce husband Kris Humphries, just 72 days after their blowout $18 million wedding, the family has endured a wave of negative publicity.
More than 250,000 people have signed an online petition urging E! to cancel their shows; PETA slammed Kim for wearing fur and the snooty National League of Junior Cotillions named Kim their first ever, “Most Ill-Mannered Person” of the year.
With fans like that, who needs enemies?