Keeping Up with the Kardashians can make for some serious eye-rolling television, but Kim Kardashian and her Calabasas-based family have become one of the most successful reality families of all time. People have tuned in since 2007 to see the antics of Kim, her siblings Khloé, Kourtney, Rob, Kendall, and Kylie, mother Kris Jenner, and former stepfather Bruce (now Caitlyn Jenner). Due to the show’s tremendous success, it would only make sense to see copycats spring up trying ever so hard to recreate the combination of luxury, drama, and celebrity carefully manipulated by matriarch Kris.
You would think that a touch of fame would instantly catapult a reality TV family to ratings gold, but that certainly isn’t the case, and these families know it all too well. Some of them tried really hard it but they were missing that “K-factor,” so to speak. But at least they were able to make fools out of themselves for a national audience for a little while. Check out shows that attempted to create the “next Kardashians.” Check out more from VH1’s month-long Keepin’ It Real reality TV package.
Just as Alexis Neiers and company robbed the homes of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and other celebs as part of “The Bling Ring,” her family was offered a reality show on E! in 2010. The show followed Alexis and her sisters Gabby and Tess while they pursued various careers in the industry. A notable moment came when Alexis was not happy about her Vanity Fair profile and infamously called the reporter who wrote it. Reality TV gold, folks.
Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business
Ray J has been a VH1 staple for some time now, starring on For the Love of Ray J before eventually landing with Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. Brandy, on the other hand, was one of the most successful R&B singers of the ’90s. The show definitely had some fun moments but ultimately ended after two seasons. Either way, these two are still doing great things off camera, so just because they didn’t become a Kardashian-level phenomenon all is not lost. (And never forget the role Ray J played in making Kim famous in the first place.)
If there’s a common theme here, it should be that E! is a true pioneer in reality television…and if one family member is famous they all best damn get famous. In Living Lohan, Dina Lohan (who, come to think of it, is actually a blonde Kris Jenner) tries to get the rest of her family to the top while managing Lindsay’s public image. Her other daughter Ali tried the whole singing thing, but…yeah.
The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty
As much as we love reality TV there are some families that are above having cameras film their every move. One such family is the Jacksons, or so we thought. Right after Michael’s tragic death, the family enlisted A&E’s help to start a show that showcased them dealing with his death and getting back into their music as a family. It didn’t lead to a reality TV empire, probably because they realized, “Hey, we’re already rich and famous AF and have enough people poking in our biz as is.”
Mrs. Eastwood & Company
Another E! creation, Mrs. Eastwood & Company sought to make stars of the iconic director Clint Eastwood’s family. Dina, a bougie and hyper-religious version of Kris Jenner “starred” in the show as Eastwood’s second wife alongside their daughter Morgan, Clint’s daughter from another marriage, Francesca, and her boyfriend, Tyler. Dina also managed a band sometimes. Dina and Clint have since divorced. Not saying the show was the reason, but also not saying it wasn’t.
Sanya’s Glam & Gold
Olympian track and field superstar Sanya Richards-Ross and her NFL husband Aaron Ross tried their hands at a WE tv reality show that followed their life, but their competitiveness was much more interesting on the field than in our living room.
Stewarts & Hamiltons
E!’s latest creation only recently began airing…but we have our theories on how it will end. This flavor of L.A. richness centers around the chaotic family dynamic of Kimberly Stewart and her siblings. Yes, Kimberly Stewart who crashed her motorcycle on the red carpet with Paris Hilton in 2003. There’s an interesting dynamic between the blended family of Rod Stewart and George Hamilton but they would have been way more relevant when Kim was still BFFs with Paris.