Listen: The Key to Keeping ‘Kardashians’ Kontinuing on TV

Gil Goldschein CES
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If there’s a company that knows how to keep unscripted TV hits on the air for the long haul, it’s Bunim/Murray Productions.

Maybe that comes with instilling franchises like “The Real World” and “The Challenge” with the staying power to last for more than three decades. But even Bunim/Murray CEO Gil Goldschein will admit that when it comes to what may be his biggest hit of all, E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” he is somewhat mystified as to how America’s most famous family has managed to keep their crazy train on the tracks for 18 seasons and counting, but he thinks it boils down to a simple secret.

“From a family perspective, one wouldn’t think with, especially with the level of celebrity and success they’re now at, no, I would not have thought it would go on as long as it has,” Goldschein says on the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.” “But the key to success is, as long as they continue to remain open about their lives, people will continue to watch.”

Goldschein also opens up about the challenge Bunim/Murray faced getting Kardashians to catch on outside the U.S., as well as the trends shaping the reality-TV space, where he’s led the company in various capacities over the past decade as part of a larger unscripted production powerhouse, Banijay Group.

Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Past episodes include conversations with Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Dana Walden, co-head of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Television Group. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.