‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ Premiere Down From Last Season’s Debut

E!’s first original series, “The Royals,” which followed, premieres with 1.4 million viewers

Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Brian Bowen Smith/E!

Sunday’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” season premiere could not keep up with last year.

The E! reality series drew 1.568 million viewers on Sunday in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, and 2.547 million total viewers in its 9 p.m. original run.

The most-comparable season premiere for “Kardashians,” which aired on Jan. 19, 2014, hauled in 1.705 million in the demo. At the time, the show earned 2.569 million total viewers.

The show’s latest premiere lost 137,000 demo viewers, or eight percent of its 18-49 audience. It was closer overall, down just 22,000 total viewers, which rounds to a mere one percent slip.

The midseason premiere of the Kim K. show on June 15 had 2.194 million total viewers; 1.362 million in the advertiser-sought demographic.

After Sunday’s “Kardashians” opener, the series premiere of E!’s first scripted series “The Royals” at 10 p.m. posted 1.412 million total viewers. It had 635,000 in the main demo.

That means the retention dropped by 1.135 million total viewers — or 45 percent — from “Kardashians” to “Royals.” While hefty, it’s also not unprecedented: The first season of “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” last January had a similar fall from its “Kardashians” lead-in.

“The Royals” stars Elizabeth Hurley, Merritt Patterson, William Moseley, Joan Collins and Alexandra Park, among others. The drama follows a fictional British Royal family set in modern day London, who inhabit a world of opulence and regal tradition that caters to any and every desire — but one that also comes with a price tag of duty, destiny and intense public scrutiny.

The new drama had the biggest original cable launch thus far in 2015 per women 18-34 and women 18-49, excluding spinoffs and kids programming.

E! will release Live + 3 Day numbers on Friday, which is the cable channel’s standard for sharing Nielsen numbers these days.