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Kardashian Mega Reality Deal Moves the Web

Claudine Zap

Fans will continue to get their fill of the Kardashians. E! Network announced that it has inked a $40 million deal for three more seasons of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

TMZ reports that the multimillion-dollar contract makes the deal the richest in reality TV history, and that family members Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe, as well as parents Kris and Bruce Jenner, will earn equal pay, and they'll receive most of the money.

Lesser stars Kendall, Kylie, and Rob will be paid equally but less than the others. Scott Disick and son Mason, as well as Khloe's husband, Lamar Odom, will pocket separate fees.

The contract applies only to shows that currently exist, but the deal also secures first-look rights to all the family's nonscripted show ideas. No word on whether Kanye West will join Kimmy on her show next season or if they will cut their own deal for a spin-off.

The Kardashian family has turned into a franchise of spin-offs: Five of the most watched shows in the history of the network are Kardashian programs.

The Season 6 finale was a hit, attracting 3.3 million viewers. It boasted similar audience numbers throughout the season, making it the cable network’s most popular series, with the Kardashians themselves the source of fascination and fury from fans and detractors alike.

The family has banked on its brand, most obviously with Kim Kardashian's wedding, which number crunchers have estimated to have given the family a windfall of some $18 million, including People magazine’s $2.5 million for exclusive rights to photos, a reported $15 million from E! for a four-hour televised special, and $100,000 from OK Magazine for exclusive rights to coverage of the bridal shower.

Given that the marriage lasted just 72 days, critics charged that the wedding wasn't reality but a ruse. That, however, didn't seem to hurt negotiations to keep the show on the small screen.

Twitter was abuzz with the news. IownJD called it "absolutely ridiculous." MishaaaDoll noted "can't knock their hustle though." Kirstie Alley (yes, that Kirstie Alley) tweeted, "The Kardashians just inked the richest deal in reality tv history $40,000,000 ... Kirstie Kardashian...lost sister?"

The Kardashian fam has certainly cashed in on its notoriety. From a range of product endorsements to Kim's mayoral ambitions to, according to the Daily Mail, perhaps the launch of a show in London (watch out, Kate Middleton). There's sure to be lots of Kardashian news in our future -- let's just hope it's worth $40 million.

The new season starts on May 20.