Continued from page 1

The Kardashian family has been a cottage industry for E! ever since “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” premiered in 2007. Kim was the star, known best at the time for a sex tape she did with singer Ray J.

The initial show produced three spinoffs: “Khloe and Lamar”; “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami”; and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York.” All the shows are currently between seasons, but another season of “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” premieres on Nov. 27, and it will deal in depth with Kim’s marriage problems, Kolb said.

“The show is obviously going to have more drama in it that we originally expected with a newlywed couple,” she said. “At the same time, people are going to be able to see how difficult this was for the two of them.”

Not following the Kardashian story would be contrary to the way E! has covered the family for the past four years and the way the Kardashians have chosen to live their lives unfiltered, Kolb said.

The rapid dissolution of the marriage put the Kardashian clan squarely in line for public ridicule.

Jay Leno opened his “Tonight” show Tuesday with six straight Kardashian jokes. “Seventy-two days,” he said. “I was on at 10 o’clock longer than that.”

David Letterman offered a Top Ten list of “Things That Have Lasted Longer Than the Kardashian Marriage.” No. 5 was “ABC’s remake of `Charlie’s Angels.’” No. 9 was “a conversation with Regis.”

E! is walking a fine line with bankable reality stars and a potential backlash.

“I think you try to milk it and say you’re not going to milk it,” said Derek Baine, a cable TV analyst for SNL Kagan. “You don’t want to seem real crass and taking advantage of a personal tragedy. In fact, it’s their job to boost the ratings. There’s nothing like a good car wreck.”

In another interview on Australian television, Kardashian said she has not decided what to do with her 20.5-carat engagement ring, or with the gifts she received from her $172,000 wedding registry.