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Sunday, Jun 4, 2023

Reality Family’s Apps Really Connect With Fans

The Kardashians are not just keeping up with new technology, they’re dominating it.

L.A.’s most famous reality-show family is riding high in the App Store charts with a slew of recently released apps developed by Santa Monica’s Whalerock Industries.

Now Kim Kardashian West, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner are hoping the early enthusiasm holds for their subscription-based apps, which offer users inside access to their daily lives for a $3 monthly subscription.

Since launching last month, the four have generated a total of 3.7 million downloads, according to app analytics firm Apptopia. Each comes with a free seven-day trial, but that hasn’t stopped the Kardashian coffers from bulging. So far, the apps have generated more than $1 million in revenue collectively.

The most popular is youngest sister Kylie Jenner’s, which has become the first nongame celebrity app to hit No. 1 in the iTunes App Store. Sister Kourtney Kardashian is late to the party, but her interior design-focused app is launching soon.

“These apps provide a unique and personal look into their lives,” said a spokesman for Whalerock Industries, which is owned by media executive Lloyd Braun. A former chairman of ABC Entertainment, Braun green lit hit shows such as “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” and later ran Yahoo Media Group.

Ratings Rise

In its 50th anniversary year, L.A. public-television station KCET has something to celebrate – a spike in ratings.

Primetime viewership is up 31 percent from a year ago and whole-day viewership has increased 40 percent during the same period, according to Nielsen viewing figures.

Michael Riley, who took over as president of KCETLink Media in January, called the figures encouraging and attributed the success to a mix of “great local and global programming.”

Modesty Mansion

It’s a rare event at the Playboy Mansion that features no scantily clad models or big-name celebrities, but such was the case last week when the iconic Holmby Hills estate staged one of its more restrained but no less significant gatherings.

The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation First Amendment Awards were handed out by Hefner’s daughter Christie to journalists, authors and teachers who have protected First Amendment rights. The 2015 lifetime achievement award went to veteran journalist and Columbia University professor Victor Navasky.

“Fighting for freedom of expression has been one of the themes of my father’s life and that makes staging this event such a labor of love for us, even if it’s very different in style from other gatherings here,” said Christie Hefner, who stepped down as chief executive of Playboy Enterprises in 2009 but continues to supervise the annual ceremony.

New Galaxy

“Avatar,” “Star Trek” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” actress Zoe Saldana is becoming a multiplatform content creator.

Through her production company, Cinestar, she will executive produce two series and create a channel for Awestruck, a network for young moms coming soon to YouTube, Facebook and Verizon Communications’ Go90 service. Awestruck is part of AwesomenessTV, an online entertainment company owned by DreamWorks Animation.

“With modern moms on the go and online, the opportunity to create content specifically for them is exciting,” said Saldana, herself a mother of 11-month-old twins.

Fashion City

Los Angeles is out to prove in the coming days that New York and Paris aren’t the only cities that can lure leading celebrities to fashion shows.

Several famous names are due to be sitting in the front row as Art Hearts Fashion L.A. Fashion Week gets underway.

Stars from “Game of Thrones,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Voice” are all on the guest list for the Oct. 5 opening-night event as L.A. fashion designer Sue Wong launches her exotic spring 2016 collection at Hollywood’s Taglyan Complex.

TV Celebration

When “How to Get Away With Murder” star Viola Davis last month became the first black woman to win the Emmy for best actress in a drama series, many viewed it as a landmark moment worth celebrating.

Now the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills is joining the party with an event to toast the entire history of African-American achievements on the small screen.

The star-studded gala, to be held Oct. 26 at the Beverly Hilton, will feature the likes of Quincy Jones, Terrence Howard, Tyra Banks and Tyler Perry paying tribute to industry greats.

Helping plan the event is a tribute committee comprising leading television executives in Los Angeles, including Steve Mosko, who was last week promoted to chairman of Sony Pictures Television.

Staff reporter Sandro Monetti can be reached at smonetti@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext 226.

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