The Kardashians are ready for Season 8 (E! Networks)
The Kardashian press machine kicks back into high gear this coming weekend when "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" premieres its eighth season on Sunday.
In new promo shots released over the weekend, the show's 10 featured family members pose happily wearing spring colors and smiling faces. But there's one person who's prominently absent from photos: Kim Kardashian's boyfriend and father of her unborn baby, Kanye West.
So could this mean that West is not going to appear in the upcoming season? It's hard to tell, but he's clearly not going to be a main cast member. West did appear on camera during Season 7 though, which aired last fall.
Sources close to the production tell omg! that West was extremely resistant to appear on the show in any capacity last season. In fact, if he had his preference, he wouldn't appear at all … ever. But he relented under a two-front assault by Kim and Kris, agreeing to appear just a few times. The one stipulation was that E! wasn't allowed to promote him as a regular cast member.
For this upcoming season, West has been even more hesitant our sources add, since Kim's pregnancy will be one of the key plot points. As of a month ago, he wasn't slated to be on camera at all this season. It's one of the reasons he's been spending so much time in Paris.
The Kardashian clan, ready for action! (E! Networks)
But maybe West has rubbed off on Kim in a good way?
While recently discussing her plans to leave "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" at some point in the foreseeable future, Kim told executive producer Ryan Seacrest, "Kanye has taught me a lot about privacy. I’m ready to be less open with my relationships and I realize everyone doesn’t need to know everything.”
Still, these new photos do nothing to quell the rumors that Kim and her beau are going through rocky times, as the impending birth of their first child nears.
Perhaps the biggest tease for the upcoming season is the gender reveal of Kim's baby, which will happen during the season premiere. E! released a teaser clip of the doctor's-office moment last week.
Whether or not the KimYe baby will appear on the various incarnations of E!'s Kardashian reality programming is a hotly debated topic. Although Kim at first emphasized that her baby would not show up on the small screen, she later loosened up her stance a bit.
West seemed to have a rough weekend professionally, as plans to project a teaser for the music video of his upcoming song "New Slaves" on the side of buildings in Houston were reportedly foiled. A similar attempt later failed at the Alamo in San Antonio.
His new album "Yeezus" comes out June 18, right around the time that Kim is due. Let's hope he keeps his head up as the couple heads into a very busy June!
The new season of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" premieres this Sunday, June 2, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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