Nuclear Family (TV series)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Nuclear Family
Directed byRy Russo-Young
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes3
Executive producers
Running time57 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 26 (2021-09-26) –
October 3, 2021 (2021-10-03)

Nuclear Family is an American documentary miniseries directed and produced by Ry Russo-Young. It follows Russo-Young's mothers as an unexpected lawsuit sends shockwaves throughout their family's lives. It consisted of 3 episodes and premiered on September 26, 2021, on HBO.[1]


Sandra Russo and Robin Young have two children, Ry and Cade, each through a different sperm donor. Initially the relationship with the donors was pleasant, until one of them sued for paternity and visitation rights.


No.TitleDirected byOriginal air date [2]U.S. viewers
1"Episode 1"Ry Russo-YoungSeptember 26, 2021 (2021-09-26)0.131[3]
2"Episode 2"Ry Russo-YoungOctober 3, 2021 (2021-10-03)0.081[4]
3"Episode 3"Ry Russo-YoungOctober 10, 2021 (2021-10-10)0.062[5]


Ry Russo-Young had wanted to tell her story of her childhood for many years, and initially wanted to make a narrative film about her experience, but instead decided to make a documentary.[6] She initially decided against making a documentary, feeling it would be a "me-and-my problems movie".[7] Russo-Young had been shooting footage of her family over the course of 15–20 years.[8] Russo-Young and her editors went through footage of her childhood and material documenting the case.[9] Because of Tom Steel's death, Russo-Young interviewed his friends and family, and his former legal team to explore his motivations for the lawsuit.[10]

In August 2021, it was announced Russo-Young would direct a documentary series revolving around her family, with Liz Garbus set to executive produce under her Story Syndicate banner, with HBO set to distribute.[11]


It had its world premiere at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021.[12][13]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 91% based on 11 reviews.[14] On Metacritic, the series holds a rating of 83 out of 100, based on 6 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[15]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2022 GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Documentary Nuclear Family Nominated [16]
2021 Peabody Awards Documentary Nuclear Family Nominated [17]


  1. ^ "Three-Part HBO Documentary Series NUCLEAR FAMILY Debuts September 26". WarnerMedia. August 18, 2021. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Nuclear Family". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  3. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (September 28, 2021). "Showbuzz Daily's Sunday 9.26.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  4. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 5, 2021). "Showbuzz Daily Sunday 10.3.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  5. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 12, 2021). "Showbuzz Daily Sunday 10.10.2021 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  6. ^ White, Abbey (September 26, 2021). "'Nuclear Family' Director Ry Russo-Young on Examining Meaning of Family and Gay Parenthood in the '90s". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  7. ^ Soloski, Alexis (September 22, 2021). "In 'Nuclear Family,' a Filmmaker Frames Herself". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Spector, Emma (September 26, 2021). "How Making Nuclear Family Helped Documentarian Ry Russo-Young Come to Terms With Her Past". Vogue. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  9. ^ Carey, Matthew (September 22, 2021). ""Incredibly, Intimately Personal": 'Nuclear Family' Tells Story Of Lesbian Moms And Daughter Caught In Monumental Custody Battle — HBO TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  10. ^ Carlisle, Madeleine (September 23, 2021). "Inside HBO's Nuclear Family—and a Lesbian Family's Fight To Exist". Time. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  11. ^ Baumgartner, Drew (August 18, 2021). "'Nuclear Family' Teaser Trailer Shows Same-Sex Couple Fighting to Keep Family Together in HBO Docuseries". Collider. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  12. ^ Hammond, Pete (September 1, 2021). "Telluride Film Festival: Will Smith's 'King Richard', Peter Dinklage Musical 'Cyrano', Joaquin Phoenix In 'C'mon C'mon', Ken Branagh's 'Belfast' Set To Premiere". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  13. ^ "Telluride Film Festival Program Guide" (PDF). Telluride Film Festival. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  14. ^ "Nuclear Family". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "Nuclear Family". Metacritic. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  16. ^ "The Nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. 2022-01-21. Retrieved 2022-01-22.
  17. ^ "82nd Peabody Award Nominees Announced". 2022-04-13. Retrieved 2022-04-14.

External links