Russ & Daughters has been a treasured part of New York for over 100 years, in all its iterations. And now, its storied history will be available on screens for even those who live outside of NYC to learn about & enjoy.
But no, this isn’t any kind of reality show about working in the bustling shop or restaurant. Instead, it will be a scripted account, sharing the rich history behind the NYC establishment.
Deadline broke the news last week, sharing that a deal has been reached between Time Studios and fourth-generation restaurant owners Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper.
Russ & Daughters has been the subject of many TV and film creations before, from features in documentaries to episodes of foodie TV shows. But now for the first time it will have a full TV series entirely dedicated to its legacy.
The business was started by Polish immigrant Joel Russ, who originally started selling schmaltz herring for the barrel. His brick-and-mortar opened first on Orchard Street and then moved to 179 East Houston Street, where it has been since, their website shares. He recruited his three daughters Hattie, Ida and Anne as workers (and eventual business partners), hence the restaurant’s name.
It has stayed in the family since then, now being run by cousins Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman. In 2014, they opened an additional restaurant/cafe serving the same Jewish classics, from bagels and lox to knishes, in a more upscale setting. They also expanded to Brooklyn in recent years with a giant bakery and nationwide shipping center.
“What started as an immigrant story about pursuing a new life in America grew into generations of family members with their trials and tribulations set against the backdrop of dozens of critical moments in our society,” Time Studios’ VP of Film & TV Kaveh Veyssi told Dateline. “While their story is so specific and unique, there are elements of it that will appeal to everyone, and that’s what we aim to do at TIME Studios: tell impactful stories that are universal and accessible to all.”
“The story of Russ & Daughters – and the constellation of characters that make up our delicious world – spans over a century and is about perseverance, family, community and connection,” Federman and Tupper said in a joint statement to Deadline. “We are so thrilled to partner with Kim Rozenfeld and TIME Studios to tell our story, which we know will literally and figuratively make viewers hungry.”
Right now, producers of the project are seeking writers to help mold the story arc of the show. An air date or platform does not appear to have been announced.