Russ & Daughters may be famous across the city — and the world — for its Jewish delicacies like smoked fish, bagels and babka. But soon, the appetizing institution may also become fodder for a TV series.
As Deadline reported on Thursday, Time Studios is developing a scripted series about the venerable Lower East Side eatery and the family behind it. According to the publication, the studios have entered a “shopping agreement” with Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper, the fourth-generation owners of Russ & Daughters.
Polish-Jewish immigrant Joel Russ opened the store in New York in 1914, and moved it to its still-operating location at 179 E. Houston St. in 1920. With his daughters Hattie, Ida and Anne as business partners, Russ & Daughters became the first business in America to add “& Daughters” to its name in 1935, according to its website.
Federman and Tupper took over in 2009, steering the business through its 100th anniversary, and opening the popular Russ & Daughters Cafe in 2014, just around the corner. They then opened locations in 2016 at The Jewish Museum on the Upper East Side (which closed during the pandemic), and in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard in 2019.
According to Deadline, Federman and Tupper will serve as consulting producers, while the executive producer will be Kim Rozenfeld, who was, until recently, an executive at Apple TV+.
The business was the subject of the 2014 documentary, “The Sturgeon Queens.” In December 2021, Tupper and Federman appeared on a holiday edition of Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation” on Hulu, where they taught Lakshmi to make latkes, offered samples of the store’s signature Ashkenazi appetizing offerings and shared their family’s history.
“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,” said Time Studios’ vice president of film and TV, Kaveh Veyssi, in a statement to Deadline. “While their story is so specific and unique, there are elements of it that will appeal to everyone.”