SyFy Digital has a pretty good record when it comes to original web series. The channel’s first online release was Riese, which cleaned up at the 2010 Streamys. Next up was Mercury Men, another Streamys nominee whose success helped its director, Christopher Pretska, land a gig directing season six of The Guild (which debuts next week). Given SyFy Digital’s rosy history, you can imagine our excitement to learn that the channel is set to debut its third original series, the Vuguru-produced Nuclear Family.
Nuclear Family will span 20 episodes, and will premiere exclusively on Xbox Live on October 1st. Two weeks after that, the show will become available at several other outlets, including SyFy.com and Hulu. The show tells the story of a family’s rocky relationship, with the father (Stargate SG-1‘s Corin Nemec) and the mother (Sleeper Cell‘s Kinsey Packard) on the path to splitting up when a nuclear event makes their marital troubles seem less significant. As the world devolves into chaos, the couple loses track of their son, and they must traverse the hostile landscape with their daughter in order to find him.
From what I’ve seen of the series, it’s evident that director Kyle Rankin plans to make this series different from the many post-apocalyptic serials we’ve seen by playing up the ‘embattled couple’ aspect of the premise. The wife’s stereotypical female moral conscience is juxtaposed against her husband’s stereotypical male unforgiving rationality; however, this dissonance is taken out of the home and placed within the nuclear wasteland. In the first episode, the wife implores her husband not to stand idly by as a woman is beaten, while he does not wish to put his family at needless risk. The marital spat scenes are bookended with the family fighting for their lives, foraging for useful items, and doing other typical post-apocalyptic fare.
Vuguru has had several hits in the past, especially their Little Women, Big Cars series that scored millions of views for AOL. They’re simultaneously working on both Nuclear Family and their upcoming Greetings from Home comedy series for AOL, which will also go live on October 1st (we’ll have more on Greetings From Home next week.)
The initial release of Nuclear Family on Xbox Live comes at the heels of Microsoft’s decision to create an Interactive Entertainment division headed by former CBS exec Nancy Tellem. If the first look is any indication, Xbox owners should get very excited about their console’s most recent endeavor.