Russian Dolls (U.S. TV series)

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This article is about the U.S. TV series. For other uses, see Russian Dolls (disambiguation).
Russian Dolls
Genre Reality
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12
Executive producer(s) Alina Dizik
Banks Tarver
Colleen Conway
Edward Simpson
Elina Miller
Gena McCarthy
Ken Druckerman
Rob Sharenow
Running time 21 minutes
(excluding commercials)
Production company(s) Left/Right Films
Original network Lifetime
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release August 11 (2011-08-11) – October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07)
External links

Russian Dolls is an American reality television series on Lifetime. The series debuted on August 11, 2011 and finished on October 7, 2011.[1] The series follows the lives of eight Russian-American families living in Brighton Beach, New York.[2]

As of May 2013, reruns of the series air on Lifetime's sister network - Lifetime Real Women.

Production and Cancellation[edit]

The show premiered on August 11, 2011 at 10:30/9:30c following hit series Project Runway. The show premiered to low ratings with a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 demo and only 0.97 million viewers watching the episode.[3] While the series was in pre-production, Lifetime originally chose to name the series 'Brighton Beach but was later changed to its current title. The series was deemed a Jersey Shore-esque reality series even before the title change.[4]

On August 23, 2011, Lifetime moved the series to a later time slot, at 11:30/10:30c following a Dance Moms repeat.[5] On September 21, 2011, Lifetime announced that the series will be burned off and the last five episodes of the series aired on October 7, 2011, as a special marathon event.[6]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 12 August 11, 2011 (2011-08-11) October 11, 2011 (2011-10-11)


Season 1 (2011)[edit]

No. Title Original air date US Viewers
1 "Mama Dearest" August 11, 2011 (2011-08-11) 0.97[7]
2 "From Ukraine with Love" August 18, 2011 (2011-08-18) 0.77[8]
3 "Tough Russian Love" August 25, 2011 (2011-08-25) N/A
4 "Ruski Business" September 1, 2011 (2011-09-01) N/A
5 "Calendar Girls" September 8, 2011 (2011-09-08) N/A
6 "New Year, Old Grievances" September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) N/A
7 "Cold Wars" September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) N/A
8 "It Takes DVA To Tango" October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07) N/A
9 "Single Russian Female" October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07) N/A
10 "Eastern Promises" October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07) N/A
11 "Perestroika" October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07) N/A
12 "Russian Dolls" October 7, 2011 (2011-10-07) N/A


The New York Press stated that "while Russian Dolls is ultimately a Brooklyn Jersey Shore, its unique focus on and respect for Russian culture and parenthood elevates it above the typical reality show drivel."[9] The Wall Street Journal wrote that "Having the opportunity to mash up something as Russian as Brighton Beach with something as American as reality TV really drives home the fact that there’s a place where KGB-era ways and Kim Kardashian can meet."[10]

The show has been criticized for having Ukrainian women appear as some of its "Russian dolls".[11] The Boston Herald noted that the show "reinforces every negative stereotype about Russian women."[12] described the show as "a spit in Russia's face."[13] The New York Times remarked that "If the Soviet authorities had wanted to torture Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn beyond endurance, they would have forced him to watch Russian Dolls."[14] AM New York describes the show as "so busily edited ...that there’s no flavor of any kind" adding that "If nothing else, this show might make us more appreciative of all the effort those “Jersey Shore” folks put into their portrayals."[15]


  1. ^ "Russian Dolls Episode: "Mama Dearest"". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Russian Dolls: Cast & Details". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Updated: Thursday Cable Ratings: 'Jersey Shore' Down But Dominant + 'Burn Notice,' 'Suits,' 'Project Runway,' 'Wilfred,' 'Futurama,' 'Louie' & More". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Development Update: Thursday, October 7". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Exclusive: Lifetime Bumps "Russian Dolls" to Late-Night". thefutoncritic. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Development Update: Wednesday, September 21". Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Barrosse, Emilia (August 11, 2011). "Emilia Barrosse reviews Lifetime's Russian Dolls". New York Press. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ Dizik, Alina (August 9, 2011). "'Russian Dolls': I Really Can See Russia From My House — Speakeasy — WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ Stasi, Linda (August 11, 2011). "'Russian Dolls' debuts on Lifetime, based on Russian Americans living in Brighton Beach —". New York Post. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Perigard, Mark A. (August 11, 2011). "Lifetime's 'Dolls' plays to cultural stereotypes —". Boston Herald. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Priymak, Artur (August 11, 2011). "America's 'Russian Dolls' - A spit in Russia's face — English". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (August 11, 2011). "TELEVISION REVIEW; 'Russian Dolls' on Lifetime Shows Immigrant Glam — Review". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ Werts, Diane (August 10, 2011). "TV Review: 'Russian Dolls' -- 1 star — am New York". Am New York. Retrieved August 11, 2011.