The Beach Boys: An American Family

The Beach Boys: An American Family is a 2000 miniseries written by Kirk Ellis and directed by Jeff Bleckner.[1] It is a dramatization of the early years of The Beach Boys, from their formation in the early 1960s to their peak of popularity as musical innovators, through their late-1960s decline (and Brian Wilson's beginning battle with mental illness), to their re-emergence in 1974 as a nostalgia and "goodtime" act.

The Beach Boys: An American Family
Directed byJeff Bleckner
Produced byJohn Whitman
Written byKirk Ellis
StarringKevin Dunn
Fred Weller
Alley Mills
Nick Stabile
Matt Letscher
Emmanuelle Vaugier
Music by
CinematographyBrian J. Reynolds
Edited by
  • Bryan M. Horne
  • Geoffrey Rowland
Distributed bySony Pictures Television
Release date
February 27, 2000
Running time
240 minutes
CountryUnited States

The movie was shown in two parts on ABC Television, and featured a good deal of original studio and session material by the band, which forms the backdrop to the story. Music that couldn't be licensed for the production, but was important to the story (such as the Smile album sessions, and music by criminal Charles Manson, who had collaborated with Dennis Wilson), was filled in with sound-alikes, reminiscent of the original recordings.

In 2000, Brian Wilson stated of the film: "I didn't like it, I thought it was in poor taste. ... And it stunk. I thought it stunk!"[2] He elaborated further: "I didn't like the second part. It wasn't really true to the way things were. I'd like to see another movie if it was done right. But I just sort of turned my back to this one, or my other cheek, or whatever you wanna call it. It was best just to ignore it because it really wasn't true to life."[3]



The Beach Boys: An American Family was nominated in nine individual categories at different award ceremonies.

The film won three out of those 8 categories that it was nominated in. Listed below is the categories that the movie was nominated in as well as for what award:

  • 2000
    • Emmy Awards
      • Outstanding Mini-series[4]
      • Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Mini-series, Movie Or A Special
      • Single-Camera Sound Mixing For A Mini-series Or A Movie
    • Artios Awards
      • Best Casting For TV Mini-Series
  • 2001
    • Eddie Awards
      • Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Commercial Television (won)
    • Excellence In Production Design Awards
      • Best Television Movie or Mini-Series
    • C.A.S. Awards
      • Outstanding Achievement In Sound Mixing For A Television Movie-of-the-Week, Mini-Series (won)
    • DGA Awards
      • Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Movies For Television (won)
    • Golden Satellite Awards
      • Best Mini-series (nom)


  1. "The Beach Boys: An American Family". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  2. Bocanegra, Henry. "Rock N' Roll Dream: A Conversation with Brian Wilson". House of Shred. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. Holdship, Bill (April 6, 2000). "Heroes and Villains". Los Angeles Times. Chicago: Tronc, Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  4. "Outstanding Miniseries - 2000". Emmys Online. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
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