Research efforts spanning the past two decades have established a clear link between nuclear receptor function, regulation of the circadian clock and lipid homeostasis. As such, this family of receptors represents an important area of research. Recent advances in the field have identified two nuclear receptor subfamilies, the REV-ERBs and the 'retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptors' (RORs), as critical regulators of the circadian clock with significant roles in lipid homeostasis. In this review, the latest information garnered from cutting-edge research on these two nuclear receptor subfamilies will be discussed. Through direct targeting of the REV-ERBs and RORs with synthetic ligands, generation of novel tools aimed at characterizing their function in vivo have been developed, which may lead to novel therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic disorders.