The River premieres tonight! Hopefully you’ve been following our coverage, including the review we posted at the end of last week. We’re happy to report that we in the US are not alone in seeing The River this week, as The Walt Disney Company has announced its intended flooding of the worldwide market – see what we did there? – with their wonderfully creepy new show:
DISNEY MEDIA DISTRBUTION SIGNS AGREEMENTS TO PREMIERE “THE RIVER” IN EIGHT COUNTRIES AROUND THE GLOBE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SERIES’ U.S. PREMIERE
The Walt Disney Company today announced that “The River,” the much-anticipated supernatural TV thriller from executive producer Steven Spielberg and the director of “Paranormal Activity” Oren Peli, is set to premiere in eight other countries within hours of its U.S. debut on the ABC Television Network on Tuesday, February 7 at 9:00 p.m., ET. This is the first time a series distributed by Disney Media Distribution will launch in such close proximity to the American premiere on such a global scale.
The international broadcasters who will premiere either day-and-date or within 24-48 hours following the U.S. premiere include, in alphabetical order:
- AXN (Poland)
- CTV (Canada)
- Fox (South Korea)
- HBO NL (Netherlands)
- Kanal 5 (Sweden)
- Star World (Philippines)
- TV Norge (Norway)
- YES (Israel)
Additionally, audiences in the U.K. will be able to watch the series on iTunes before its television broadcast. The thrilling drama will make its U.K. debut on iTunes (www.itunes.co.uk/tv/theriver) on February 8, just 24 hours after its U.S. broadcast on ABC.
Sky Italia Italy, Fox Spain, Star World India and Star HK Hong Kong are also set to air “The River” within weeks of its U.S. premiere. “The River” is licensed to 182 territories.
“Our distribution team has been dedicated to developing and implementing a variety of windowing strategies that maximize the value of our content,” said Ben Pyne, president, Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks. “’The River’ has resonated strongly with our worldwide partners and we’re very pleased so many will be timing their roll-out of the series with the U.S. premiere.”
Executive producer Oren Peli said: “Coming from the film side of the industry, it’s exciting that television audiences around the world will have a chance to see ‘The River’ so close to the debut in the U.S.”
In 2010, Disney Media Distribution moved up the delivery of the series finale of the worldwide hit “Lost” so that an unprecedented 59 countries could air the final episode from 24-48 hours after the U.S. broadcast. That same year Disney also offered international broadcasters the opportunity to air “Body of Proof” before the U.S. premiered the series in response to client demand.
Produced by ABC Studios and Amblin Films, the paranormal thriller “The River” follows the story of world famous wildlife expert and TV personality Dr. Emmet Cole, host of the beloved series “The Undiscovered Country.” After Cole goes missing deep in the Amazon, his family, friends and crew set out on a mysterious and deadly journey to find him. Led by his wife, Tess, and estranged son, Lincoln, the rescue mission will take them deep into the unexplored reaches on the Amazon River. A place where nature is cruel, magic is real, and nothing is what it seems.
Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. The shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son, Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother, Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer, Clark (Paul Blackthorne), film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the alluring and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann).
“The River” stars Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”) as Dr. Emmet Cole, Joe Anderson (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2”) as Lincoln Cole, Leslie Hope (“24”) as Tess Cole, Eloise Mumford (“Lone Star”) as Lena Landry, Paul Blackthorne (“Lipstick Jungle”) as Clark Quietly, Thomas Kretschmann (“King Kong”) as Captain Kurt Brynildson, Daniel Zacapa (“Resurrection Blvd.”) as Emilio Valenzuela, Shaun Parkes (“The Mummy Returns”) as Andreus Jude (“AJ”) Poulain and Paulina Gaitán (“Sin Nombre”) as Jahel Valenzuela.
“The River,” from Amblin’s Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, and showrunner/executive producer Michael Green (“Heroes,” “Kings”), is also executive-produced by Oren Peli (creator of “Paranormal Activity”), Zack Estrin (“Prison Break”) – who also serves as showrunner — Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3”) and Steven Schneider. Created by Oren Peli & Michael R. Perry; teleplay by Michael Green and Michael R. Perry; story by Oren Peli & Michael R. Perry. The pilot is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by ABC Studios.
“The River” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.
The River premieres with two back-to-back episodes tonight at 9/8c on ABC.