One of the most ambitious (and utterly different) series to air this season is the new ABC thriller THE RIVER which comes from PARANORMAL ACTIVITY creator Oren Peli and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

The series follows a documentary crew going down the Amazon River to search for a missing in action TV personality adventurer. What they find could very well be not of this earth.

At today’s ABC TCA panel, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee says the faux documentary series works perfectly as an eight episode first season.

“Early on when we were about to pick it up, I had a brief conversation with Steven Spielberg who said, and I thought it was a very smart thing to say about this, ‘We would love to have eight because that’s just about the amount that we can really figure out the rhythms of this show,'” explains Lee. “And a part of me thinks, because we just did eight if you look at it, it’s so different from anything else you’ve seen.  They really had the time to figure it through. If the question or the implication is do we think there’s life in this beyond that eight, look, if it gets rejected by the audience, no.  If it gets accepted by the audience and they love it, I think there’s a lot of life in this beyond that.”

And Lee says, he has seen the finale already and feels it’s phenomenal.

“It’s great and incredibly satisfying,” says Lee. “On the other hand, it does leave it open. It has a certain amount of closure, but we didn’t build it that way. We built it for a long running series.”

(additional reporting by A.C. Ferrante)


Related Link: Exclusive Interview with THE RIVER star Paul Blackthorne

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Article: ABC says THE RIVER can exist beyond Season 1


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