The River trailer and synopsis go live

Posted by CB Droege

ABC has finally dished up some information on its upcoming new series dubbed The River.

The mid-season starter has remained mostly opaque for some time, but this week sees the release of detailed descriptions of the two-part series premier.

The River trailer and synopsis go liveThe basic premise of the show? An enigmatic river endowed with supernatural properties of some kind.

A film crew naviagtes the surreal river in search of a missing explorer, only to find themselves swept up in the mysterious place.

Of course, true to the popular 'big mystery' show format, the actual nature of the mysterious river and its surroundings will be hidden from the audience for some time. The River also has some elements of the shaky-cam paranormal show. 

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the first hour, “Pilot,” Dr. Emmet Cole, beloved adventurer and television personality goes missing deep in the Amazon. After a fruitless search for him, his family and friends abandon hope and hold a memorial service to commemorate his amazing life. His grieving wife, Tess, reluctantly tries to face the reality that her husband is gone, while her son, Lincoln, is more than ready to bury his past. Six months later Emmet’s location beacon mysteriously begins to relay a signal. Tess persuades Lincoln to join her and Emmet’s film crew on a journey through the Amazon to find him, a journey on which horrifying and almost mythical events will push them to their limits.

In the second hour, “Marbeley,” when the spirit of Dr. Emmet Cole mysteriously enters Jahel, the message is clear… go home! Instead, Tess determines to go into the jungle to find clues to Cole’s whereabouts. While on their mission, they discover a tree draped in children’s dolls that they suspect is there to ward off the “spirit of the abandoned girl” who drowned in the river. Then, when a member of the crew goes missing, the group realize they’ll have to endure a nightmare in order to appease an angry spirit and get their loved one back.

This sounds really terrible. Perhaps that’s why they’ve kept the details in the dark so long: they realized how bad it reads. Honestly, it sounds more like one of those really campy, melodramatic ideas that Syfy would take a risk on, not like something that a major network would run.

This trailer gives me a little more hope, and shows us some of the high production value, but it’s still difficult to tell where the audience for this show is supposed to be.

The River is executive produced by a team that includes Steven Spielberg, which may explain how it got on ABC. The series - starring Bruce Greenwood, Joe Anderson, and Leslie Hope - will premier on ABC on February 7, 2012 at 9pm EST with a double episode.