“The River,” 9 p.m. KFSN (Channel 30.1): Steven Spielberg’s week is off to a good start. As one of the executive producers of “Smash,” he scored a hit when the new NBC musical/drama was the top-rated show in its Monday night time slot.
Now, Spielberg needs “The River” to have the same success. “The River” originally was planned as a movie but changed when the producers met with Steven Spielberg. He suggested they make a TV show together, and the film idea became the series.
The new ABC thriller follows a film crew as they travel down the Amazon, deep into the jungles of South America, to find a reality show TV host (Bruce Greenwood) who has been missing for six months. Because the series comes from Orin Peli, the writer and director of “Paranormal Activity,” it is shot in a very different style. The series is put together as if from the footage shot by the reality show crew. If you have seen any of Peli’s work, you know the filming style.
That unique look is just the gimmick to get your attention. “The River” is so smartly written and well acted that it will hold your attention long after the gimmick gets old. It’s the scariest and creepiest TV show to come along in a decade. The test will be whether the scares can hold through the eight episodes that have been ordered.