After the global release of Kiefer Sutherland’s Touch last week by Fox Broadcasting, Disney is following suit with its new television series on ABC-TV, The River, a supernatural-themed thriller from producer Steven Spielberg and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity).
The River will debut simultaneously in Canada, South Korea, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and more markets within 48 hours of its February 7 launch in the US. It will follow shortly after in India, Hong Kong and Spain, accordingly to Variety.
In what may develop as a new trend in television for certain projects, the worldwide premiere may also be an effort to avoid piracy.
The River centers on a family’s search in the Amazon for their father, an explorer. After he has been missing for six months, a signal surfaces from his boat that the rescue team discover is something strange and terrifying.
With a sensibility similar to the hit show Lost, the paranormal mystery in the storyline is expected to create a buzz among fans, and a concurrent launch eliminates spoilers from leaking online.
The show’s cast includes Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Joe Anderson (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2), Leslie Hope (24), Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong) and more. It is directed by Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, who made Unknown with Liam Neeson.
The River begins its eight-episode run on ABC February 7. Since the show is based in the Amazon, the worldwide distribution emphasizes an international flavor.
Sutherland’s Touch, which previewed February 1 and officially kicks off on March 19, also takes place around the world.