'The River,' which features Steven Spielberg on producing credits, debuted last night on U.S network ABC. The drama stars Bruce Greenwood, Joe Anderson and Leslie Hope among others and focuses on a storyline surrounding a crew on a state-of-the-art research ship who are on a hunt to find a missing TV explorer who went missing in the Amazon.
In truth it's been a mixed reception so far, with a wide spectrum of opinions. On the one hand People Magazine are effusive with praise, stating "The scares are not as over-the-top as American Horror Story but more chilling because they're applied glancingly." At the other end of the scale, The New York Times have been particularly damning, saying "The mixture of "Lost" storytelling and "Paranormal" style is neither intriguing nor particularly scary, and it doesn't help that there's hardly a glimmer of humor."
Most however have fallen somewhere in the middle, The Huffington Post states "The River isn't terrible, and it actually has some effective elements, but it's fairly indicative of Abc's post-"Lost" flailing," and Variety suggests "The River is one of those pilots it's hard not to admire, even if the longterm prospects for its journey remain shrouded in mystery." Ultimately the verdict appears to be cautiously positive - as it tends to be for most pilots, most reviewers waiting to see how the season develops before offering any further endorsement.