In an unexpected move, ABC's documentary-style supernatural mystery The River will be getting its UK premiere on Apple iTunes. The two-part opener will debut on 8 February, a day after its US debut.
Oren Peli, executive producer:
"Right from the start, we've had a global audience in mind for The River--the show preys on universal human fears, and follows a journey to an exotic, remote setting. I'm excited to be debuting the show on iTunes."The River concerns a family's search for their missing scientist patriarch in the depths of the Amazon, where they encounter frightening supernatural forces. It stars Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek), Leslie Hope (24) and Joe Anderson.
You can now pre-order The River on iTunes for your iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple TV device. The entire season costs £12.99 (HD) / £9.99 (SD), with individual episodes priced £1.89 (SD) and £2.49 (HD).
It's not yet known if a UK channel will show The River later this year, or if it will remain exclusive to iTunes (similar to how the UK's Misfits is only legally available to America via online service Hulu).
The big question is: will YOU be downloading The River? Does the very idea of paying for a TV show, airing 24-hours after its US premiere, suit you just fine? Is £10-13 a fair price for what you're getting? Or will The River flop on iTunes, as people likely to be using that service definitely know how to save themselves some money and grab a free torrent file online?
Of course, that's not what happened with Misfits (which is an enormous hit for Hulu, despite all the episodes being available on torrents for a few years), but are Americans just less conditioned to download foreign content that way. It'll be interesting to see if iTunes manage to pull in the downloads for The River next week.