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The River Didn’t Make Any Waves With Viewers

THE RIVER - "Marbeley" - ABC'S highly anticipated new paranormal thriller, "The River," will premiere with two back-to-back episodes, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. 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. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ)
THOMAS KRETSCHMANN

ABC's found-footage thriller The River didn't find much love from viewers Tuesday. Despite a massive marketing campaign, the two-hour debut of the Steven Spielberg– and Oren Peli–produced drama settled for a so-so tune-in of 7.5 million viewers and a 2.4 rating among adults 18 to 49. This was an improvement over ABC's Tuesday programming last February (V and Detroit 1-8-7), and the show did tie CBS's weak Unforgettable for first place in the 10 p.m. among viewers under 50, but Alphabet execs had to have been hoping for more sampling of The River, a favorite among network brass. They also can't be happy that the show lost viewers over its two-hour debut, sinking from 8.6 million viewers at 9 p.m. to barely 6.5 million by 10:30 p.m.

Photo: Mario Perez/© 2011 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.