ABC axes The River

A horror TV show is quite difficult to keep on the air, unless you can present it with a radically different twist. 

Indeed, as we’ve seen recently with the big screen version of Dark Shadows, trying to resurrect a horror show from the days of yore isn’t exactly easy either.

With the exception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, horror shows have typically struggled to stay on the air.

Remember, the fans had to write to CBS every year to keep The Twilight Zone on the air, and the beloved Kolchak didn’t last long, although it has a big cult following today. (Johnny Depp is bringing it back for the big screen). 

So it comes as little surprise that ABC has unceremoniously axed The River from its lineup. Yes, it’s apparently been tough times for genre shows, with the cancellation of JJ Abrams’s Alcatraz – although from the start, The River only had the greenlight up to a certain number of episodes. The series was created by Oren Peli, who also gave us Paranormal Activity, and it initially received a number of positive  reviews, with some calling it a successor (of sorts) to Lost.


Nevertheless, as the site tells us, the show’s been cancelled after eight episodes, as the ratings went in the basement after a decent debut. There’s also been talk that The River may be picked up by Netflix, where Eli Roth (Hostel) is also preparing a show, Hemlock Grove. 

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly chalked up The River’s cancellation to it not finding its audience, and again, something spooky and supernatural like Lost was able to reach a wider demographic, but throughout horror’s history it’s been tough to keep it on the tube, with The River being the most recent unfortunate example.