Kings creator Green was originally recruited to rewrite Michael Perry’s pilot script for The River, which is executive produced by Paranormal Activity filmmaker Oren Peli. At the time, Green only made a deal for the rewrite, which he turned around in eight days, with no pilot or series pact in place as he had a pre-existing development deal at 20th Century Fox TV to develop his own project. When The River was picked up to pilot, Green was approached about a deal to become an executive producer on the pilot and the potential series. He agreed, signing a rich pact to serve as showrunner on the pilot and the potential first 13-episode cylce of the show. After that, he will return to his development deal at 20th TV, which has been rolled to next year. One of Green’s conditions was that ABC Studios brought on another writing executive producer to support him on the pilot and the first 13 episodes and take over as showrunner if the show receives a back order. Prison Break alum Estrin, who last year helped launch Fox’s The Good Guys as an executive producer, was tapped for the job. He is already in business with ABC Studios as he serves as co-executive producer on the studio’s freshman drama for ABC No Ordinary Family. Estrin’s deal for The River includes an overall component, so if the pilot is not picked up to series, he will serve as an executive producer on another ABC Studios show. Green and Estrin are currently in Puerto Rico where The River pilot is shooting, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.
The River, which ABC Studios co-produces with DreamWorks, is a cinema verite drama in the mold of Paranormal Activity that centers on a family that travels deep in the Amazon region to locate and rescue their missing father. WME-repped Green and Estrin are exec producing with Peli, Jason Blum, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.