'The River' Is A 'Little Movie Every Week,' Star Says

Short season tells a 'whole, complete story,' Eloise Mumford tells MTV News.

It won't take long to cross "The River" — only six more weeks, in fact!

Despite boasting an intense, mythology-driven premise — a naturalist goes missing in the Amazon, leading his friends and family to search for him while fending off supernatural twists and turns around every river bend — the new ABC series, which debuted on Tuesday, only has eight episodes to unfold in its first season. The two-hour premiere counts for two of those episodes, leaving only six weeks before "The River" overflows in late March. It may not seem like enough time to get to the bottom of the show's biggest mysteries (What happened to Emmet Cole? What's lurking in the jungle?), but "River" actress Eloise Mumford told MTV News that the first season's breakneck pace is actually "a huge advantage."

"It's an event now," said Mumford, who stars in the series as young adventurer Lena Landry. "It's like a miniseries. It's a little movie every week. And honestly, that's what we did. We worked our butts off.

We shot some really incredible footage. Usually dailies when you shoot a show are, I don't know, an hour or two a day. We did like 13 hours of footage every day. It's an insane amount of footage! They edit it all together and it's just really rich."

Mumford also believes that with eight episodes, fans will see the season weave a very satisfying narrative, because the writers were able to build the story based on a smaller episode order.

"People will be able to tune in each week and it'll leave them wanting more. But also they won't get sick of it in the middle," she said. "We knew all along that we were doing eight. That's what we were planning on. So the arc of the season isn't like, 'Shoot, what should our next episode be?' They had a plan from start to finish. It's a whole, complete story."

Well, perhaps not a whole complete story. Even if many questions are answered by the end of the show's first season, Mumford promised that the door is most certainly left open for a season-two comeback.

"Obviously there's a possibility to come back. It's definitely not wrapped up in a concrete way," she said. "[Fingers crossed for] season two!"

Did you watch "The River"? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!