Manifest: Season four hoping to debut in November

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Manifest survived cancellation at NBC due to a fan outcry and strong streaming data from its run on Netflix prior to the network pulling the plug on the series. While NBC lost its bid to resurrect the show after having a change of heart, Netflix stepped in and saved the day to allow Manifest to return for a fourth and final season to properly wrap up its narrative threads. When will be seeing season 4? Creator Jeff Rake is now providing us with a bit of insight on that matter.

The news of when Manifest will be returning saw some clarity thanks to horror icon and Manifest fanatic, Stephen King. During an exchange on Twitter that highlights King’s playful awareness of the series’ tropes, King asked the creator and showrunner Jeff Rake several questions: How many times will a character say “trust me?” or “it’s complicated?” He also asked when the fourth season would arrive. To that latter query, Rake told King that they’re aiming for a November 2022 premiere date. You can check out the Twitter exchanges below!

A report from “The Hollywood Reporter” provided blow-by-blow details about how Manifest went from being a canceled series at NBC to getting a chance to end its story properly at Netflix. Creator Jeff Rake admits that they were optimistic about a fourth season at NBC because fans were happy with season 3 and, although the show’s linear ratings were lower than its second season, they weren’t by much. Plus, Manifest had just debuted its first two seasons on Netflix in the U.S. and Canada and it was already charting extremely well. Manifest should’ve been on its way to a season 4 renewal at the network.

Rake felt something was off when he wasn’t getting the normal notes from the network that you get when you transition from one season to another. Rake asked what they could do creatively to make things better but the show’s creative integrity wasn’t the issue. NBC was happy with the series and its creative direction. This was all purely financial and they just couldn’t make an economic case to keep it going so they lowered the boom.

Rake soon got the news he dreaded when NBC announced the cancellation of Manifest on June 14, 2021. Thankfully, NBC was on board with shopping Manifest, seeing how well it was doing on Netflix, the streamer felt like the best option. Then there was the almost immediate fan reaction. The fans started #SaveManifest and it was better than any PR campaign generated by the network. 

Despite Manifest hitting number one on streaming and it not being merely sampled but watched in full, there were still obstacles in securing a return at Netflix. The Netflix deal wasn’t immediate because WBTV had already sold Manifest internationally in several key territories and that was an initial stumbling block for the streamer. According to Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria, “What we really strive for is to have great shows available to all our members globally. We really want all our members to have the full benefit of the service, so we wanted Warner Bros. to take the time to get all those rights globally.”

Another concern was the lapsed cast contracts. This is often a point of no return since actors move on to new jobs quickly, especially in TV. Netflix reached out to the main casts’ representatives promptly and, surprisingly, they were all pretty much game for a return. The actors extended their options and even as the extensions began to expire, they were still willing to make their new deals for more Manifest to work.

But why did Netflix save Manifest? Was it the #SaveManifest campaign? It helps, but no. Was it the petition or letters or media coverage? Added bonus, but not it either. As it turns out, Manifest got a second life based on hard numbers that Netflix typically doesn’t reveal. The platform, in a rare move, told “The Hollywood Reporter” that 25 million accounts in the U.S. and Canada watched the show in its first 28 days on the service. The series also relentlessly stayed in the platform’s Top 10 for 71 days since its debut and was number one for 19 of those days. The show’s completion rate, something Netflix is also usually guarded about, was very strong and meant well for its worldwide expansion. The audience was staying with the show and not just sampling it. That’s why Netflix saved Manifest.

Manifest focuses on Montego Air Flight 828, which landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight. The crew and passengers are relieved to be safe but in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families, and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds, and some of the returned passengers soon realize they might be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible. The series stars Josh Dallas, Jack Messina, Athena Karkanis, Melissa Roxburgh, JR Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Parveen Kaur, and Matt Long.

Are YOU eager for Manifest to return?

Source: Twitter

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