Why Was 'Manifest' Initially Canceled? The Show Has Been Renewed With Netflix
Why was 'Manifest' canceled? The supernatural series was canceled just a week after Season 3 ended. Here's the scoop on why it was cut short.
For three seasons, Manifest continuously shocked fans with plot twist after plot twist. The NBC supernatural series focuses on some of the 191 passengers of Montego Air Flight 828, who departed from Jamaica to New York in 2013. After a bit of in-flight turbulence, the plane lands and the people on board learn that five-and-a-half years have passed since they first took off.
Each season, fans learn more about the after-effects of the mysterious flight, including callings, visions, and inexplicable health changes. Though the Season 3 conclusion left viewers hanging, NBC announced that Manifest had been canceled in June 2021.
Why was 'Manifest' canceled in the first place?
Less than a week after the jaw-dropping two-part Season 3 finale aired on NBC, the network announced its decision not to renew Manifest for Season 4.
Though the ratings were decent for the drama when it debuted in 2018, they steadily declined each year. After Season 2, the show was in jeopardy, but NBC did opt to renew the show for another 13 episodes.
Viewership declined again throughout Season 3, though Manifest was still the top-rated "bubble show" (programs that are on the cusp of cancelation) for the network. Two of NBC's other bubble programs, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Debris, were also canceled.
Shortly before Season 3 ended, the first two seasons of Manifest were added to Netflix. The drama has consistently remained at the top of the streamer's Top 10 list, which some assumed was a good sign for a Season 4 order.
However, though the show is popular on Netflix, there still weren't enough compelling reasons for NBC to pick it up again.
Many fans were crushed by the news, as show creator Jeff Rake had been open about his six-season plan for the series. Plus, the Season 3 ending certainly did not provide any sense of closure to the characters.
After NBC publicized the cancelation decision, Jeff took to Twitter to share his disappointment. He also got fans stirring with his plea for the show to continue somewhere else.
"My dear Manifesters," he tweeted on June 15. "I'm devastated by NBC’s decision to cancel us. That we've been shut down in the middle is a gut punch, to say the least. Hoping to find a new home. You the fans deserve an ending to your story. Thanks for the love shown to me, cast, and crew. #SaveManifest."
After some negotiation, Netflix has renewed 'Manifest' for a fourth and final season.
Manifest's popularity on Netflix had fans hopeful that the streaming service would rescue the show as it did others such as Lucifer and You. With a steady position in Netflix's Top 10 over the past few months, it was clear to most that Netflix could benefit from Manifest's dedicated audience.
Earlier in August 2021, Deadline reported that Netflix was in negotiations with Warner Bros. Television but nothing had been confirmed.
On Aug. 28, 2021, Deadline reported that Manifest had been officially renewed by Netflix for a fourth and final season of 20 episodes, nearly double the typical episode amount. Most cast members are reported to return, although several contracts are still in negotiation.
You can catch up on all three seasons of Manifest on Netflix, NBC, Peacock, and Hulu.