After a thrilling, shocking, and jam-packed third season of American supernatural drama Manifest, commercial broadcast television and radio network NBC has officially cancelled Manifest.
Being a fellow Manifester myself, this is some serious, ‘I-do-not-like-this’ news.
For the unversed, Manifest is an American supernatural drama created by Jeff Rake, which centres on the passengers and crew of a commercial airliner who reappear after being presumed dead or missing for five and a half years.
Montego Air Flight 828 departs from Jamaica to New York City. During the duration of the flight, the plane experiences a brief period of severe turbulence. When they land in New York, the 191 passengers and crew face ground enforcement. They are informed that while they were in the air, over five and a half years have passed, during which, they were presumed either dead or missing.
As the passengers adjust themselves to their new normal, they face the fact that their lives—and loved ones—are not the same as they were before. They also experience guiding voices and visions representing events yet to occur, which are referred to as Callings throughout the show.
Manifest focuses on a certain group of passengers who are the main cast of the show. Michaela Stone (Melissa Roxburgh), who was a passenger on Flight 828, is a detective who works at NYPD’s 129th Precinct. She is the sister of Ben Stone (Josh Dallas), a college associate professor (and a passenger). Michaela is also the aunt of Cal Stone (Jack Messina), the son of Ben and his wife, Grace (Athena Karkanis), and the twin brother of Olive Stone (Luna Blaise). Cal was also a passenger on Flight 828.
After Michaela, Ben and Cal return, their lives have changed from what they were living in five and a half years ago (obviously). Ben and Cal return to see a 16-year-old Olive and Michaela sees her ex-fiancé, Jared Vasquez (J.R. Ramirez), already moved on from her.
As the show progresses, the Stone family navigates through their Callings. They realize that in some way or the other, all the passengers are connected. The Callings that they receive help them save people.
However, there is a danger within the Callings. While they do good for everyone, they can either lead to terrible events if left unfollowed or misinterpreted. That is what the Stone family is trying to understand. Why are the passengers of MA Flight 828 receiving these Callings? What happened to them all those five-and-a-half years? Where were they all this time? Did they have some sort of extra-terrestrial encounter? Was there some sort of divine intervention? Or were they put through some mass hypnosis?
Season 02 introduces Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Landon (Matt Long), a hiker who got trapped in a cave during a blizzard. He was later found out by Cal and thereafter rescued by the Stone family. Season 03 brings in Angelina Meyer (Holly Taylor), another passenger on Flight 828 who was held captive in Costa Rica by her religious parents after her return. Zeke and Michaela rescued her and subsequently brought her into the Stone family to live with them.
Now, coming to the chief part…
Why wasn’t Manifest renewed for Season Four?
NBC’s decision certainly dropped a nuclear bomb on us yesterday. The broadcasting network had recently cancelled shows such as Debris and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Manifest was the highest-rated show among NBC’s four bubble shows by a wide margin.
So why exactly did the broadcasting network cancel Manifest?
Well, despite the overall popularity between the fans themselves, according to Nielsen, season three tied 47th out of approximately 200 broadcast TV series in the 18-49 demographic. The show ranked 62nd with 5.347 million total viewers, while seasons one and two averaged 12.6 million and 7.7 million total viewers, respectively.
In a tweet posted through Jeff Rake’s official Twitter account, he said he was ‘devastated’ by NBC’s decision. He hopes that Manifest will find a new home because Manifesters and the cast deserve to know what happens at the end.
Ever since the cancellation announcement was first broken by Deadline, cast members and Manifesters have been trending the #SaveManifest campaign. The cast does not know about the ending, as told by Luna Blaise in an interview for PopSugar. They are frustrating curious about what are the answers to the mystery story that they’ve been tagging along with for the past three to four years. Fans have even turned to Change.org, creating a petition to demand all six seasons.
The creator of Manifest, Jeff Rake, had mapped out a full six-season plan for the show. That plan, along with three years of Manifesters supporting wholeheartedly, will completely fail unless another network or platform steps in to pick up the series.
People are hoping it may be Netflix. As soon as the season three finale aired on NBC, seasons one and two respectively were officially streaming on Netflix US and were soon trending at #2. Manifest must have amassed a huge number of new fans because of this development, so that adds to the list of our reasons.
For three years, we have been following the journey of these characters to find out what really happened to them. The mystery is fuelled with so much suspense and many secrets that we really want to know the truth. We want to know how it will all end because that is the main reason, we follow a good, well-written story.
However, this decision by NBC was highly unexpected. Almost after a week, the season three finale aired. And they canceled the show. I don’t think that they (NBC) even thought about the show’s renewal decision properly. Canceling the top-most show amongst their four bubble shows is complete nonsense.
Yes, the viewership may have gone down as more and more episodes went by, but Manifest achieved the number two spot on Netflix US two to three days after it started streaming on the platform. That’s not a joke. That’s some serious potential right there.
I’m not some authority who has the power to reverse NBC’s decision. And I get it why NBC would cancel Manifest. We should be glad that they at least renewed the series for seasons two and three.
But we deserve the ending, Manifesters.
Let’s fight for it.
Three seasons down. Three more to go.
Manifest seasons one, two, and three are streaming on Amazon Prime and NBC. Seasons one and two are available to stream on Netflix US.
What do you think about this decision? Comment below!
Until the next time, then!
Love, PJ 💖