Over the weekend, our own Dustin Rowles wrote about whether or not it’s a great idea to watch Manifest on Netflix, and his conclusion was that although it’s wildly popular, this is not an objectively good show. After three NBC seasons, not much makes sense in the story where a flight disappears off the radar (and is presumed lost) before touching back down on Earth’s surface five years later, with no one in the flight aging at all and everyone still apparently very confused about what happened. The audience at home likely feels similarly confused, but that didn’t stop people from binging the heck out of the show over the past several days. The show’s sitting at #1 on Netflix’s most popular list. People simply can’t stop streaming Manifest.
One would think that this would be excellent news for NBC, but uh, no. The network announced on Tuesday that the show’s getting the ax, which comes as a surprise not only to fans but to creator Jeff Rake, who envisioned and planned the series for a six-season run. Rake has experienced quite a 24 hours, too. He went from welcoming the show’s new gathering of fans on Netflix…
… to making a Twitter statement on NBC’s cancellation decision. Rake is “devastated,” naturally. “That we’ve been shut down in the middle is a gut punch to say the least,” he wrote. “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.”
My dear Manifesters,
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
— Jeff Rake (@jeff_rake) June 15, 2021
This doesn’t happen often (or ever), but a show that’s enormously popular on Netflix (#1) got simultaneously cancelled by its home network.
Where the show goes from here is anyone’s guess. The most logical guess is that Netflix could decide to pick it up for more, given that the show’s already licensed there for the first three seasons. It’s tempting to compare this situation to, say, that of You (which found new life on Netflix after going relatively unnoticed on Lifetime) or Lucifer (which began on FOX, got cancelled there, picked up by Netflix, got shelved there as well, and then got resurrected for one more devilish rodeo), but these are all different beasts.
The one thing that these three shows have in common is a rabid audience, and that’s why #SaveManifest is currently trending on Twitter. The cast members are all pushing the hashtag, so it’s your move, Netflix (or any other streaming service). Cast members and the show’s writers-room account all joined in the effort, so we’ll see where this goes.