I recently thought about Manifest while on a 10-hour plane delay (travel is obviously a mess these days) and thought, well, “At least I’m not doing a five-year time-travel thing here.” That little anecdote is nothing compared to the amount of attention that Netflix viewers devoted to Manifest during the week that NBC cancelled the sci-fi drama after three messy seasons. Actually, the fact that the show was sitting at #1 on Netflix’s most popular list during its week of cancellation says a lot, despite Netflix still saying, “Nah” to making a fourth season. Still, fans have been hell-bent upon saving the series, even though it’s an objectively bad show that made little sense from week to week.
Well, the streaming numbers reflect the show’s rabidly enthusiastic audience. According to Deadline, the week after NBC cancelled the show (that would be June 14-20) saw staggering numbers to the tune of 2.5 billion viewing minutes. That’s far different than the way Netflix calculates views, which is to log a few minutes from a user and count it as “a view.” Yet Nielsen’s quantifying the matter and says that the cancellation apparently prompted a doubling in viewing minutes from the week before the announcement. This is bonkers:
Manifest at 2.49 billion minutes ballooned from 1.11B viewing minutes the previous week, an increase likely to be noted by Netflix, which eventually opted not to order a fourth season following the show’s NBC ax. The missing plane drama had long been conceived by creator Jeff Rake as a six-season series, and fans had been pushing it to the top of Netflix’s rankings since it recently began airing Season 1 and Season 2.
For comparison’s sake, Manifest ended up being the most popular show streaming on Netflix since Bridgerton and Cobra Kai. It’s no wonder that series creator Jeff Rake — who’s envisioned and planned the series for a six-season run — is still urging viewers to keep the faith because he wants to find a way to wrap up the show for viewers in some shape or form, although a formal season pick-up anywhere doesn’t seem to be in the cards.