How Manifest Got Its Final Takeoff on Netflix

How Manifest Got Its Final Takeoff on Netflix
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Manifest was given an emergency landing.

After being canceled by NBC in June 2021, the mystery drama was given a second chance at Netflix after it was a streaming success. The streamer renewed Manifest for a fourth and final season in Aug. 2021, but for its creator Jeff Rake, this wasn't a shock.

"When you're the showrunner, you're like the coach for the team. You want to keep your cast, writers, crew, everybody feeling hopeful," Rake told Entertainment Weekly of his post-cancellation position. "So I assumed that role right away."

When Rake saw that the show hit Netflix's Top 10 immediately after dropping on the streamer, he began calling for a renewal on social media and urging Warner Bros. Television—which had produced and distributed the show—to contact Netflix. But it wasn't exactly a smooth takeoff.

"Usually, when a show drops on Netflix, it's eight episodes, 10 episodes. For us, it was a 42-episode dump," Rake explained. "It's hard for people to watch 42 entire episodes over a weekend or a week. So at first, Netflix took a wait-and-see approach."

Behind the Scenes of Manifest Season 4

But as Manifest continued its ascent, negotiations began to get the original cast back together. And despite how devastated the group was after hearing about the show's cancellation, everyone didn't get on-board immediately—Matt Long, who plays Zeke, had even taken a job filming a pilot for another series.

"There were hard-fought negotiations, and that's always tough," Rake said. "Who's going to cave first? So, of course, that would come up: 'Do you absolutely need that person?' 'Could the story go on without that character?' 'Could you recast that role?' Truthfully, the answer was no. You might not tell an agent or a manager, but no one was replaceable. Putting aside how much I love everybody, everybody was inherent."

Manifest Season 4, Netflix
Peter Kramer/Netflix

Ultimately, however, all of the original cast members returned to the fourth season, which will jump two years in the future after the events of the season three finale. See them fly when Manifest's final takeoff premieres Nov. 4 on Netflix.

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