Netflix chose the perfect day to let fans of ‘Manifest’ know that their #SaveManifest campaign actually paid off.
I have a confession to make: I watch very few current television shows these days. Yet I joined the #SaveManifest effort to persuade NBC, Netflix or anyone else to renew the sci-fi series Manifest.
The series, which stars a large cast including Melissa Roxburgh and Josh Dallas, focuses on the mystery of Montego Airlines Flight 828. Note the number 828. Fans of the series learned on “Manifest Day,” August 28, that Netflix would renew the former NBC series for a fourth and final season.
This is tremendous news for fans like me. I didn’t discover the program until earlier this year as its third season was wrapping up on the peacock network.
I found the first two seasons on Netflix and started watching. Normally, this is not necessarily the kind of show I’d ever watch because it’s the kind of show you have to see every episode of. You must be attentive and focused. You have to solve an ongoing mystery.
But I quickly realized Manifest was different. With many moving parts and even more questions, I actually wanted to keep watching. I burned right through the first full season of episodes. Then I went right into season two.
The show, for those who haven’t seen it, starts off with Flight 828 taking off and encountering severe turbulence. All seems well, however, and the plane makes it to New York City. But when it lands, it’s met by police and federal agents.
The passengers, who didn’t age a day and think they’ve been on the flight for a few hours, learn the flight disappeared for five-and-a-half years. They find out their families mourned their presumed deaths and have moved on as if they were gone.
It’s an intriguing idea.
But then I learned there was a problem
As I binge-watched through the first two seasons to get caught up to make it to the current season, I learned NBC pulled the plug after the third season.
What a dirty trick!
Since the most recent TV season was still available on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, when I finished up with season two, I had to move to Peacock to pick up from there.
I expected the third (and presumably final) season to wrap up with the tying of a lot of loose ends. But no — I was wrong!
Season three ended with a huge cliffhanger. The program’s creator had planned for six seasons. They didn’t know when they edited the third season finale that it would be the end.
Fans weren’t about to let the show end with all of the unanswered, shocking events that brought the third season to a close.
Enter the #SaveManifest campaign
The show’s eager audience hoped to pull off another example of saving their favorite show. Back in the late 1960s, when NBC decided to cancel the original Star Trek, rabid fans started a letter-writing campaign. It eventually convinced NBC to give the series another year.
But this is the 21st century. No one writes letters anymore. We have social media.
So those fans — likely the children or even the grandchildren of those Star Trek enthusiasts from the late 1960s, demanded a new lease on life for Manifest. The #SaveManifest hashtag popped up all over Twitter.
But let’s be realistic. There’s more to renewing a show than just a clever hashtag like #SaveManifest.
The fans put their money and time where their little fingers were. Their rabid binge-watching of the series on Manifest drove it to the top 10 streaming programs week after week. Hashtag aside, that much devotion with that many hours of streaming likely had executives over at the streaming service seeing serious dollar signs.
Netflix orders 20-episode final season
It looks like creator Jeff Rake’s vision of a six-series run won’t be realized. But Netflix ordered 20 episodes for a fourth and final season. Presumably, we’ll find out what ends up happening to the passengers of the flight.
At the very least, we’ll find out how some bombshells from the season three finale play out.
I hope that since they’re going in knowing this is it, they’ll be able to condense things. That way, after those final 20 episodes, as much of a “complete” story as can be told will be told.
If you haven’t watched, I highly recommend it. Netflix now has all three seasons. So give it a shot and let me know in the comments what you think of it!