It’s been a bit of a bumpy road for fans of Manifest, but it all seems to have worked out in the end. After NBC cancelled the supernatural drama series after three seasons, fans were obviously upset but they led a successful campaign that prompted Netflix to come to the rescue. Manifest will now return for a fourth and final season of 20 episodes, hopefully bringing the saga of Flight 828 to a worthy conclusion.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Manifest creator Jeff Rake shared his reaction when he found out that the show had indeed been saved.
Oh my goodness. It’s such a combination of emotions, from gratitude to humility to shock and awe and incredible excitement. It’s been a spectrum of emotions from June, when we got the bad news, to July, when we started sniffing the possibility of a future for us. Then there was a month of uncertainty where it looked like something might come together, but there were many hurdles to jump and so you manage your expectations. You’re hoping for the best but don’t want to go through a second round of disappointment. Thankfully I’ve had colleagues and family to accompany me along this journey, but the result is so incredible.
Jeff Rake had originally envisioned Manifest lasting six seasons and when the series was cancelled, he went through a variety of scenarios in which he could get to his original endgame with a two-hour movie or as many as 9 episodes. So when Netflix gave him 20 episodes to finish telling the story, it felt like an “embarrassment of riches,” but even though it’s not quite six seasons, Rake explained that the endgame won’t change at all. “The good news is I am absolutely confident that 20 episodes gives me enough time to tell the entirety of the story as I always intended to,” Rake said. “When I’ve talked in the past about having a roadmap all the way to the end of series, that didn’t mean that I had a roadmap for literally every single episode. I have a roadmap with a series of twists and turns and flags in the sand that we would ultimately hit in order to tell the the core stories within our mythology and within our relationship drama. So it will not be a particularly difficult exercise to overlay that same exact roadmap onto 20 episodes. It will be quite organic.”
The Manifest writers’ room will be opening up later this week and Rake is hoping that production could begin by November or December. As far as the cast returning, Rake said that they “haven’t finished those conversations yet,” but he’s “cautiously optimistic that all of our favorite characters will be returning to the story.“