Manifest Cancelled : After all, it had to happen at some point.
After nearly breaking Netflix’s all-time record for straight days at #1, Manifest has been pushed to second place by the new season of Virgin River.
It’s clear that Netflix should reconsider its stance on Season 4 of Manifest
Regardless, being at the top for so long is a huge accomplishment, and it confirms what many fans have suspected for a long time.
After NBC’s post-season 3 termination, Netflix made a mistake by declining to renew Manifest for a fourth season.
Fans and even the show’s creator have chastised me for saying that fans “gamed” Netflix, in part by watching the show nonstop to keep it at such a high rating.
However, I believe it’s a combination of vigilant fan-streaming, genuine rewatches, and a snowball effect of new viewers discovering the show because it was so popular on Netflix for so long.
To be clear, I believe that being able to partially game Netflix is commendable, and that it demonstrates more enthusiasm for this series than I’ve seen for most others.
It’s ingenious, and there’s no reason Netflix shouldn’t reward fans for their efforts with a second season, overturning their previous choice.
Season 4 of Manifest was passed over by Netflix after a week or so at the top of the ratings. But it was three weeks ago, and it stayed on top until Virgin River knocked it off this weekend.
According to my colleague Travis Bean’s list of Netflix’s top-performing shows, Manifest ranks among the top 15 shows with the longest consecutive number one streaks, with Ginny and Georgia, Tiger King, Queen’s Gambit, Who Killed Sara, Bridgerton, and others.
What’s the common thread that binds them all together? Almost all of them have two or more seasons.
The ones that don’t (Queen’s Gambit) were never designed to last more than one season.
Manifest would be the only programme on the list to be cancelled, and it’s in second place.
The most important question is, “Why?” Why would Netflix pass up the opportunity to save a show that clearly has a sizable fanbase?
Manifest also has the advantage of being quite inexpensive in the context of television. It’s not a science fiction show with spectacular effects in every scene.
There are no expensive A-list actors in the cast. In comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on content every year, picking up the show would not be a pricey proposition for Netflix.
Furthermore, having a show that was #1 on Netflix for a month picked up by a competing service, which fans would then pour praise and subscriptions on, whether it’s Amazon, HBO Max, or Hulu, will look very foolish.
I understand Netflix doesn’t want to be recognised as the home of cancelled, failing network shows, but I believe exceptions may be made, and Manifest is certainly one of them.
This isn’t even coming from a fan’s perspective. I’ve never watched the show (and didn’t want to start until it had been renewed for a fourth season so I wouldn’t be disappointed if it ended on a cliffhanger).
But I do know that when a programme performs this well on your site for this long, whether it’s due to regular fan streaming, genuine interest, or both, you should pay attention and, at the very least, give it a single season.
The goodwill alone will be worth it, and this appears to be a simple gain that Netflix is squandering for no apparent reason.
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