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Manifest season 4 is saved by Netflix and everything else we know

Manifest season 4
(Image credit: NBC)

Prepare to board Manifest season 4. Netflix has saved the mystery box drama and ordered a fourth and final season, following its cancellation by NBC. The save comes after fans mounted a passionate campaign, which helped Manifest hold down a daily spot in Netflix's Top 10 U.S. list since June.

The announcement came at 8:28 a.m. PT on August 28, which we note as because both the date (8/28) and time are a reference to the show's central mystery around Flight 828. The renewal is the result of protracted negotiations between Netflix and Warner Bros. Television, which produces Manifest. The deal calls for 20 episodes, divided into two or more parts, and encompasses the show's release in Netflix's international markets in the coming months.

Manifest, from creator Jeff Rake, centers on the passengers and crew of Flight 828, who suddenly reappear after being presumed dead for more than five years. They find that rejoining their families and society is complicated and emotionally fraught, since many of their loved ones have moved on the intervening time. And the survivors begin to experience visions of the future, referred to as "callings." Rake has previously said that he planned for a six-season run.

Here's everything we know so far about Manifest season 4.

Why did Netflix save Manifest season 4?

While Netflix has developed a reputation for saving shows, the streamer actually does it pretty rarely. Past "saved shows" include Designated Survivor and The Killing.  The time Netflix saved shows was 2018, when it picked up Lucifer (canceled by Fox) and You (canceled by Lifetime). 

When NBC axed Manifest, the move came as a very unpleasant shock to fans, who immediately mounted a #SaveManifest campaign. That boosted the numbers for Manifest seasons 1-2, which dropped on Netflix in June. The drama dominated Netflix's Top 10 chart in the U.S., grabbed the top spot on Nielsen's streaming ratings for four consecutive weeks and eventually reached more than a billion views. Season 3 was added in mid-August.

Even so, a deal between Netflix and Warner Bros. Television seemed improbable, mostly because of international rights. And the fact is, Netflix has largely gotten out of the saving shows game.

But according to media insider Matt Belloni (h/t TVLine), WBTV was able to buy out its licensing contracts in international markets so that Netflix could have the global exclusivity it demands. In turn, Netflix offered a large episode order, more money per episode (an increase from $4 million to $5 million) and raises for cast members.

Manifest season 4: Josh Dallas and Jack Messina

(Image credit: NBC)

“Since its premiere on Netflix in June, Manifest has proven very popular with our members,” said Bela Bajaria, Netflix Head of Global TV. “Jeff Rake and his team have crafted a beguiling mystery that has viewers around the world on the edge of their seats and believing again in second chances, and we’re thrilled that they will bring fans some closure with this final super-sized season.”

In a statement, Rake said, "What started years ago as a flight of fancy deep in my imagination has evolved into the jet engine journey of a lifetime. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the worldwide outpouring of love and support for this story, its characters, and the team who work so hard to bring it all to life. That we will be able to reward the fans with the ending they deserve moves me to no end. On behalf of the cast, the crew, the writers, directors, and producers, thank you to Netflix, to Warner Bros., and of course to the fans. You did this."

Manifest season 4 release date speculation

Unfortunately, a possible Manifest season 4 release date was not mentioned in any of the reports about Netflix's renewal. 

What we do know is that the fourth season is planned to be the final chapter and will consist of 20 episodes, that will be released in two or more parts — much like the Lucifer season 6 and Ozark season 4, also the last outings of those series.

Rake has previously said that he had envisioned a roadmap for six seasons of Manifest. After the show's cancellation by NBC, he told EW.com that he'd begun thinking about how to consolidate the plan for the back half into a feature-length movie, so that the story was wrapped up for fans. 

Now, he and the writers will get 20 episodes to come up with a satisfying conclusion. That's actually more episodes than ever before (season 1 had 16, and seasons 2-3 had 13 each). 

With the Manifest season 4 set to be released in chunks, it's possible that the cast and crew could begin filming this fall and deliver the first round of episodes in early 2022. That would actually align with the show's midseason premiere and airing schedule on NBC in the last two seasons.

Manifest season 4 cast

Manifest season 4 cast: Matt Long and Melissa Roxburgh

(Image credit: NBC)

Stars Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh, and J.R. Ramirez will all return Manifest season 4, according to Deadline. Meanwhile, Parveen Kaur, Matt Long, Luna Blaise, and Jack Messina are reportedly still in negotiations. 

Cast members' contracts ran out in June, but WBTV started talks to extend their options while they looked around for a partner to pick up Manifest season 4.

Dallas plays mathematics professor Ben Stone, while Roxburgh is Michaela Stone, Ben's sister and an NYPD detective. Both were passengers on Flight 828. Ramirez portrays Jared Vasquez, also an NYPD detective and Michaela's ex who was not on the plane. Blaise and Messina play Ben's children, Cal (on the flight) and Olive (not on it). Kaur is medical researcher Saanvi Bahl, a passenger who recruited to join the NSA's task force investigating the mystery. And Long plays Zeke Landon, a hiker who undergoes a similar experience to 828.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.