Manifest Creator Says Ending Won't Change After Fourth Season Renewal on Netflix

Netflix has elected to rescue yet another fan-favorite series from cancellation, as the streamer announced this weekend it had officially ordered a fourth season of Manifest. After airing on NBC for three seasons, Manifest was cancelled with quite a few plot threads and cliffhangers left unresolved, and creator Jeff Rake was working to find any way he could to wrap up the series and give answers to the fans. Netflix came through with a 20-episode renewal that will bring Manifest to a close.

Rake originally intended for Manifest to last six seasons, which means that the show is only halfway done at this point. This has left plenty of fans worried that the original ending Rake had in mind will have to be changed in order to fit the episode order. According to Rake, however, that isn't the case. While speaking with EW following the renewal news, Rake explained that the Manifest endgame will remain exactly the same, and that 20 episodes will be enough to tell the entire story.

"The endgame won't change at all," Rake said. "For those who've been tracking this story through June and July, they'll remember that I was hopeful in the early weeks after cancellation that someone would step up and allow us to make something as modest as a two-hour movie."

"It would have been stressful and would not have been ideal, but I would have figured out my way through it," the creator continued. "Given that I've had to go through the thought exercise this summer of how to get to the original endgame in two episodes, six episodes, or nine episodes, I feel like it's an embarrassment of riches to have to have 20 episodes to tell the rest of the story. So yes, I have always talked about three more seasons — and part of that was chronological, because it's always been my goal get to the series finale in real time in accordance with the five and a half years that the passengers had back — and that might have to adjust somewhat depending on how these episodes roll out. 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. 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."

20 episodes on Netflix wasn't exactly what the creative team behind Manifest had in mind, but there are very few shows that actually get a second chance after being cancelled. At least all of the lingering questions regarding Flight 828 are going to be answered.

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The first three seasons of Manifest are currently streaming on Netflix.