Manifest Creator Jeff Rake Reveals New Plan to Wrap Up Series

Manifest creator Jeff Rake (The Tomorrow People, The Practice) has been telling "Manifesters" to keep the faith and keep driving up those streaming numbers up, and now they're learning the reason why. Rake spoke with EW to discuss Netflix passing on the series (though he hasn't given up with the streamer, either), how the fans have been engaged through the #SaveManifest campaign, and more. But the two biggest takeaways from the interview had to do with Rake revealing how he's retooled his six-season plan into a feature film wrap-up that just needs a home and his offering more details on how it felt to learn that NBC had cut the series.

manifest
NBCUniversal

Rake Could Wrap Up "Manifest" with a Two-Hour Finale: 'Twenty days after we've premiered on Netflix, I've kind of moved away from the plan of finding a home for seasons 4, 5, and 6 of 'Manifest,' even though I've always talked about 'Manifest' being a six-season show. Back in the day, I laid out a six-season roadmap for NBC, and I'm halfway through. I had giant cliffhangers in the season 3 finale, so I had every intention to have three more seasons to slow-burn the back half of the story. I'm reading the writing on the wall that we may not find a home for three more seasons of the show, so I moved to plan B: Some platform would bankroll a feature or a movie finale like we saw with 'Timeless,' 'Firefly,' and 'Deadwood.' I just need a modest budget to tell the story. I am personally sketching out how to consolidate the back half of the series into a much more streamlined, cut-to-the-chase two-hour finale that would distill all of the hanging chads of the series. That's where my head is at. There is a huge appetite for people wanting to know what's that end of the story, what happened to the passengers, what ultimately happened to that airplane.

Looking Back on When NBC Canceled "Manifest": "For the cancellation to happen in the middle of one continuous story is undeniably heartbreaking, frustrating, and demoralizing. I feel all of that personally. I feel it on behalf of the actors, I feel it on behalf of our beloved crew in New York, so many of whom have been with us for all three seasons and have been holding out for many weeks now, trying to delay taking new jobs because they wanted to come back to the show, to the work-family that they love so much. I feel it on behalf of the fans who have kept the show alive. So all of that hurts tremendously. I can't take it personally. There are many, many factors in play. I understand that hard decisions have to be made. Instead, I want to channel all of my energy toward the future, toward the positive, toward a path that would allow us to finish the story. As I told our fans on social media, it may take a long time to figure that path out. It could be a year, and full disclosure, it may never happen! But I'm not going to stop trying."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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