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Manifest Creator Explains Why He Kept Teasing The Fanbase All Summer Before Season 4 Reveal

The journey to Manifest Season 4 was not an easy one for anyone to get through. When NBC cancelled the missing plane drama in June, fans immediately tried to save their show to see the aftermath of the most twisted cliffhangers ever. And it wasn’t just the fans and the cast, either, as creator and showrunner Jeff Rake was in on vocalizing those hopes, joining viewers during watch-parties, and also offering fairly steady updates as the weeks went by. Now that we know it's coming back for Netflix, Rake explained what drove him to keep teasing and prodding the fanbase all summer long.

In an interview with EW, Jeff Rake talked about Manifest surviving its own Death Date and the turbulence that he experienced while having conversations about a then-potential fourth season. In looking back on the point when Manifest’s numbers went up on Netflix, Rake talked about why he started to be more engaged with fans on social media:

It was incredibly cool. It was also a really big challenge. It was important to me to stay in communication with the fans. I was enjoying this incredible wave of new love and support for the show as we blew up on Netflix in June and July. All of a sudden my social numbers are going up and the cast’s social numbers are going up and there’s all these new fans. They want to know more, they want to understand what’s happening. It was actually really tricky because I wanted to keep everyone engaged to keep people watching. There were a lot of people on social who were asking the very understandable question ‘Why should I be watching this show if you’re telling me there’s no ending?’ That was a really fair question

Only the first two seasons dropped on Netflix in June, so a lot of those fans weren't even able to immediately watch Season 3 (on Hulu or Peacock) before being bombarded with the cancellation news. Imagine finding out there’s another season but nothing after that? Jeff Rake kept fans entertained and hopeful on social media by teasing updates and other behind-the-scenes content. Soon it was revealed that Netflix and NBC had restarted talks with Warner Bros., those seemingly ended without results.

That is, until Season 3 premiered in a big way on Netflix and got everyone hyped all over again. Meaning that Rake had more time to keep the fan connection going. He continued:

By the time we got to mid-to-late-July, it became clear that we might find our way out of this and be able to keep making more episodes, but that certainly wasn’t something that I could talk about on social because it was just a kernel of a negotiation and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to be sharing that information, and yet I needed to figure out a way to keep optimism alive out there because I wanted people to keep watching. If you go back and look at my tweets and Instagram and Facebook posts over the past two months, I —probably in a way that really frustrated fans — coyly continue to offer up these quasi-positive aphorisms to keep the faith.

Keeping the faith worked, as did the fan-poking and the binge-watching, since Netflix announced on none other than 828 Day that the series would be coming back for a fourth and final season. Currently negotiations are still ongoing for a few of the cast members, but Rake is optimistic that they will all return. Fingers crossed that the next time he's teasing fans, it's with first look photos and videos from Season 4, because I need it.

All three seasons of Manifest are streaming on Netflix, and there are more than enough 2021 Fall TV season shows to get excited about while waiting for more Manifest.

Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.