The Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller Series Is One Of Their Most Watched Ever

By Zack Zagranis | Published

What happens when you throw Stephen King’s The Langoliers, Lost, and the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Odyssey of Flight 33” in a blender and hit puree? You get Manifest. The series is currently the hottest sci-fi thriller on Netflix and needs to be streamed to be believed.

What Is Manifest About?

Manifest is what would happen if everyone in the MCU who got blipped started having mysterious visions after the Hulk wished them back to life. The series revolves around a flight from Jamaica to New York that arrives five and a half years after it departed. Following a brief bit of turbulence, the nearly 200 passengers of flight 828 are suddenly thrown forward in time over half a decade after being declared dead and have to adjust to a world where their loved ones have moved on.

To further complicate things the passengers all start to hear voices and see events that haven’t happened yet.

The Cast

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Manifest stars Melissa Roxburgh as an NYPD detective, Mick Stone, along with Josh Dallas as her brother Ben, a college professor. Athena Karkanis plays Ben’s wife, Grace, while J. R. Ramirez portrays Mick’s fellow NYPD officer and ex-fiance Jared. Rounding out the leads are Luna Blaise and Jack Messina, who plays Ben and Grace’s children Olive and Cal—born twins but now five years apart thanks to the midflight anomaly.

Manifest First Aired On NBC

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The behind-the-scenes story of Manifest is almost as interesting as the one on screen. It was NBC, not Netflix that initially developed the series. In 2017, NBC ordered a pilot for Manifest, written by Jeff Rake. Rake also served as an executive producer on the series along with Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke. The pilot was produced by Warner Bros. Television and proved strong enough to lead NBC to order 13 additional episodes. Following Manifest‘s television debut in 2018, NBC ordered another three episodes produced, bringing the total up to 16 episodes altogether. The next year, NBC renewed the series for another season and again in 2021, bringing the number of Manifest seasons to three.

Netflix Saves Manifest

That same year, NBC canceled Manifest, putting an abrupt end to creator Jeff Rake’s original six-season plan for the series. Undeterred and still determined to tell the whole story, Rake put his faith in a potential deal with Netflix to pick up the show after its NBC cancellation. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. gave up looking for a new home for Manifest after only a week, citing that talks with Netflix had “broken down.”Rake became desperate to give his baby a proper ending and began looking for a platform that would let him at least make a two-hour Manifest movie to tie up loose ends left by the series’ abrupt cancellation. Miraculously, Rake got something much better when Warner Bros resumed talks with Netflix and got the streaming giant to agree to produce Season 4 of Manifest. Not only would the show go on to finally get a resolution, but it would get a double-sized 20 episodes to get there.Manifest officially came to an end on June 2, 2023.

A Major Hit For Netflix

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Reception for Manifest was mixed upon its initial release. Critics felt that the show largely succeeded based on its perfect cast but wished that they had something more substantial to do. When the show hit streaming, however, it quickly rose to the top of Netflix ranks. Manifest sat at No. 1 on Netflix for 19 days and ultimately spent 71 days in the streamer’s Top 10.You can see what all the fuss is about for yourself by streaming Manifest right now on Netflix.