'Manifest' Season 4: Everything We Know

It's official: The once-canceled NBC show is returning for a final chapter (or two) on Netflix.

manifest season 4
(Image credit: Alamy)

It's official: Manifest is coming back for a fourth season on Netflix. The announcement was made on 8.28 a.m. on 8/28/2021—a nod to the pivotal Flight 828 in the series, a plane that returns with its passengers five years after taking off from Jamaica. Almost all of the cast, including leads Josh Dallas and Melissa Roxburgh, will return for the show's final chapter (or two). The August 2021 renewal of Manifest marked a stunning about-face by Netflix, which initially declined to renew the series, as did the show's creator NBC—but both were forced to reconsider after the addition of Manifest to Netflix shattered U.S. streaming records.

"There is something very meta about the show's death and rebirth, given that that's the story of the series itself," creator Jeff Rake said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. He's referring to the show's titular "manifest" of characters, all of whom were presumed dead for years before their plane touched down in New York City. The show follows a brother and sister duo—Dallas and Roxburgh—as they seek to pick up the pieces and find out exactly what happened to them.

Netflix's decision to renew Manifest came two months after the streamer picked up the first and second seasons of the NBC show. Per Hollywood Reporter, 25 million Netflix accounts in the U.S. and Canada watched the show in its first month. Even after Manifest dropped out of the No.1 spot, it continued to dominate Netflix's charts: In August of 2021, Nielson confirmed that Manifest had broken its streaming-ratings records with more than a billion views a week for six straight weeks. And by September, Manifest was the third show in Netflix history to sit in its Top 10 for 100 days—ever.

When could Manifest season 4 come out?

Winter 2022, most likely. Responding to a fan on Twitter, Matt Long, who plays Zeke, wrote that the fourth season of Manifest likely wouldn't air until about the "fall/winter" of 2022. Creator Rake wrote in a response to Stephen King asking about the return of Manifest: "I'm hearing November."

Ginnifer Goodwin, the Once Upon a Time star who also happens to be Josh Dallas' wife, let slip that filming for Manifest was expected to wrap up at the end of 2022. "I’m ready for my husband to come home from NYC. He’ll wrap the series in late 2022, and we are craving a vacation," she said. Note that Goodwin said "series" rather than "season"—suggesting that all of the "parts" of the fourth series will film throughout 2022 and be done by the end of the year.

TV Line shared an image of the first script of the fourth season:

Manifest

(Image credit: Netflix)

But remember when Rake mentioned a  "batch" of new episodes, rather than a full season? There's a reason for his language there: The 20 episodes the show has been renewed for likely won't all air in one go. So if, say, Manifest releases eight episodes in its next "batch" and 12 in the following "batch"—likely to be framed as Season Four, Part One and Season Four, Part Two, Lucifer-style—that first "batch," or "part one," could come out as soon as mid-2022.

What could happen in Manifest season 4?

Um, a lot. Creator Rake will have to squeeze his three planned seasons' worth of plot into those 20 episodes to reach a fitting conclusion. In his EW interview, he said: "The endgame won't change at all...I am absolutely confident that 20 episodes gives me enough time to tell the entirety of the story as I always intended to."

Josh Dallas, who plays Ben, shared on Twitter: "Things are gonna be a little….different," alongside a photo of his new beard. Which makes sense: His character has just undergone a...huge loss, to say the least. (No! Spoilers!) A fan wrote: "Love the beard, but my heart is breaking for Ben," and Dallas wrote back: "To be honest… he’s not in a great place." 

in an interview with TV Insider, Rake elaborated about what to expect from Ben in season four after the events of the season three finale. "A Season 4 of Manifest for Ben is absolutely centered around processing, digesting, coming to emotional terms with such an unspeakable loss, and then trying to find a way to seek vengeance, to kind of justify the act in terms of finding some meaning out of it." He also shared an on-set photo of a funeral, with the caption: "Brace yourselves."

manifest

(Image credit: Netflix)

Who's in the cast for Manifest season 4?

According to Deadline's Andreeva, the cast were no longer contractually bound to the show after June 2021. Thankfully, most of the cast signed on in September following the renewal—except for the character who died at the end of season three, and the character who...unexpectedly aged (no spoilers!). Also promoted to series regular is Daryl Edwards, who plays Vance.

Meanwhile, said character who unexpectedly aged is being replaced by the older actor who was featured at the end of season three. It's a shame, because the two actors who aren't returning were pivotal to the first three seasons of Manifest and its success thus far—and according to Andreeva, the remaining cast is set to receive "sizable pay increases" for the fourth season. 

According to What's on Netflix, we'll get a few new characters in the fourth season—but minor ones. We'll meet Kyle Boyd, who was a passenger on Flight 828 alongside the key characters we know and love, and two more characters named Tela and June.

As a Valentine's Day treat, the official Manifest account tweeted a photo of Matt Long, who plays Zeke, with Roxburgh on set:

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Long has shared other teaser photos on Instagram, too:

What happened after Manifest was canceled?

By the time Manifest began making waves in the summer of 2021, both NBC and Netflix had declined to renew the series. But the show and its rabid fanbase kept going, racking up millions of minutes viewed on Netflix every week. 

"Before we even had a chance to lift a finger to figure out if we need a PR campaign to help save us, the fans rose up and created this campaign and spread the word—which was incredibly rewarding and heartening," Rake told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Do you hear me, people of Netflix or Hulu or literally any powers that be? MAKE IT HAPPEN," wrote Lauren Yapalater at BuzzFeed. "Why would Netflix pass up saving what is a show with clearly a massively engaged fanbase?" asked Forbes' Paul Tassi. More than 100,000 people signed a petition to bring Manifest back. Celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian and Demi Lovato shared that they'd become avid viewers of the show since it hit Netflix. Even Stephen King got involved, tweeting: "#SaveManifest."

But perhaps the loudest voice came from Netflix's Top 10, its list of top-streamed content, where Manifest reigned in the top spots for months even after being canceled. "What scored Manifest a critical fourth and final season were those top-secret numbers created by viewers bingeing the show’s first two seasons," revealed the Hollywood Reporter. 

Per Matthew Belloni's "What I'm Hearing" newsletter, Netflix decided to pursue the show aggressively and ultimately beat out NBC. Rake explained to THR: "It soon became clear there was just a more compelling case to be made moving the show over to Netflix and starting and ending with the legions of new fans that had emerged in the Netflix universe.”

Jenny Hollander
Jenny Hollander

Jenny is the Director of Content Strategy at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless.