Bubble Watch: Should Manifest Be Renewed or Canceled?

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As we approach the end of the 2019-20 TV season, it's time to take a look back at some of the shows that have yet to be renewed or canceled.

Some of these shows are easier to predict than others, but there are so many variables that could move the needle in either direction.

Manifest continued to generate buzz in its sophomore season, but it lost a considerable amount of viewers between seasons. 

Father Daughter Quality Time - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

Serialized dramas are notorious for bleeding viewers after lengthy hiatuses, and the show was off the air for 11 months between seasons. 

NBC has made a lot of decisions already, but Manifest is still awaiting word on its fate, and fans should have some clarity in the coming weeks. 

Manifest Season 2 averaged 3.9 million total viewers and a 0.7 rating in the demo in its Monday at 10/9c slot. It lost a considerable amount of the lead-in support from America's Got Talent: The Champions and The Voice. 

Like I already said, it's difficult for casual viewers to sample an episode of a serial drama, so that could be attributed to the big dip from the show's lead-in. 

Partnership - Manifest Season 1 Episode 4

Manifest's strength is in delayed and digital viewing, with a recent episode soaring from a 0.72 rating in the demo to a 1.56 rating based on live+7 ratings. 

With those figures, the series is well above already renewed shows such as The Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, and Superstore. 

In fact, Manifest is the highest-rated show still awaiting word on its fate by NBC, coming in seventh place in the demo based on live+SD results. 

In renewing the series, NBC would be prepared for the live ratings to diminish some more, so it's likely the case of working out a deal that will allow the show to generate a profit while remaining on the air. 

Unlike some shows on the network, Manifest will not get a three-season renewal. It's too much of a gamble to hand out such an order to a serialized drama. 

Grace Deep in Thought - Manifest Season 1 Episode 6

On top of that, Manifest is owned by an outside studio, so it's likely the network would never give it a multi-season renewal unless the ratings went through the roof. 

It's not uncommon for shows from outside studios to be canceled in favor of lower-rated ones owned by the network. God Friended Me is an example of that. 

Airing on CBS, it was canceled last week, despite remaining a reliable performer. 

Manifest does have buzz and delivers big gains post-airdate, and given the way Manifest Season 2 concluded, there are many directions for the story. 

The creator has been open about wanting six seasons, but it will all come down to the show's future performance. 

Manifest Tall

As things stand, Manifest is leaning more towards renewal than cancellation. It would be a big surprise if NBC pulled the plug, but stranger things have happened in the TV industry. 

Probably helping Manifest's chances is that the coronavirus pandemic has scuppered the network's plans to have completed pilot presentations of potential new shows.

Now, it's over to you, Manifest Fanatics.

We have a poll below for you to vote on whether you think the show should be renewed or canceled.

Please chat with me in the comments about your views on the show's chances, and which other bubble show we should take a deep dive into next.

If you're wondering about the fate of other shows, we've already looked into The Resident's chances of getting a fourth season!

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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