Hollywood is a numbers game – as in dollar signs and crazy ad revenue that would make Scrooge McDuck look like a pauper – and as such, certain decisions that might escape the mental grasp of any ordinary person (i.e. anyone who lives outside of the Burbank zip-code) are actually quite understandable and crystal clear to the mysterious industry bean counters that populate the studio halls and boardrooms. How else to explain, for example, the numerous Miramax films that scored boffo box-office over the years during the reign of Harvey and Bob Weinstein only to leave many of those film’s directors practically destitute and forced to undertake legal actions in order to get even the smallest sliver of profits? Yep, it’s a numbers game if ever there was one and never was that more readily apparent than with this bit of “Say whaaa?!?” news as reported by The Hollywood Reporter: The current number one series on Netlfix at the moment is an NBC series entitled Manifest. Sounds groovy, right? Normally this coveted ranking would be a conversation starter for the idea of spin-offs, prequels, coloring books and Happy Meals. But in the hyper-reality that is Hollyweird, instead, any accolades and pats on the back for the hard working gremlins furiously batting out three seasons worth of shows for the series has been more than tabled with the news that – are you sitting down, Ladies and Gents? – Manifest has officially gotten the axe from NBC.
Manifest is about the passengers and crew of a long-missing airliner who one day all reappear fit as a fiddle after being presumed dead by authorities. Think of it as Lost Meets The Twilight Zone Meets The X-Files. The series creator Jeff Rake had a firm six year plan for Manifest before news broke today that NBC had opted to conclude the series at the halfway point. Just how frustrated must Jeff Rake be at this moment, Dear and Constant Reader? Pretty frustrated according to a statement he put out over his Twitter account upon receiving the news: “My dear Manifesters, I’m devastated by NBC’s decision to cancel us. That we’ve been shut down in the middle is a gut punch to say the least. Hoping to find a new home. You the fans deserve an ending to your story. Thanks for the love shown to me, cast and crew. #savemanifest.”
Manifest was a pretty decent show that felt as if it were really picking up steam at the halfway point but, to quote from the great film Chinatown: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” Might ye humble scribe suggest making a case for Netflix to pick up this aeronautical mystery series? After all, if Hollywood is indeed all about the numbers as I posited at the head of this article, that coveted numero uno spot Manifest currently holds with the streaming behemoth should count for something, right?