NBC today canceled one of its two high-concept bubble drama series, freshman Debris. And while the demise of the sci-fi series largely was expected, it improves the odds for Manifest, produced by Warner Bros. TV and Universal TV.
The highest-rated on linear among NBC’s bubble shows by a wide margin, especially in total viewers, the missing-plane drama also has the most intriguing pedigree: It was developed at Warner Bros. TV by Susan Rovner, who sold it to NBC and guided it creatively at the studio until she joined NBCU as content chief last fall and now will make the ultimate call on the show’s future.
“We are having conversations with Susan,” Warner Bros. Television Group chairman Channing Dungey told Deadline last week during interviews with TV studio chiefs about Upfronts 2021. “We would love for the show to continue on NBC.”
Because the series’ third season started late due to Covid, NBC had asked for a couple of more outings before evaluating Manifest‘s performance and making a renewal decision.
“We are still in conversations with NBC and keeping our fingers crossed,” Dungey said.
Manifest was conceived and sold to NBC with a six-season plan that has been mapped out. While fulfilling it might prove to be a stretch, some flexible dealmaking and concessions could help get Manifest to fourth season. The studio is incentivized to increase the series’ episode count for future downstream sales after deficit-financing it for three seasons.
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