New analysis shows how huge a hit 'Manifest,' which Netflix recently revived, has been on streaming

·2 min read
manifest
"Manifest." NBC
  • "Manifest" topped four of the 10 highest-viewed weeks over the last year of Nielsen's weekly streaming charts.

  • The show had become a library hit on Netflix, but NBC canceled it after three seasons in June.

  • Netflix announced last month it would revive the series for a fourth and final season.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

"Manifest" became a breakout hit on Netflix just as NBC canceled the sci-fi series after three seasons in June.

Netflix ultimately revived the series last month for a super-sized, 20-episode fourth and final season. The show had been a mainstay on Netflix's own daily lists of its most popular titles, as well as TV-measurement firm Nielsen's weekly streaming charts. (Netflix counts a view if an account watches at least two minutes of a show or series, and Nielsen measures the number of minutes watched.)

A new analysis by Tavish Zausner-Mannes of the firm Evolution Media Capital broke down the first year of Nielsen's streaming charts, from August 2, 2020 to August 8, 2021. The analysis showed just how much "Manifest" ruled Nielsen's weekly lists of top streaming titles and why Netflix would want to revive it.

Nielsen's data isn't comprehensive. It only measures viewership in the US and the lists are limited to four streaming services: Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. Nielsen has also come under fire from the TV industry this year over how it measures viewership, with NBC leading a charge to replace Nielsen with other measurement companies.

But the data gives a good sense of TV trends and the shows that are resonating most with audiences. They also align with Netflix's own lists in the US that showed "Manifest" was a big hit for the streamer.

The analysis ranked the acquired TV shows among the four streaming services that had the biggest viewing weeks (all of them were on Netflix). "Manifest" had the biggest viewing week four times in the top 10, including No. 1 with 41.6 million hours watched in one week.

Of course, popularity in the US is just a small part of Netflix's goals when greenlighting content. One reason that it took two months for Netflix to iron out a deal with the show's production company, Warner Bros. TV, was because the latter had already sold international rights to the series in some key foreign markets.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, WBTV is buying rights back in some territories while others will be waited out, meaning the new season won't debut in all international markets at the same time.

The chart below shows "Manifest's" biggest viewing weeks and how they compare to other popular acquired shows on Netflix:

nielsen streaming analysis manifest
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