Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Switching networks

I saw online that the NBC show Manifest is being picked up by Netflix for a fourth and final season. The show ended its first season in the top ten, with over 12 million viewers on average. Manifest has steadily dropped in the rating since then, finishing the most recent season in 54th place, averaging 5.34 million viewers. It was canceled by NBC in June 2021 after the conclusion of season three, but now it has new life.

This is simply the latest of a large number of TV shows that have switched networks over the years. The first one I remember doing this was Get Smart, which began on NBC, but switched to CBS for its fifth and what turned out to be final season.

I don't remember The Joey Bishop Show changing networks in the early 1960s, but it did. I never watched the show, so it didn't register. Leave it to Beaver had switched from CBS to ABC, but I only ever saw the CBS episodes first run. My Three Sons went from ABC to CBS when it went from black and white to color episodes. Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour -- many years before American Idol, America's Got Talent, and other shows like that -- jumped networks several times between 1948 and 1970, airing on Dumont, NBC, ABC, NBC (again), ABC (again), and finally CBS. Wagon Train ran on NBC from 1958-1962, when it jumped to ABC until it ended in 1965.

More recently, Matlock jumped from NBC to ABC over its time on the air. Mystery Science Theater 3000 switched from Comedy Central (formerly The Comedy Channel) to Sci-Fi (now SyFy), before being revived on Netflix. JAG began on NBC, then spent a decade on CBS. Taxi aired on ABC until its final season on NBC.

Many many other shows have switched networks over the years, some successfully, some not. Manifest is simply one of the latest. I watched and enjoyed the first season, but was extremely disappointed from the second season on. I don't know if the final season will be any good. I enjoyed the revival of MST3K, so moving to Netflix isn't a bad thing. Whether or not Manifest will be any good, I don't know.

I'm happy that fans of shows that are canceled have options. And, with streaming services such as Netflix now in the mix, more have that opportunity. Fans of Manifest will look forward to another season of the show in their Streaming Life. And that means possibilities for us all.

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