NBC renews Manifest for season 2. Created by Jeff Rake, the science fiction drama focuses on the lives of airline passengers who land safely in New York City, only to learn that they’ve been missing for five years. Back to the Future director Robert Zemeckis is a co-executive producer for Manifest.
On Manifest, Canadian actress Melissa Roxburgh stars as detective Michaela Stone. Upon arriving in New York City, the character learns that her mother passed away, and also that her fiancé remarried her best best friend. Alongside Roxburgh, Thor’s Josh Dallas co-stars as Michaela's brother, Ben Stone, while Athena Karkanis portrays his wife. Manifest premiered last September as part of NBC’s fall schedule, and was ultimately one of the the most-watched televisions shows of the year. Despite comparisons to the iconic ABC series Lost, Manifest has received mixed reactions from critics, and the lack of a renewal since the February season finale suggests that NBC executives needed some time to assess the series’ future.
Per Deadline, NBC has renewed Manifest for season 2. Moving forward, the series will reportedly have a condensed second installment, primarily due to the narrative scope. As NBC’s Presidents of Scripted Programming, Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, note, “Manifest has answered many questions about the mystery of Flight 828 and, smartly, asks many more.” Throughout the 21st century, Manifest’s creator, Rake, has learned the ins and outs of television production and storytelling, as he once served as a consulting producer on ABC’s The Practice, and executive produced seven episodes of ABC’s Boston Legal. Meanwhile, the aforementioned hit ABC series Lost emerged as arguably one of the best television series ever produced. Before Manifest, Rake developed the NBC police procedural The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing.
NBC has renewed numerous comedies and dramas for the 2019-2020 season. Last month, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was renewed for season 21, making it the longest-running live-action primetime series. Meanwhile, star Mariska Hargitay also made television history, as she'll reprise her character Olivia Benson for a 21st consecutive season. Just last week, NBC greenlit Good Girls for season 3, this coming after the network previously renewed popular series like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, and The Blacklist, among others.
For audiences, part of Manifest’s appeal seems to be the relatively unknown cast, which is full of recurring and guest performers. Incidentally, the human element comes through, as curious viewers contemplate the fate of the Flight 828 passengers. Moving forward, Manifest will have to distinguish itself as a wholly original series, one that connects the supernatural dots for returning viewers while effectively grounding the characters in reality and relatable problems.