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Manifest Lands Full-Season Pickup on NBC

Season 1 will be short, though

Liam Mathews

Manifest, NBC's Lost-style mystery drama about a plane that disappeared and reappeared five years later as if nothing had happened, has been picked up for a full season, the network announced Thursday.

NBC ordered three more episodes to bring the total for Season 1 to 16, which is fewer than usual for a network drama, but NBC says it has "utmost faith and confidence in the series going forward" and explained its reasoning in the release. This Is Us and The Good Place, NBC's most acclaimed current shows, only do 18 and 13 episodes per season, respectively; the network wants to run original episodes continuously in the first quarter of 2019 without any repeats; and the ambition and complexity of the storytelling means the writers need to take more time to get it right. Doing fewer episodes is absolutely the right move for Manifest, which runs the risk of getting too convoluted due to the number of storylines it juggles. Look what happened to Lost in its middle seasons, you know?

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Manifest is one of the top-rated new shows of the 2018 season, earning a 3.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 17.2 million viewers in the Live+7 timeframe, according to the network. In total viewers, it ranks behind only The Big Bang Theory. It stars Josh Dallas and Melissa Roxburgh as a brother and sister who were on Montego Air Flight 828 and who are trying to return to their lives five years later while trying to figure out what happened to them and why they're having mysterious psychic symptoms.

Manifest airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.