The fourth and final season of Manifest finished airing in June 2023 — nearly five years after the sci-fi drama about the mysterious Flight 828 premiered. And like the main story's focus on things vanishing and reappearing, the series was axed by NBC, its original home, before turning up again on Netflix, which saved it from cancellation.
If you miss the supernatural drama after watching Manifest Season 4, you are not alone. And the good news is we've come up with a list of shows to fill your void. They include series that share a lot of DNA with creator Jeff Rake's sci-fi series. You'll find doomed flights, disappearing and reappearing people, and sci-fi mysteries involving death and destiny below.
Well, duh. Anyone who's seen ABC's masterclass in mindf---ery can tell you that Manifest wouldn't exist without Lost, making it the most unsurprising entry on the list. If you somehow haven't watched Lost, you need to drop everything you're doing and fix that immediately. The 2004 show literally changed television forever, telling the story of passengers on board a doomed flight who get stranded on a mysterious island after their plane crashes. Unfolding through character-centric episodes and flashbacks, it's an ideal mix of science-fiction mystery with incredible character development, much like Manifest. And trust me when I say this: You have no idea where it's going. Telling you anything more about this show would violate the No Lost Spoilers Agreement of 2004, so I'll shut up now.
There are still a bajillion mysteries to unpack in Manifest, but we do know that the show is doing something funny with death and possibly time travel, making the Canadian sci-fi series Travelers an easy recommendation for anyone looking for more Manifest vibes. Eric McCormack stars as a special operative from a post-apocalyptic future who leads a team traveling back in time to the 21st Century to prevent their doomed future. To do this, they take over the bodies of present-day individuals who were minutes away from death and carry out various missions, all while needing to maintain their cover of the bodies they've occupied. Things get messy.
Manifest comes from a long line of broadcast science-fiction shows with elaborate mythologies, and Fringe is one of the best. The drama stars Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham, an agent with the FBI's Fringe Division, who enlists Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and his scientist father, Walter Bishop (John Noble), to consult on strange cases. The Fox series started as mostly a case-of-the-week procedural, but it was ultimately too ambitious to be contained by standalone stories. As it embraced its destiny as a twisty serialized epic about parallel universes, Fringe grew into one of the best and most underappreciated dramas of its era. Manifest fans will dig the way Fringe cleverly bends time, bouncing around into alternate timelines and worst-case-scenario futures. But it's the fact that the story is driven by complicated relationships — between father and son, between partners — that really makes Fringe such a must-watch if you like Manifest. -Kelly Connolly
If Manifest dipping its toes into the metaphysical — what is death, man? — is what has you addicted, then strap on the tinfoil hat and dive brain-first into Netflix's extremely odd and compelling series The OA. The 2016 series stars Brit Marling (who also co-created it) as Prairie Johnson, a blind woman who is kidnapped and returned to her adoptive parents with her eyesight intact. But that's just the set up, as a bunch of other weird stuff is going on with her, which we learn about in flashbacks to her capture. Then this beautiful series gets REALLY weird. The OA is impossible to explain, making it the ultimate "you just have to watch it" show, but like Manifest, it touches on the afterlife, possible multiple dimensions, and emotional bonds between characters. Of all the shows on this list, this is the one for philosophy majors, and it must be said, half of the people who watch it will hate it while the other half won't stop talking about it.
This show is crazy dumb, but it does involve plane-specific science-fiction, so it gets a spot on this list. Into the Night is Belgium's first original Netflix series, set in a world where the sun acts up and starts frying people on the planet. That's bad news for everyone, but not so bad for people on a commercial airliner taking a redeye from Belgium that gets highjacked by someone who knows what's up and comes up with the master plan to continually fly east — away from the sun and burny death — for as long as possible. Brilliant! Naturally, mysteries and conspiracies abound, and the diverse passengers have convenient skills — there happens to be a pilot, a nurse, a mechanic, and a climate scientist on board — to keep them alive and in the air. If you squint really hard and take a few leaps of faith, it's kind of like Manifest from the plane's point of view.
Manifest is more than just about a disappearing plane and people, it's about a reappearing plane and people. The mystery about why the passengers of Flight 828 are back (and how they avoided death) is central to the show, as it is to the 2012 French series The Returned. One of my favorite seasons of TV of all time, the first season of The Returned is set in a small French town that sees the dead return — fully fleshed, none of that decaying zombie stuff — with no idea how they got there or what happened. Their returns coincide with unusual happenings around town, but the dynamics between the dead and the people who thought they lost them is what makes this show really sparkle. That and the constant creepy tone and score. Fair warning, the second season loses its way and the American remake is atrocious.