The mystery of Flight 828 has been extended at NBC. The network on Thursday ordered three additional episodes of its freshman drama Manifest, bringing its Season 1 episode count to 16 installments.
The three-episode extension does not technically qualify as a full-season order, which would have brought Season 1 to 22 episodes. According to an NBC insider, the network has “the utmost faith and confidence” in Manifest, but chose not to order a traditional “back nine” of the series primarily for scheduling and creative reasons.
“Full-season orders of less than 22 episodes are quite common today. In fact, the first three seasons of NBC’s hit series This Is Us have been 18 episodes each,” the insider said. “And The Good Place, which many regard as the best comedy on broadcast or cable, have been 13 episodes over its first three seasons… We want to run original episodes continuously in the first quarter of 2019 without any repeats, [and Manifest‘s] ambitious storytelling means taking the time to get it right in the writers’ room and in production.”
At New York Comic-Con earlier this month, showrunner Jeff Rake said Manifest‘s “initial order of 13 [episodes] is building towards a really significant card turn.” Episode 12, specifically, will introduce a new character who sets the stage for a game-changing twist in the drama’s 13th hour.
Thus far this fall, NBC’s medical drama New Amsterdam, CBS’ procedural FBI and ABC’s sitcom Single Parents all have scored full-season orders. Our 2019 Renewal Scorecard has all of the latest intel on each new series’ Season 2 chances.