The drama series that is reportedly the No. 1 new series of the current broadcast season has been given an expanded order, with NBC announcing an order for three additional episodes of “Manifest.” The order will bring the series to what NBC says is a “full-season order of 16 episodes.”
“NBC, which has the utmost faith and confidence in the series going forward, is ordering 16 episodes rather than 22 for several reasons,” the network says in today’s announcement. “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. And ‘The Good Place,’ which many regard as the best comedy on broadcast or cable, have been 13 episodes over its first three seasons.”
NBC also notes that the decision is partly for scheduling purposes, adding, “We want to run original episodes continuously in the first quarter of 2019 without any repeats.”
NBC adds: “The ambitious storytelling means taking the time to get it right in the writers’ room and in production.”
The network reports that so far this fall “Manifest” has averaged a 3.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 17.2 million viewers in L+7, making it television’s No. 1 new series in both measures. “Counting all entertainment programs on broadcast and cable, ‘Manifest’ ranks #4 in L+7 adult 18-49 averages behind only ‘This Is Us,’ ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and #2 in total viewers behind only ‘Big Bang,'” NBC says. “Adding in alternate platform viewing raises the ‘Manifest’ L+7 18-49 rating to a 5.1.”
NBC adds that the Sept. 24 “Manifest” series premiere grew by +8 million viewers going from “live plus same day” to L+7 (10.4 million persons to 18.4 million) for the second-biggest L+7 lift on record for any telecast on broadcast or cable. “That 18.4 million is the biggest audience for any premiering NBC drama in the last 19 years, since ‘Third Watch’ debuted with 20.6 million viewers on Sept. 23, 1999,” NBC notes.
The series stars Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina and Parveen Kaur. Jeff Rake writes and executive produces. David Frankel directs and executive produced the pilot. Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine also executive produce.
“Manifest” is produced by Warner Bros. Television, Universal Television, Compari Entertainment and Jeff Rake Productions.