The mid-season finale of Manifest was a shocker, causing more than a few relationships to realign. Though Ben and Michaela were ultimately successful in freeing the hostage passengers from the United Dynamic Systems labs experimenting on them for unknown reasons, it came at a high cost. Vance, the NSA insider, was killed. Jared, Michaela's ex-fiance and partner at work, was severely injured. And Grace finally decided to divorce Ben, to the surprise of no one, even though she did it for all the wrong reasons. So when does Manifest air in 2019?
The good news is NBC realizes the show is a hit, and it is always best to strike while the iron is hot, especially in this day and age where viewers can lose interest if winter break stretches on too long. To that end, Manifest will be one of the first shows back after the new year. The back half of the series first season will premiere on Monday, Jan. 7, at the usual time of 10 p.m. ET. (Look for many adverts reminding viewers of this on the night of Sunday, Jan. 6, during the Golden Globes commercial breaks.)
Hopefully, viewers hooked on the show will return to it. Here's the trailer:
When the show returns in January, fans should be aware it will not run for that long. Initially, Manifest was given a 13-episode order. But when the numbers rolled in with 10 million live-same day linear viewers, and a total of 18 million when delayed viewership all the way through the live + 7-day numbers were included, NBC upped it to a "full season order" of 16 episodes total. That's still less than most. Grey's Anatomy, for instance, airs 24 episodes a season. This Is Us is a little shorter, as it runs for 18. Manifest has already aired nine installments and only has seven left when the show returns in 2019.
The series may know it has got to keep viewers' attention while it has it, but this doesn't mean Manifest is rushing too much out front. There is a promo for the next episode, "Unaccompanied Minors," but no promotional images have been released. Also, there's no episode synopsis to let fans know what direction the series is planning to go after so many twists in the mid-season finale.
One thing fans hope is to see more of Saanvi, who has been sidelined and underused while the show has spent time establishing how Ben's marriage wasn't working. Another is how Michaela will react to Jared now that she's convinced herself she controlled a "calling" to save his life.
But perhaps the most interesting is the loss of Vance. Even though Vance wasn't on the side of the good guys for very long, he was handy for Ben to have working on their side against the forces of UDS. Now there is no longer anyone with official access to help the team out.
Meanwhile, Autumn has been revealed to be working for UDS, as a mole for "The Major," as well as the current antagonist Laurence Belson. Nothing good can come of this.
Manifest returns on Jan. 7, 2019 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.