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Why Isn't 'Manifest' On Tonight? NBC Has A Lot Going On This Evening

When Manifest landed Flight 828 last month with the show's premiere, it couldn't have known it had the biggest ratings hit on its hands since the debut of This Is Us. The show, which is one part Law & Order crime procedural, one part Parenthood-style family drama, and a whole lot of Lost overtones, has become 2018's most prominent new drama of the year with an average of 8 million viewers a week. With numbers like this, fans might be perplexed to discover there's no new episode this week. Why isn't Manifest on tonight? Turns out Halloween takes precedence.

This year's Halloween falls in possibly the most frustrating spot for candy curation connoisseurs: Wednesday. It's the middle of the school and work week. It means the Halloween parties happened days ago. Fewer houses in the neighborhood will be giving out candy or doing light shows. In short, it's the worst spot on the calendar for it to go.

But for TV schedules, having the holiday fall in the middle of the week gives them the opportunity to add specials to the weekday schedule instead of airing them all at once over the weekend, when everyone's out partying and trick or treating. NBC is taking advantage of this with a Monday special: A Very Wicked Halloween.: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway.

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Most fans don't think of Wicked as Halloween fare, since it's a Broadway musical based on L. Frank Baum's beloved Oz books from the turn of last century. But when the musical first premiered in 2003, Broadway did place opening night on Halloween weekend, the natural place for a musical about witches to go.

Under the auspicious slogan of "October Is For Witches," NBC presented a one-hour mini-concert featuring original stars of the production, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Here's the synopsis:

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Wicked on Broadway in October, NBC will throw a joyous Halloween party for the ages. This televised concert featuring songs from the blockbuster musical hit Wicked will showcase a cavalcade of special guest stars to help celebrate the music and the magic of the show that tells the story of what happened in Oz before Dorothy dropped in.
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But while Chenoweth and Menzel singing their greatest hits from the musical is one part of the draw, they won't be the only ones performing.

A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway will reunite Tony Award winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, the original Elphaba and Glinda, who will perform and serve as hosts for the special. Additional guest performers include global music superstar Ariana Grande, multi-platinum recording artists Pentatonix, [and] the current Broadway company of Wicked.

The special airs directly after a two-hour episode of The Voice featuring the first set of Knockout Rounds, making tonight a music-fest on NBC. But sadly, it leaves no room for Manifest's next installment of the ongoing mystery.

But fret not, Manifest fans. The show will be back next week. Season 1 episode 6 "Off Radar" is scheduled to air next Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 at 10 p.m. ET.