In 2021, Manifest proved to have one of the most dedicated fanbases in TV memory. When NBC canceled the show after three seasons, fans were outraged. They'd been left on a cliffhanger, and it was well known that series creator Jeff Rake had a six-season plan mapped out. While the creators tried to find the show a new home, fans were determined to show their love.
Manifest tells the story of the passengers and crew of Montego Air Flight 828 who, aside from a period of bad turbulence, think they had a normal flight from Jamaica to New York City. That is, until they land to discover that over five years have passed since they took off—and all 191 of them were presumed dead.
As they attempt to rejoin a society that has moved on without them, the passengers develop strange new abilities: hearing voices and seeing visions of events that haven’t happened yet. The passengers attempt to solve the mystery of what happened to them, but it seems like certain forces will do anything to keep them from doing just that.
When Manifest was added to Netflix, the show skyrocketed to the top of the platform’s most-watched list for weeks. That seemed to be all Netflix needed—and they picked up the show for a fourth and final season which, as of early 2022, is still in production. If you’ve already watched all of Manifest and are trying to fill the time until season four, we've got you covered! Here are nine captivating shows like Manifest.
Just like Manifest, LOST tells the story of a group of plane passengers who suddenly find themselves dealing with supernatural forces and unexplainable mysteries.
One of the most iconic TV shows of the 2000s, LOST is abound with mysteries from beginning to end. The show begins when Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles crashes on an island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. It quickly becomes clear to the survivors that they have much more to worry about than trying to contact civilization for help. “The Others”, an insidious group of people who also inhabit the island, polar bears that run wild, and a mysterious “Smoke Monster” are just some of the forces that threaten the passengers’ survival.
Similar to Manifest, The OA deals with the aftermath of a person who disappeared suddenly returning with new abilities.
After going missing seven years prior, Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling), suddenly reappears, though she is not the girl she once was. Now calling herself “the OA”—short for “original angel”—she also has mysterious scars on her back and can see, despite being blind for her whole life before her disappearance. The OA refuses to tell her adopted parents or the FBI where she was or how she can see, instead only revealing the information to four local high school students and a teacher that she brings together. She asks for this small group’s help in rescuing other missing people who she claims she can get to by opening a portal to another dimension.
In Manifest, the passengers often use their newfound abilities to help solve mysteries. The investigators in Fringe also work to solve strange cases that often have a science fiction twist.
The Fringe Division is a Joint Federal Task Force dedicated to solving cases related to fringe science, ideas that are highly speculative and often doubted like the existence of parallel universes. Based out of Boston, the main members of the team are FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), mad scientist and fringe science researcher Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), and Walter’s estranged son and jack-of-all-trades Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson). Each case they take on seems to be linked to a group of rogue scientists that are convinced that the end of the world is near. As they investigate, strange truths about each member of the team start to come to light, and parallel universes suddenly seem much closer than they could have imagined.
Manifest deals with the aftermath of a supernatural event of mass disappearance. The Leftovers follows the people who were left behind.
On October 14, 2011, 140 million people—two percent of the world’s population—disappeared in an event that came to be known as the “Sudden Departure”. In the town of Mapleton, New York, chief of police Kevin Garvey Jr. (Justin Theroux) is struggling in the Departure’s aftermath. He has lost both his wife and his son to the mysterious Guilty Remnant cult, and his daughter is acting out. As the Mapleton chapter of the Guilty Remnant grows stronger, conflict seems inevitable.
Garvey soon joins forces with Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), who lost her husband and children in the Sudden Departure, and her brother Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston), a Reverend who spends his time writing a tabloid newspaper that outs sinners. The rest of the series follows the characters as they venture out of Mapleton and explore the rest of the post-Departure world. The show is also available to stream on HBO Max.
The characters in Manifest are seemingly normal people who have their lives turned upside down by their disappearance and find themselves battling against mysterious forces. In Orphan Black, the characters also have their lives upended when they discover a secret about themselves and have to work together to combat the malevolent forces working against them.
When con artist Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, she assumes her identity. Sarah soon discovers that she and the dead woman are just two of many clones spread throughout North America and Europe. She teams up with two of her “sister” clones, Alison Hendrix and Cosima Niehaus (also played by Maslany), and discovers that they were all created as part of the Neolution movement, which believes that humans can use science to direct their evolution as a species. As the clones learn more about their origins, it becomes clear that someone is plotting to kill them.
Like Manifest, The 4400 centers around a group of missing people who return with mysterious abilities.
The 4400 begins when a ball of light deposits a group of 4400 people in the foothills near Mount Rainier, Washington. It turns out each of the 4400 had disappeared in a beam of white light somewhere between 1946 and the present, but none of them have aged since. As they attempt to readjust to life, a small number of the returned develop supernatural abilities like telekinesis, telepathy, and the ability to heal wounds. Helping the 4400 understand the mystery of what happened to them is the National Threat Assessment Command, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Lucifer is another supernatural show that Netflix saved from cancellation thanks to a passionate fanbase.
Based on the DC Comics character, Lucifer follows the exploits of the DC Universe’s version of the Devil, Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), after he decides to leave Hell to relocate to Los Angeles. When he finds himself involved in a murder investigation, Lucifer meets Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German), who seems to be immune to Lucifer’s power to manipulate humans. After he helps solve the case, Lucifer becomes a consultant to the LAPD where he and Chloe work to solve crimes. Over the course of the series, the duo encounters many supernatural beings and heavenly creatures as they form a relationship.
In addition to their mysterious new abilities, the passengers in Manifest also have to deal with a cult that is centered on the belief that they can perform miracles. The Following is a more realistic take on the dangerous nature of cults.
When notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from prison, the FBI recalls former agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) to help track him down. They soon discover that Carroll has surrounded himself with like-minded thinkers and turned them into a cult of killers to do his bidding. Carroll reveals that his plan is to escape custody, be reunited with his ex-wife Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), and humiliate Hardy along the way. It’s a race against time to find Carroll and stop his fanatical followers before more people die.
Both Manifest and the German series Dark center around people grappling with mysterious disappearances and the nefarious forces that might be behind them.
Netflix’s first German-language original series, Dark tells the story of the citizens of the town of Winden after the disappearance of a high school student. When other kids from the town go searching for the missing student’s stash of drugs in the tunnels near the town’s old nuclear power plant, they are frightened off by strange sounds and flashing lights, but not before another one of them disappears. The adults of Winden soon reveal that children have been disappearing from the town for decades. It all seems to be connected to the power plant’s tunnels and a bizarre conspiracy involving time travel.
Featured still from "Manifest" via NBC.