Viewers who like ‘Manifest’ will love these mysterious TV shows

NBC’s Manifest is such an extremely popular show that fans fought for the show’s return on the famous Peacock network, despite its poor critical reception and ultimate cancelation following its third season. Created by Jeff Rake, Manifest centers around the mysterious disappearance of Montego Air Flight 828 during a two hour routine flight and its eventual landing…five years in the future. 

Now faced with having to readjust, the survivors of 828 find a new world where their friends, families, and colleagues have moved on from their past relationships, seemingly in the blink of an eye. And as if matters couldn’t get any worse, some of the 828 survivors have found themselves experiencing strange phenomena — as well as new abilities — that drive them to help others without any understanding as to why.

As the main characters struggle to come to terms with their new lives and abilities, they also realize that someone or something doesn’t want them talking about what they’ve gone through. And as they attempt to get to the bottom of it all, they also begin to realize that their “return” may come with a price.

Now slated to return for its fourth and final season — this time on Netflix — Manifest is preparing to end the story it first started in 2018 on NBC. While fans will be sad to finally see it go, there are several shows with similar themes that have been around for years to fill the gap.

While you’re waiting for the Manifest‘s fourth season to finally premiere on Netflix, or after it concludes, here’s a list of titles that you can easily transition to if you’re looking to keep up the mystery and suspense.

Heroes

Another NBC science fiction suspense series, Heroes is a 2006 show about ordinary people who suddenly receive superhuman abilities following an eclipse. The show focuses on how the newfound powers affect the characters’ lives, as the new heroes eventually find each other and work together in order to prevent catastrophic futures. 

Created by Tim Kring, Heroes has a similar format to Manifest as it explores a new world affected by an unexplained phenomena, but it digs deeper into the realm of abilities and powers that usually border on superheroic. Its run for four seasons built an impressively connected world based on its superpowered mythology, but fell victim to a decline in story development after a writer’s strike midway through the series. However, it’s still an interesting series that will at least keep you engaged if you’re a fan of Manifest.

Flash Forward 

One of the few elements that made Manifest popular is its use of flashbacks to play with the concept of time. Well, in 2009, ABC also had a show that utilized the same concept as a huge part of its main plot when it adapted the sci fi novel “Flash Forward” into an original series.

FlashForward revolves around the lives of several people after a mysterious event makes everyone on the planet lose consciousness for just over two minutes. During the blackout, people see visions of what their lives will be like in six months — some good, some bad, and some nonexistent. As people begin to piece together their visions on a worldwide website, FBI agents Mark Benford and Demetri Noh use the information to try to pinpoint the cause of the blackout, and people are still trying to determine whether destiny can be changed, and what effect those changes may have on others.

Just like Manifest, Flash Forwards was also cancelled by the network, so unfortunately, you only have one season to work with. However, the series is a brief and enjoyable watch, as long as you don’t mind not being able to finish the story after the first season’s cliffhanger ending. 

The 4400

Similar to the characters in Manifest, the group that came to be known as “The 4400” also disappeared for a long period of time and returned with abilities. Created by Rene Echevarria and Scott Peters, The 4400 centers around 4,400 people who suddenly reappear after being presumed dead or missing for 50 years. They look exactly the same as the moment they disappeared, but some have returned with paranormal abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, and precognition. However, after one of the 4,400 commits a murder, a special division of the Homeland Security Department is formed to monitor them. 

As in Manifest, many of the “returned” in The 4400 have difficulties getting their lives back on track after being gone for so long, making for serious drama and suspense as they find out more about the events that have transpired with their loved ones since they’ve been gone. If you’re liked Manifest and are looking for a close second, then you’ll surely enjoy binge watching all four seasons of The 4400 on Netflix.

Blindspot

If you wondered where the MCU’s Lady Sif disappeared to after Thor:The Dark World, you’ll find your answer in the five seasons of the NBC suspense thriller series, Blindspot. Starring MCU actress Jaime Alexander, Blindspot follows the mysterious appearance of a beautiful tatooed woman discovered naked in New York’s Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there. 

This “Jane Doe” also has FBI Agent Kurt Weller’s (Sullivan Stapleton) name tattooed across her back as a subtle sign as to who is expected to take the case. Once taken in by a division of the FBI, Agent Weller and his team slowly discover that each intricate tattoo on Jane Doe’s body is a crime to solve, creating a map that leads ever closer to the truth about her identity and mysteries yet to be revealed.

Though it’s a bit more in the realm of action-based espionage, Blindspot is also a good change of pace if you like Manifest, but are looking for a little something different. You can currently watch the entire series on Hulu.

Orphan Black

Created by Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, Orphan Black tells the story of Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany), a street-wise woman with a troubled past. As an English orphan, she bounced around foster homes before being taken in by Mrs. S, who uprooted her and her foster brother, Felix, to North America. 

However, when Sarah witnesses the suicide of Beth, a woman who looks like her, she decides to steal Beth’s identity in the hope of building a new life for herself and her daughter Kira, only to discover that Beth was in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, making Sarah the new target.

Forced to fight her way out of a complex web, Sarah finds out that she is just one of several genetically identical human clones created by a shadowy organization. And as she meets her “sisters,” Sarah and the rest of the Clone Club attempt to figure out  their true origins and the purpose of their existence.

Although it’s vast departure from Manifest, Orphan Black is another action based suspense thriller that provides a great change of pace similar to Blindspot. If you enjoyed that, then you’re going to love Orphan Black.

The OA

Created and executive produced by Brit Marling, The OA stars Marling as Prairie Johnson, a young woman who returns home with scars on her back and mysterious new abilities after a 7-year disappearance. Her sudden return is not the only miraculous occurrence — everyone is shocked to learn that Prairie is no longer blind. To add to the mystery, Prairie returns calling herself the “OA,” otherwise known as the “Original Angel,” and recruits five strangers for a secret mission. 

For fans of Manifest, the mystery behind Prairie will be what keeps you interested in the series. If you’re looking for something similar to watch while you wait on Season 4 of Manifest, you can watch the entire first season on Netflix.

The Leftovers

Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers centers around a global cataclysm called “The Sudden Departure,” where 140 million people disappeared without a trace. With almost everyone having lost someone, the world scrambles to figure out what happened and how to adjust to their new life. 

Three years later, The Leftovers follows the residents of Mapleton, N.Y., as beleaguered police chief Kevin Garvey must keep peace between the townspeople and a cult that developed from the cynicism, paranoia, and madness of the traumatized. 

If you’re a fan of the post-catastrophe relationships that occurred after the events in Manifest, you’ll love the compelling storylines in The Leftovers. The series only lasted three seasons, but it did end with a critically acclaimed finale. You can binge watch the entire series on HBO Max.

The Returned 

From executive producers Carlton Cuse  and Raelle Tucker, The Returned is a mystery thriller set in a small town that is changed forever when a seemingly random collection of locals suddenly reappear. However, what the “returned” don’t know is that they’ve been dead for several years, making their reappearance just as mysterious as it is painful to the families and loved ones who have moved on.

With a plot similar to Manifest, The Returned is another good title to check out to keep your interests preoccupied. Since it only has one season, it will be a quick binge watch on Amazon Prime.