'Manifest' Renewed at NBC; Trio of Rookie Series Canceled

Comedies 'Sunnyside,' 'Indebted' and drama 'Bluff City Law' will not return.
Peter Kramer/NBC
"Manifest"

NBC is firming up the remainder of its scripted lineup.

The network on Monday night handed out a third-season to bubble drama Manifest as it also canceled three rookie series: Bluff City Law and comedies Sunnyside and Indebted.

Manifest, a co-production between Warner Bros. TV and Universal TV and from creator Jeff Rake, averaged a 1.5 rating among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo and 7.7 million total viewers with seven days of delayed viewing. The sophomore plane crash drama starring Melissa Roxburgh and Josh Dallas also improved NBC's Monday at 10 p.m. slot 88 percent in the demo vs. a year ago.

Meanwhile, rookie drama Bluff City Law, starring Jimmy Smits, ended after its 10-episode order despite an order for additional scripts ahead of its premiere. The Universal TV drama was created by Dean Georgaris and Michael Aguilar. Georgaris now carries the misfortune of having not one but two shows canceled in the same day as ABC's ax fell on rookie drama The Baker and the Beauty earlier Monday.

Single-camera comedy Sunnyside, starring Kal Penn and from exec producer Mike Schur (The Good Place), had the distinction of being the lowest-rated first-year show of the 2019-20 season and was quickly pulled from its linear home as NBC upped its initial order from 10 to 11 episodes. The series finished its run on Hulu and NBC's digital platforms. Despite being pulled from its linear slot, sources maintained that the show's future would be evaluated based on its digital performance. (NBC also canceled comedy A.P. Bio before its streaming counterpart, Peacock, renewed the series based on the show's digital performance.)

Indebted, meanwhile, was NBC's lone multicamera comedy order last season. The Sony TV-produced family comedy series starred Adam Pally, Abby Elliott and Fran Drescher was dead on arrival when it launched in February. It's April finale drew a scant 1.5 million live-same-day viewers. The comedy was created by Dan Levy (The Goldbergs).

NBC's 2019-20 freshman scripted class was particularly bad. Of the seven new series the network launched, only Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist will return for a second season. The fate of rookie drama Council of Dads has yet to be determined.

NBC has yet to reveal its schedule for the 2020-21 season. It's unclear if the network will "corona-proof" its schedule (like Fox and The CW) with scripted fare that has already been filmed or if it will roll the dice and proceed as business as usual (like CBS) with the expectation that the guilds and studios can work out safety protocols to resume production. The network is expected to announce its fall schedule by week's end.