With a concept that can be best initially described as a cross between Lost and the late-great Kris Kristofferson's 1989 science fiction film Millennium, missing plane mystery-thriller Manifest has landed a pilot commitment to air with NBC. Warner Bros. TV is backing the project, which hails from Jeff Rake (The Mysteries of Laura) and producer Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Tales from the Crypt); with Rake writing, and executive producing with Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Jackie Levine through Compari Entertainment.
The premise behind Manifest is a timely one…but with a twist: a passenger plane disappears from radar and goes untraceable. For five years, the world assumes that the plane was lost at sea…until the planes returns with all of the passengers still on-board. But while time moved on for their loved ones at home, no time has passed for those who were on the plane.
The series will follow several passengers and their families as they make the adjustment to having returned after being gone for so long, but bigger (and possibly deadly) questions remain. Where did they go? Why did they come back? Most importantly…will it happen again?
For Zemeckis, this is his second pilot deal under his overall Warner Bros. Television deal — his company Compari Entertainment is also spearheading a live-action reboot of The Jetsons at ABC from a script by Gary Janetti.
Rake served as writer, executive producer and showrunner for the NBC's police procedural comedy-drama series The Mysteries of Laura with Debra Messing for two seasons, also through Warner Bros. Television. Rake also co-created The $treet and Miss Match with Darren Starr, co-wrote the pilot for David E. Kelley's Boston Legal and worked on The CW's The Tomorrow People.