Spreading the flames
NFL championship season can mean good news for certain series.
Networks often decide to offer special post-game airings to shows they want to boost... and while it’s not the vaunted post-Super Bowl slot, this Sunday CBS will light a fire under Fire Country viewers, moving the freshman series from its usual Friday slot to air a new episode after the AFC Championship game.
In this instalment of the Max Thieriot-starring and -created drama, a plane crash sparks a blaze that Bode Donovan (Thieriot) and his fellow wild-firefighting prison inmates unite to battle.
GlobalThieriot recently ended his connection to SEAL Team with the death of his character on that CBS-turned-Paramount+ series, so he’s now exclusive to Fire Country—after spending some time pulling double-duty on both shows. He claimed at the start of this television season that he had the energy to keep doing those two programs, but his larger commitment clearly was to the latter, given his behind-the-scenes duties.
Having based Fire Country (which has already been renewed for a second season) on his own experiences growing up in California’s Sonoma County, Thieriot reflects, “I’d say the stuff that’s kind of most memorable right now is the stuff that’s really occurred in the past few years... obviously, a large portion of the Santa Rosa being destroyed, Coffey Park and all those neighbourhoods, all the lives that were tragically lost. It was a really, really devastating fire, so I think that one probably has the biggest impact on me emotionally.”
Additional Fire Country stars include Diane Farr, Billy Burke, Jordan Calloway, Kevin Alejandro (who also directed a recent episode), Jules Latimer, Stephanie Arcila and W. Tré Davis.
GlobalFor viewers who may not have seen the show yet—one aim of the after-football scheduling being to draw more viewers to it—executive producer Tony Phelan says they shouldn’t worry about not being able to get up to speed quickly.
“We conceived of [the show] as having some serialized elements,” he allows, “but I think it will be easy for the audience to come in if they have missed some episodes. There are obviously fire events, rescue events. Our firefighters battle wildfires from the Oregon border all the way down to Mexico. They also do water rescue; there’s all sorts of stories to tell. And we’ve got quite a few mysteries at the centre of our town.”
GlobalThieriot confirms that portraying the fictional characters of Fire Country is fulfilling his goal to give their real-life counterparts weekly TV attention.
“They do these amazing, incredible, heroic rescues,” he notes, “and they’re constantly saving the world [within their immediate area], but I think they’re just also really kind-hearted people. That’s something that’s important in the world today in general.”
Fire Country airs Sundays on Global & CBS