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Fire Country - What We Know So Far

From police procedurals to medical soaps to shows portraying the ins and outs of the political machine, our hunger for dramatic occupational series has a long and seemingly inexhaustible history. In (relatively) recent years, a niche twist on the formula that blends high-stakes heroism with the lesser-known, day-to-day logistics of an inherently dramatic job — the scripted firefighter drama — has exploded onto the scene. 

It's tempting to credit FX's "Rescue Me," which debuted in 2004, with igniting our interest in the sub-genre, but the earliest depictions of these station house-based series go as far back as the mid-century and television's first golden age (via FireRescue1).

This fall, and in the wake of the popularity of ABC's "Station 19," NBC's "Chicago Fire," and Ryan Murphy's "9-1-1" and "9-1-1 Lone Star," CBS is getting in on the action, with a narrative all its own. The upcoming series, "Fire Country," has already sparked some excited chatter from fans on Reddit, due in part to the names attached to the project and its central protagonist's unique backstory. Here's everything we know so far about the latest addition to the increasingly extensive, yet no less exciting, catalog of first responder series. 

What's the release date of Fire Country?

Fans of "Texas Rising," "Bates Motel," and "SEAL Team" will undoubtedly want to tune in to the Friday, October 7 premiere of "Fire Country" at 9 p.m. ET (via CBS). Max Thieriot, who's been on a bit of a small-screen winning streak in recent years (via IMDb), will not only star as the series protagonist; he'll also executive produce — and write. As Deadline reported, the actor came up with the idea for the story (inspired by his years living in Northern California) and served as a co-writer for the pilot alongside Tony Phelan (of "Grey's Anatomy") and Joan Rater (of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Madame Secretary"). 

Thieriot isn't the only big name attached to the upcoming series. The outlet also reveals that Tia Napolitano has signed on as showrunner and executive producer. Napolitano, as a co-executive producer on "Station 19," co-producer on "Grey's Anatomy," producer on "Scandal," and, most recently, the executive producer of Freeform's "Cruel Summer," brings both experience and ratings success to the series, which is brought to us (in part) by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer Television. 

What is the plot of Fire Country?

Jerry Bruckheimer, best known for producing "National Treasure," "Pirates of the Caribbean," and "Top Gun"/"Top Gun: Maverick," may have a reputation for blowing up the big screen (sometimes literally), but his resume boasts an impressive amount of some of television's best-known procedurals as well, including "Cold Case" and the entire "CSI" portfolio (per IMDb). Thus, it's safe to say the upcoming series isn't hurting for talent, clout, or credibility, but in order to fight its competition's fire with fire, it still needs a halfway decent hook, and if its official synopsis and trailer (via YouTube) are an indication, a decent hook is exactly what "Fire Country" hopes to bring to the table. 

In the series, a convict looking to redeem himself and potentially shorten his sentence (Max Theirot's Bode Donovan) joins a program that forces him to return, reluctantly, to his hometown, for a program that enlists inmates to fight forest fires alongside NoCal's finest. The program upon which Bode's narrative is based has a history dating all the way back to the 1940s, and, as Smithsonian Magazine illustrates, one that won't leave the series wanting for real-world danger, stakes, and plenty of political conflict and controversy in which to ground its characters.

Who is starring in Fire Country?

Speaking of characters, CBS tapped both new and familiar faces to round out its already formidable team. Aside from Max Thieriot in the lead role of Bode Donovan, Billy Burke (of "Major Crimes" and "9-1-1 Lone Star") stars as a character named Vince, who (as the trailer reveals) serves as the courageous crew's chief, while Jordan Calloway (Painkiller in "Black Lightning" and Chuck Clayton in "Riverdale") appears as firefighter Jake — Bode's apparent nemesis and romantic rival for the affections of Arabella (Stephanie Arcila of "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels"). Relative newcomer Jules Latimer ("Guilty Party") will appear as firefighter Everly, while "True Blood" and "Arrow" star Kevin Alejandro tackles the role of the inmates' leader and trainer Manny. Primetime powerhouse Diane Farr (of "Numb3rs," "Rescue Me," and "Californication") tops off the cast as department higher-up Cheryl (via IMDb).

While it's too soon to say much about the characters' specific dynamics, it's clear from the trailer that the pilot promises a conflagration comprised of old flames, romantic sparks, tinder box tension, and a (literal) conflagration that threatens to destroy the small town, all while Bode attempts to fight both fires and the demons of his past.