Fall TV Preview

SEAL Team's Max Thieriot Opens Up About Bringing CBS' Fire Country to Life, Compares His TV Roles (VIDEO)

CBS is heading to Fire Country this Friday at 9/8c, with a new drama headlined and created by SEAL Team vet Max Thieriot.

Inspired by Thieriot’s experiences growing up in Northern California, Fire Country stars Thieriot as Bode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption (and a shortened sentence) by joining a prison-release firefighting program. But what Bode is not expecting is to be stationed in his rural hometown of Edgewater, where five years prior he (figuratively!) “burned down everything in his life” and then left, harboring a big secret.

The cast also boasts The Closer‘s Billy Burke as Cal Fire chief Vince; Lucifer‘s Kevin Alejandro as Manny, who’s in charge of training the cons; Rescue Me‘s Diane Farr as Sharon; Black Lightning‘s Jordan Calloway as Jake; Penny Dreadful: City of Angels‘ Stephanie Arcila as Gabriela; and Guilty Party’s Jules Latimer as Eve.

In the TVLine video Q&A above Thieriot — who co-wrote the story and serves as an executive producer — says that it was about two-and-a-half years ago when he got serious about turning this aspect of his Northern California upbringing into a TV series. In part because it was so foreign a concept to many!

Fire Country CBS“Once I stared telling a few people about the general concept, I realized how few people knew about the inmate firefighter program,” Thieriot shares. “They were like, ‘What do you mean, there’s prisoners who fight fire?!”

Thieriot goes on to compare and contrast Bode Donovan and Clay Spenser, the SEAL Team operator he has played for six seasons. “Clay is openly more confrontational,” while “Bode is more heady,” the actor suggests. “Bode has gone through a lot of pain in his life.”

Fire Country

Bode and Freddy (W Tre Davis)

At the 1:40 mark, Thieriot touts the assorted character dynamics to watch for in Fire Country, including the one he sorta likens to Sonny/Clay. We then get into how this series is very convincingly pulling off roaring, dynamic forest fires without, you know, razing acres of actual nature.

“It’d be a lot easier probably for us to burn down a forest!” he quips, instead giving proper credit to “our amazing VFX team.”

Then at the 2:40 mark, we turn the talk to SEAL Team, where Clay is now learning to live life as an amputee, after losing his right leg to an RPG attack. Thieriot talks about the highs and lows on tap for Clay as well as Clay and his wife Stella (previously summed up here).

Want scoop on Fire Country or SEAL Team? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.