After Season 2 Renewal, Fire Country Executive Producer Opens Up About Creating The CBS Hit With Max Thieriot

Max Thieriot standing in her fire gear in Episode 16 of Fire Country
(Image credit: Sergei Bachlakov/CBS)

Fire Country has been a runaway hit on the TV schedule this season, and it’s been burning its own path in the world of network television as it continues to hit impressive milestones and surprise audiences. As the show chugs along through its first season, and prepares for Season 2, now that it’s been renewed, the co-creator is opening up about what it’s been like working on the show, and specifically collaborating with the series’ star and other co-creator Max Thieriot

While at the SCAD TVfest we had the chance to chat with Joan Rater about her involvement with network TV shows, and specifically her work on Fire Country. She talked about how fun it is to create stories on a weekly basis, especially on a show like the one she and Thieriot created that is both intense and heartfelt. The writer/producer/co-creator explained: 

Broadcast TV is so fun, because it's so fast. We're doing Fire Country right now, and you get to do 22 episodes of TV. It's just fun, because you have an idea on a Monday and you're shooting it on the next Monday. You get to tell stories that you wouldn't otherwise. Like, what did I know about firefighters? So I got to immerse myself in this world of these heroes. Before we wrote the pilot, Max [Thieriot], who plays Bode, came to us with this idea because he's from this town where Cal Fire uses Department of Corrections inmates to help fight wildfires, and I didn't know anything about that program. I was blown away by that program, by the ability to give people a second chance and the redemption aspect of it.

Having that personal connection to the source material definitely adds an extra level of meaning and heart to Fire Country. Since it’s based on a program that Thieriot grew up around, it makes me as a viewer care more about the story, because I know things similar to what happens on the show happen in real life. This extra heart, and the built-in audience an actor like Thieriot brings to the series has helped propel it to massive success, and when reflecting on the hit the show has become Rater said: 

Absolutely. Max is the guy. I think people came to watch Max. They stay because of Max and because of the story. They're falling in love with this family, with these people. We just have to keep giving them good story.

They 100% are giving us a good story, and the stakes get raised with every passing episode, especially now that a character's death has been teased. The juxtaposition of the massive set pieces, high stakes, and personal relationships helps create a show that balances heart and action, and I think that's why audiences have fallen in love with it. As Rater said, it’s the reason the show has been such a success, and Thieriot has helped make it that way. 

New episodes of Fire Country air every Friday on CBS at 9 p.m. ET and can be streamed the next day with a Paramount + subscription. So make sure to mark your calendars and get your subscription in line, so you can see what all the talk is about when it comes to this show Rater and Thieriot created togehter. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.