‘Fire Country’: Max Thieriot Shares Inspiration Behind New CBS Drama

Max Thieriot in Fire Country
Fall Preview
Bettina Strauss/CBS

While helping take down international baddies for five seasons as Clay Spenser on the CBS/Paramount+ military drama SEAL Team, Max Thieriot had his mind on more home-bound battles — the ones fought by Northern California firefighters in forests near where he grew up.

“Most of my friends joined the military or went to work for Cal Fire out of high school,” he says. Inspired to tell those stories, Thieriot made his first-ever series pitch to CBS. Now he stars in and exec produces Fire Country. (He’s also remaining on SEAL Team.)

The actor plays Bode Donovan, who, while serving a five-year sentence, signs up for an inmate firefighting initiative that pairs prisoners with Cal Fire members. But Bode is assigned to his hometown — where his troubles began. “A lot of personal drama led him down this dark path,” teases Thieriot. “And when he came to the fork in the road, he chose the bad [route].”

Those deep roots also offer Bode hope for redemption. Says Thieriot: “A lot of times you go on a call…it could be [someone you know]. The incidents are that much more personal.”

Fire Country, Series Premiere, Friday, October 7, 9/8c, CBS

This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Fall Preview issue. For more first looks at fall’s new shows, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.