If you’ve been wondering about that potential Fire Country spinoff, we’ve got a little something to pique your interest.
If there was any doubt that CBS hoped to turn Fire Country into the next franchise, a la NCIS or FBI, this casting decision shows they’re hoping to do just that.
Deadline reported today that the spinoff has found its lead.
Morena Baccarin (Homeland, Deadpool, Gotham) has landed the role of a sheriff, poised to headline a series if the character takes off during Fire Country Season 2.
Earlier reports suggested that this role could play a larger part on the second season and, if popular, spin off to a series of its own.
However, this news suggests that the role might be for one upcoming episode of the series rather than a recurring role that would allow viewers to get to know her a bit before spinning off the canvas.
Fire Country Season 1 introduced us to Bode Donovan, the son of a firefighting family whose terrible judgment landed him in prison.
When the opportunity to do something useful came along that would allow him to redeem himself — becoming a convict firefighter — Bode jumped at the chance.
What he didn’t realize was that he’d be heading right back into the eye of the storm in his hometown of Edgewater, where he was misunderstood and held accountable for his terrible act by a family less than willing to forgive him.
Of course, that’s where the drama comes in, and with parents Fire Chief Sharon Leonard (Diane Farr) and Station Chief Vince Leonard (Billy Burke) at odds over how to welcome him home, we got drama in spades.
Fire Country Season 1 Episode 22 was a divisive ending for the freshman series, as Bode did something that landed him back in prison.
Fans and our Fire Country Round Table participants alike railed against this development, as it made little sense for the character and the story’s progression.
With people skeptical about Fire Country storytelling, is now the right time to introduce a spinoff?
Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. And even if people balked at the finale, people are still gobbling up news, and the conversation continues surrounding the series. That’s hot.
Baccarin will play a seasoned sheriff named Mickey, who has 15 years of experience.
Interestingly, she’s the Edgewater sheriff, and given the circumstances of the series so far, it will be fascinating to see how she wasn’t included in any of the storylines that have leaned heavily into criminal activity.
Edgewater is her town, and she knows the residents inside and out… but she wasn’t involved in the decision to bring convicts in to help with their firefighter needs.
Call me crazy, but it seems like a stretch.
Deadline has heard that the introduction of the sheriff in Season 2 isn’t a backdoor pilot situation, and the spinoff still stands on her character’s reception.
We’ve seen incredibly popular shows try to spin off before and fail.
Supernatural was one of the longest-running shows in TV history, and it tried numerous backdoor pilots and character ideas, only to see them fizzle out before the series was ordered.
Even the prequel, Winchester, created and narrated by Jensen Ackles, failed to find a sizable audience, although it was also a victim of The CW’s changing of the guard.
If this sheriff-centric Fire Country spinoff doesn’t take flight, we expect there will be opportunities coming our way.
Fire Country was a ratings hit. Even airing on a Friday night, it found an audience quickly and held onto it.
That’s the kind of success any network would be thrilled to turn into a franchise, and CBS President and CEO George Cheeks shared with Deadline’s Peter White that they’re very interested in mass appeal franchises.
The mass appeal is key here, as CBS and even Paramount+ lean into populist content, and it does incredibly well for them.
They’re generally less interested in reaching traditional target demos than a broad audience, which pays off handsomely.
If you’re still feeling the pain from that Fire Country Season 1 finale, you can check out our Fire Country Everything We Know post to stay up to date on the latest news on that front.
If this spinoff does take off, Baccarin is an excellent choice for the lead role. She’s captured audiences for years with her varied performances.
If anybody can pull off a successful spinoff, it’s Baccarin. Every role she’s had feels different in tone from the last, which is a valuable trait in this business.
But what do you think? Are you excited about a potential Fire Country spinoff, or are you still smarting from the Fire Country finale to place any more eggs in this basket?
Let us know in the comments below!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.