EXCLUSIVE: Morena Baccarin (Deadpool franchise) is set to appear in an upcoming episode of CBS’ Fire Country, playing a sheriff character that could lead her own series. Baccarin will guest star in the Season 2 episode with an option to become a series regular in a potential spinoff series, Deadline has learned. Like the mothership series, the proposed offshoot would be produced by CBS Studios.
Fire Country stars Max Thieriot as a young convict seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence by joining a prison release firefighting program in his rural Northern California hometown of Edgewater.
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In the planted spinoff episode, which will air later in the season, Baccarin will play Mickey, a Sheriff’s Deputy for fifteen years who knows every corner of Edgewater … and every one of its inhabitants. This is her town and she’s fiercely protective of it.
Baccarin emerged as a top choice for the role from the start and has been in negotiations for it since before the holidays.
The sheriff-centered episode is not considered a backdoor pilot as I hear the project is expected to go through another development stage before a potential series order but its reception would likely be key for the offshoot’s chances of moving forward. A rep for CBS declined comment.
CBS’ decision to explore a Fire Country spinoff is not surprising, given the fact that the drama ranked as the most watched new broadcast series last season, averaging 8 million viewers per episode, 10 million in live+35 multi-platform viewing.
CBS President and CEO George Cheeks hinted at the possibility of a Fire Country spinoff during a conversation with Deadline’s Peter White in June at the Banff World Media Festival.
“We are focused on mass-appeal franchises,” Cheeks said. “This season’s number one show was Fire Country, which completely lends itself to building out a whole new universe… It became very clear that not only was the show special, it really felt like this could be a great example of us building together a franchise from scratch. And so I’m like, ‘you guys, congratulations, you got your back nine. Now let’s start talking about ideas for new extensions.’ They’ve already come up with some great ones.”
CBS already has two other spinoff series on tap for next season, a NCIS prequel about young Gibbs and a Young Sheldon offshoot revolving around Georgie & Mandy.
Fire Country, from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and CBS Studios, is inspired by Thieriot’s experiences growing up in fire country and stems from an original idea by the actor, who also co-penned the story for the pilot with its writers, Tony Phelan and Joan Rater. The three executive produce alongside showrunner Tia Napolitano and JBTV’s Jerry Bruckheimer and KristieAnne Reed..
The upcoming second season of Fire Country — abbreviated and delayed due to the strikes — is slated to premiere Feb. 16 and stream on Paramount+.
Baccarin, known for her starring roles in the Deadpool and Firefly/Serenity franchises, received an Emmy nomination for her role on Showtime’s Homeland. She also starred in ABC sci-fi drama V and Fox’s Gotham and recently headlined the NBC thriller heist series The Endgame. On CBS, she recurred on crime hit The Mentalist.
In features, Brazil-born Baccarin recently starred in the hitman thriller Fast Charlie, directed by Phillip Noyce, and is producing as well as co-starring alongside Anthony Mackie in the adventure feature Elevation, set for 2024 release. She also is reprising her role as Vanessa Carlysle in the upcoming Deadpool 3. Baccarin is repped by UTA, Seven Summits Pictures and Management and Schreck Rose Dapello.
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