Fire Country: CBS Exec Teases Multiple Spinoffs in the Works

The biggest new show on network TV is going to get the franchise treatment. Fire Country premiered on CBS this past fall and quickly became a standout for the network. In addition to great ratings on Friday nights, Fire Country showed great streaming numbers for the weeks following new episodes. It was quickly given a full season order and eventually landed a second installment. Now, as CBS looks into its future, it's hoping to give Fire Country the same treatment as NCIS, CSI, and FBI. A whole Fire Country franchise is likely on the way.

CBS chief George Cheeks spoke to Deadline at the Benff World Media Festival and revealed some big plans for Fire Country. He explained that Fire Country is a show that, like NCIS, as "mass-appeal" and offers plenty of opportunity for additional shows.

"We are focused on mass-appeal franchises," Cheeks said. "We started with expanding universes, reimagining, but also creating new franchises. And again, this season's number one show was Fire Country, which completely lends itself to building out a whole new universe. So it is really important for us to double down on a franchise focus."

The Fire Country "universe" could expand in any number of ways, and could have shows on both CBS and Paramount+, if that's what's needed. Cheeks also said that there isn't any set timeline for these spinoff projects. The creative team behind Fire Country was told CBS wanted to make more shows set in that world, and the timeline for bringing them to life will be fluid, as long as it leads to the best product at the end of the day.

"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," Cheeks continued. "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 ... We're not necessarily looking at next year. We're looking when they're ready. That's the beauty of the gestation process. We know that we're doubling down on this one, so let's get it right. And whether that means three years down the road or whether that means a Paramount+ original or a CBS original, we'll see where it lands."

Rebooting Shows for CBS

Even though CBS hasn't necessarily shied away from rebooting popular shows of the past, Cheeks said that bringing old IP back into the fold isn't always the easiest solution. 

"It actually makes it a lot harder because you can't just, take a title and say, 'hey, I'm gonna recast it and put 'em out there,'" Cheeks said. "Discerning fans of those ... have a real clear sensibility of what they want those shows to be. So I think it's actually more challenging to figure out how you reimagine for today. How do you make it exciting? What pieces of it do you leave in, what pieces of it do you let go? It's a very tricky development process."