Taylor Kinney Is Returning to 'Chicago Fire'

Fans of 'Chicago Fire' were devastated when actor Taylor Kinney abruptly left the show. Now, he's back.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Oct. 31 2023, Updated 8:56 p.m. ET

Taylor Kinney
Source: Getty Images

When Chicago Fire first aired in 2012, Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) became an instantaneous fan-favorite. Throughout his decade as the wunderkind of Firehouse 51, Kelly has certainly been put through the wringer. During Season 1, his career nearly ended before it began when a serious back injury almost permanently benched Kelly. And remember when he discovered he had a half-sister in Season 2, only to be accused of being her kidnapper (which turned out to be their father)?

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Who can forget being used as a pawn in Chief Riddle's (Frederic Lehne) plan to become Fire Commissioner by demoting Kelly from lieutenant? Thankfully, Kelly's life hasn't been only gloom and doom. The Season 10 finale was devoted to Kelly and Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) finally getting married.

Despite a relatively calm Season 11, Taylor abruptly left the show in January. Would he be back for Season 12?

Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney)
Source: NBC
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Taylor Kinney is returning for Season 12!

Hold on to your Chicago Fire firefighter helmet you bought at the NBC store in New York! Severide will be back for season 12 for sure. We don't know how many episodes he will be in or how they will explain his absence. The WGA writers have just finished striking and the SAG is still on strike so we also don't know when the show will return. But he's definitely coming back. So, that's the best thing ever.

Why did Severide leave 'Chicago Fire'? 

Since 2019, the rumor mill has been working overtime on theories that Severide could be leaving the show. Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas previously discussed the future of two characters, Severide and Casey, on Twitter, stating, "They won't both be 51 before the winter break."

We know that Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) moved to Oregon in October 2021 to keep a watchful eye on the Griffin boys (though he returned for Kelly's wedding). It's highly unlikely that Chicago Fire would lose two of its mainstays in such a short period of time but we're also fans of shows like Grey's Anatomy, where killing off fan favorites is as easy as buttering bread.

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Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney)
Source: NBC

In January 2023 Taylor Kinney took a leave of absence from the show.

A report from Deadline announced Taylor would take a leave of absence from the show effective January 2023 to deal with a personal matter. The report also noted that he told the cast and crew on Jan. 20, 2023, and it is likely future scripts will be rewritten to reflect his absence.

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On the show, Severide and his wife argued over her rushing into danger. Later, Kidd suggested if they were having issues working together, they should ask to be put on separate shifts. This could spell trouble in paradise so soon after their wedding, but we're hoping Severide and Kidd aren't headed for divorce anytime soon.

We're not sure how they are going to bring him back or how they are going to explain where he's been. I guess we're going to have to wait until whenever Hollywood gets back into the studio, they write the shows, cast them, shoot them, and edit them. It's going to be a while...

In the meantime, Chicago Fire airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.

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