- Taylor Kinney plays Kelly Severide.
- Taylor took a leave of absence from Chicago Fire in season 11.
- Taylor did not return for the season 11 finale.
Taylor Kinney is one of the veteran Chicago Fire cast members. Since the show’s premiere in 2012, Taylor has been one of the leading men in the firefighter drama. However, in January 2023, it was announced that the actor would be stepping away from Chicago Fire.
Fans have been curious about Taylor’s abrupt exit in the middle of the season. Is he coming back? HollywoodLife is breaking down everything you need to know about his absence.
Why Did Taylor Kinney Leave Chicago Fire In Season 11?
Deadline first reported that Taylor was taking a break from Chicago Fire in January 2023. The cast and crew of Chicago Fire were informed of Taylor’s leave the same day the news broke and future scripts would be “rewritten to accommodate his absence.” A source close to production told HollywoodLife that Taylor was taking a “leave of absence” from the show to “deal with a personal matter.”
Taylor’s character was written off in the March 1 episode. He did not return for the May 24 season finale. Taylor nor NBC have elaborated on the actor’s leave of absence.
Taylor has been dormant on social media since 2022 and prefers to keep his private life out of the spotlight. A few months after his leave of absence was announced, Taylor attended an event in April 2023 with his girlfriend Ashley Cruger.
What Happened To Severide?
Kelly Severide was written off in the 15th episode of season 11. Severide left Chicago to train at the “best arson investigation training program in the world.” This was an “opportunity of a lifetime” for Severide, so he decided to take Van Meter’s invitation. Van Meter hinted at Severide’s eventual return when he said that “the expertise Severide will bring back here to the 51 will benefit the whole department.”
A few episodes later, fans got an alarming update about Severide. Cruz and everyone else thought Severide was training in Alabama, but a fire chief told him that Severide’s training session was already over. Cruz believed that Severide was still there, but the fire chief said that he heard from an acquaintance that Severide was asked to pitch in on a big investigation.
In a shocking twist, Stella didn’t even know about this development. Severide didn’t tell his wife what he was up to. In the season 11 finale, Stella called Severide to find out the truth. Severide stressed to Stella that she shouldn’t worry, but Stella wasn’t going to stand around and wait. She decided to leave Firehouse 51 for a bit so she can find Severide and bring him home.
Will Taylor Kinney Return For Chicago Fire Season 12?
NBC has announced whether or not Taylor will return for Chicago Fire season 12. Severide’s exit was definitely open-ended, and Taylor was only said to be taking a “leave of absence” when his sudden departure was revealed.
However, everything is in limbo due to the ongoing writers’ and SAG-AFTRA strike. Chicago Fire was renewed for season 12 back in April 2023 with an expected fall premiere Date. After the writers’ strike got underway, NBC pushed its One Chicago line-up until 2024. The network will air repeats of Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D. in the fall.
Chicago Fire season 12 does not have an official premiere date yet, but it’s expected to air in 2024. Whether that’s midseason or fall 2024 remains to be seen. Since the writers’ strike began in May 2023, most productions have been put on pause until a new deal is made. Hopefully, when new and fair deals are made, Taylor will be ready to return to Chicago Fire. HollywoodLife will keep you updated about Taylor’s status with Chicago Fire season 12.