Taylor Kinney, the longtime leading man of Chicago Fire, left the show unexpectedly earlier this year. Kinney reportedly stepped away to deal with a matter in his personal life, and a representative for the actor declined to comment on the specificity of the personal matter. Leaving a show for personal reasons is nothing new for One Chicago, as Kinney’s co-star for over a decade, Jesse Spencer, also decided to leave Fire during season 10 in order to spend more time with his family. However, Kinney’s exit was not something planned in advance and was something that occurred unexpectedly.
The scripts for the episodes filmed after Kinney’s exit were tweaked to accommodate the actor’s leave of absence, which created a domino effect across the final episodes of the season with his exit factoring into several of the storylines including Cruz taking up the temporary mantle of acting Luietenant on Squad 3. What was made clear when the news was first announced was that Kinney’s personal matter would not lead to the actor leaving the show altogether. This was something outlets such as Variety made clear in noting he was taking a « leave of absence » instead of quitting, which means the door is open for his return.
With the ongoing Writer’s Guild of America Strike, production on season 12 is expected to be impacted and delayed so it’s unclear when filming on the next season will begin. It’s possible that Kinney will return at the start of the new season whenever it does arrive, but there is also a possibility his leave of absence could extend into the next season. Fans of the show are eagerly waiting for updates or additional details as to the reason behind his departure and whether his leave of absence will become permanent.
Keywords: Taylor Kinney, Chicago Fire, leave of absence, personal matter, Jesse Spencer, One Chicago, season 12, Writer’s Guild of America Strike.
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