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Will Taylor Kinney ever return to Chicago Fire?

The actor is taking a leave of absence from the show

taylor kinney chicago
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
10 May 2023
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Taylor Kinney has been missing from recent episodes of Chicago Fire and is currently taking a break from his role on the show to deal with a personal matter. 

Amid the news that the Lieutenant Kelly Severide actor will not be returning for the season 11 finale on May 24, fans may be wondering if he has gone for good. Read on for all we know.

Will Taylor Kinney return to Chicago Fire?

NBC recently announced that Taylor will not be back for the season 11 finale after taking a leave of absence earlier this year. It's not all bad news, however, as Jesse Spencer, who played Captain Matt Casey for ten seasons, will make a special guest appearance in the finale after returning earlier this season.

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The White Whale" Episode 721 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide© Getty
Taylor Kinney is currently on a leave of absence

While we know Chicago Fire will be back with a 12th season, Taylor's role on the show has yet to be addressed. Back in May, Deadline reported that the One Chicago franchise is headed for changes in the upcoming seasons of its three shows, with budget cuts meaning that the cast will appear in fewer episodes.

MORE: 5 Taylor Kinney TV shows to watch if you love the Chicago Fire star

The outlet reported that the producers of One Chicago, Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment, had reached an agreement with NBC to confirm the future of the three series. However, with the renewals come changes too, as the report claimed that the agreed budget, which will keep the shows on air for another season, will also mean the main cast will appear in fewer episodes than usual. 

Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey in Chicago Fire© NBC
Jesse Spencer is returning for the season 11 finale

This could potentially impact storylines and potential cast changes for the coming seasons. So, how will this affect Taylor's character?

MORE: What is Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney's next project?

If Taylor does return to the show, fans can expect to see the actor in fewer episodes than usual, just like his fellow cast members.

jesse spencer taylor kinney© Photo: Getty Images
Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney starred on Chicago Fire together

While fans will simply have to wait for more news about Taylor's potential return, his exit storyline gives us hope that Severide will be back in the future. The 41-year-old's final episode saw Severide depart the Windy City for a prestigious OFI training camp in Alabama, leaving his wife Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) behind at Firehouse 51. In the meantime, find out more about Taylor's personal life in the video below...

WATCH: Inside Taylor Kinney's Dating History

What can fans expect from the season 11 finale?

The official synopsis for the episode, titled Red Waterfall, reads: "Brett waits for life-changing news; Herrmann encounters a psychic with a grave warning on a call; Kidd finds a new lead on the Homeland Security case."

Jesse Spencer and Kara Killmer in Chicago Fire season ten© Getty Images
Sylvie Brett 'waits life-changing news' in the season 11 finale

Of course, Jesse Spencer will also be reprising his role as Matt Casey for a special guest appearance. 

Speaking about whether he would consider returning to the show on a more permanent basis following his recent comeback earlier this season, he told TV Line: "I never say never. When I left the show, I talked to [co-showrunner] Derek [Haas] and everybody and said, 'Listen, if it makes sense to bring me in for a storyline that you think would be appropriate for Casey to come in for, I'm happy to pop in for an episode'.

jesse spencer© NBC
Jesse returned to the show earlier in the season

"But in terms of like long-term or something, I don't think so."

Keep scrolling for more photos of Taylor Kinney in Chicago Fire...

taylor kinney road to acting© Photo: Getty Images
Taylor Kinney first joined the show when it first aired in 2012
taylor kinney miranda rae mayo chicago fire© Photo: Getty Images
Taylor's character is married to Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo)
Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney © NBC
Severide and Stella tied the knot in the season ten finale

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