‘Chicago Fire’ Brings Back Taylor Kinney for Season 12

Firehouse 51 is gearing up to welcome back one of its own.

Taylor Kinney is set to return to Chicago Fire for the NBC drama’s 12th season, which will begin production following resolution of the actors strike. Sources say the Chicago Fire writers room has written Kinney’s Kelly Severide back into the show in early episodes; it’s unclear at the moment whether the character will be back for good or just for a handful of episodes.

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Kinney took a leave of absence from the series in the latter part of the 2022-23 season for what sources described as a personal matter. On screen, Severide’s absence was explained by saying the character was attending an arson investigation program, and the show implied he would return. In his first episode away, a conversation between Capt. Van Meter (Tim Hopper) and Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) suggested that when Severide completed the program, he’d be able to share his expertise with the firehouse.

Kinney has been part of Chicago Fire from its beginning in 2012 and appeared in 231 consecutive episodes before starting his leave, which spanned the final eight installments of season 11. He’s also guest starred in more than 20 episodes of the other Chicago series on NBC (PD, Med and the short-lived Justice).

Following the end of the writers strike in late September, writers rooms on all three Chicago series and NBC’s Law & Order trio — all of which come from megaproducer Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television — reopened. Production won’t begin until actors union SAG-AFTRA resolves its strike against studios and streamers; the two sides have been meeting regularly over the past few weeks, but a statement from the union on Oct. 30 said that “While talks over the past week have been productive, we remain far apart on key issues.”

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