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Taylor Kinney returning to “Chicago Fire” season 12 after leave of absence

Taylor Kinney returning to “Chicago Fire” season 12 after leave of absence

Lt. Kelly Severide will be back to lead Rescue Squad 3.

Actor Taylor Kinney is set to return for season 12 of NBC's firefighter drama Chicago Fire after a months-long leave of absence, EW has learned. It's unclear how many episodes Kinney will appear in after departing midway through season 11, but Deadline Hollywood reports that the actor's return as Severide is expected to be full-time.

Kinney has been a staple on the series since its debut, and he stepped away in January to deal with a personal matter. Despite fan speculation, his character did not return for the season 11 finale earlier this year. Instead, Jesse Spencer, who left the show in 2021 after 200 episodes as Matt Casey, returned for a guest appearance.

CHICAGO FIRE
CHICAGO FIRE

Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC via Getty Images Taylor Kinney on 'Chicago Fire'

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Kinney last appeared in season 11's 14th episode, "Run Like Hell," with the following episode explaining that Severide was sent out of town to attend an arson investigation training program. His wedding to Stella (Miranda Rae Mayo) was documented in the season 10 finale, which also featured the return of Spencer as his character attended the ceremony.

Deadline reported earlier this month that the writers' room for season 12 had opened. Season 11 co-showrunner and executive producer Andrea Newman will lead the upcoming season, which does not yet have a premiere date amid the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

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