Why and When is Taylor Kinney’s Kelly Severide Leaving Chicago Fire?

The eleventh season of NBC’s action series ‘Chicago Fire’ depicts a tumultuous phase of Kelly Severide’s life. His honeymoon period with Stella Kidd after their wedding cuts short due to an attack on him. He collaborates with Detective Pryma to capture a Chicago-based illegal arms dealer. In addition, his married life with Stella gets turbulent when they realize that they cannot objectively work on the same scene as a couple. While the viewers have been growing worried about Severide, it is confirmed that Taylor Kinney is taking a leave of absence from the action drama. Naturally, the viewers must be eager to know more about why and when is the fan favorite parting ways with the show. Well, here’s what we can share!

Taylor Kinney’s Temporary Exit From Chicago Fire

On January 20, 2023, it is announced that Taylor Kinney is taking a leave of absence from ‘Chicago Fire.’ Neither NBC nor Kinney has publicized the exact reason behind the actor’s temporary departure, except for the explanation that the actor is parting ways with the action drama to deal with a personal matter. As per reports, the cast and crew of the series were only informed of the actor’s absence on the same day. Since Kinney’s departure was seemingly unforeseen, the writers of the series are expected to rewrite the episodes that will not be featured by the actor.

Image Credit: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

As of now, NBC hasn’t announced when Kinney’s Severide will appear for the last time before he will unavailable due to his leave of absence. Severide features in the promotional stills of the fourteenth episode of the eleventh season, indicating that we may not be seeing him in the series from March 2023. Since it is unclear how many episodes are ready to air and how many of them would require rewrites and reshoots, NBC and the creative heads of the series may need some time before finalizing the episodes that will feature the actor.

Since Kinney’s Severide has been an integral part of the series since the premiere episode, the writers must need to conceive a particular plot point to explain the firefighter’s absence in Firehouse 51. Fortunately for them, Severide’s storyline in the eleventh season has enough scope to conceive the same. The obvious one has to be Severide’s temporary departure from the station for him and Stella to not work for a period together to regain their sync as colleagues. The couple has already discussed working separately and Severide may work at a different station so that they can both work on the turbulence in their relationship.

Image Credit: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC

If not another fire station, Severide may join the Office of Fire Investigation for investigating one or more fire-related crimes such as arson. The firefighter has shown his efficiency as an investigator before and since the OFI is not a general or recurring setting of the series, Kinney’s presence will not be required to establish Severide’s possible involvement with the department. Since he is a firefighter, an injury on the line of duty is another possible narrative development that can explain the actor’s departure. In the thirteenth episode of the season, Severide enquires about his best friend Matthew Casey to Sylvie Brett. He may decide to leave for Oregon to check in on Casey and stay there for a while to help look after their mutual friend Andrew Darden’s sons.

Although we will not be seeing Kinney for a while in the series, possibly not again in the rest of the season from the fifteenth episode, the actor didn’t leave the action drama for good. Kinney only took a leave of absence, which makes it evident that he is expected to return to the series. In the upcoming days, we can expect NBC to reveal the circumstances behind the beloved actor’s temporary exit.

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