Chicago Fire Is Bringing Back An OG Character Amidst Taylor Kinney's Absence And I Am Pumped

Chicago Fire Season 10 Casey and Severide
(Image credit: NBC)

NBC has done a great job cementing the One Chicago fandom over the years. Not only does the network have three shows for fans to follow and invest in, the network also puts on One Chicago Day (a Chi-Hard fan event) each year, and fans are encouraged to follow their favorites on social media. With this in mind, it’s no real surprise the Chicago Fire cast is a real family that seemingly helps one another out, and when Taylor Kinney decided to take a leave of absence, another OG actor has stepped in. 

Reports broke this week that Chicago Fire will be bringing back Jesse Spencer for a special guest stint. Fans of the series will remember Spencer, who was there for the show's beginning, officially left during Season 10 around the time the show was hitting its 200th episode milestone. However, that wasn’t the last fans saw of him. In the spring of 2022, Spencer returned to play Casey in a special wedding episode. (Thank you Stellaride.) 

Now, according to reports he’ll pop back up in Season 11 as Taylor Kinney takes an absence from the show. Per Variety, the actor will return for Episode 18, set to air in the spring. The role should give Chicago Fire a bit of a boost as Severide is away for training on the series. In real life, he stepped away from the NBC series for a bit to take care of a personal matter, but hasn't been specific about the exit. 

We don’t know why Matt Casey will be back in town this time around. When Jesse Spencer exited Chicago Fire, the character was written off in a way that would allow for return stints, such as when Kelly Severide married Stella Kidd and Matt Casey stood by his side as the best man. Casey simply has a new job with a three-year commitment in Oregon, but I assume he has PTO he can take to come and visit Chicago on occasion. 

Details of the guest role are being kept under wraps, but fans won’t have to wait too long to see Matt Casey back in action. Chicago Fire just aired episode 15 of Season 11 at the start of the month, so we’re only a few weeks away from the character’s return. To note, that episode, “Damage Control,” was also the first episode without Kelly Severide after Taylor Kinney’s break announcement last year. 

It was also the one to mention the absence, which was described as last-minute, and came thanks to Severide nabbing a spot in the “best arson investigation training program,” apparently the best in the world. 

When Does Chicago Fire Air?

How To Watch: Wednesday Nights at 9 p.m. ET on NBC 

How To Stream: Peacock Subscription

Chicago Fire has been a bit of a revolving door since it hit NBC more than a decade ago. In addition to Jesse Spencer, the show has seen a slew of other characters exit for other roles (or occasionally get killed off the show.) This includes big names like Lauren German, who went on to star in Lucifer, and Monica Raymond, who went on to star in P-Town. Other big names include Yuri Sardarov and Charlie Barnett and a whole slew of other supporting characters including Adriyan Rae, Dora Madison, Steven R. McQueen, and Annie Ilonzeh. 

With a show being on the air for as long as it has, there are likely more exits to come, but for now I’m just hunkering down to await follow-up news from Taylor Kinney. OK, and I’ll be hankering to see Spencer's comeback. I wish it were permanent, but your girl can’t have everything. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.