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Chicago P.D. Star Confirms Shocking Exit Is Coming In Season 10

Halstead next to ambulance in Chicago P.D.
(Image credit: NBC)

The upcoming Fall TV season will already look quite different from what audiences watched a year ago, especially when it comes to mega-producer Dick Wolf’s interconnected NBC fare. Chicago P.D. is the latest primetime hit facing a major casting exit, as the fan-fave O.G. star Jesse Lee Soffer has confirmed he will be bowing out of the drama after ten years of portraying Detective Jay Halstead. Just when you thought happier times might actually be on the horizon. 

At this time, it’s unclear exactly what will happen with Halstead on Chicago P.D. itself, though it does sound like fans can 100% look forward to seeing Jesse Lee Soffer getting some form of farewell, as opposed to his character being written out between seasons. In his statement to Variety, Soffer confirmed his goodbye in a way that left the actual exit window completely vague, saying:

I want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support during the past 10 years and want to express my deepest gratitude to Dick Wolf and everyone at Wolf Entertainment, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Rick Eid, Gwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates and our incredible crew. To create this hour drama week after week has been a labor of love by everyone who touches the show. I will always be proud of my time as Det. Jay Halstead.

All we can know for sure at the moment is that Halstead won’t make it to the midway point of Season 10, as Soffer will exit at some point in the fall, almost definitely in an episode that comes after the premiere. After all, the actor previously shared pics from the set after filming started for the tenth season, specifically of him and co-star Tracy Spiridakos alongside the newly promoted star Benjamin Levy Aguilar, whose Officer Dante Torres apparently won’t get to spend the next few years learning sage advice from Holstead. The way Soffer is speaking in past tenses, it does sound like he’s already filmed his final scenes. 

Soffer also took to Twitter to share the news along with a shorter message directed at fans, saying:

This is sad but true. Just want all the fans to know how grateful I am. You guys are why we do it! It has been an honor. Love you all ❤️

This will mark the end of a long and successful career arc for Jesse Lee Soffer, who first introduced Jay Halstead to audiences in Chicago Fire’s Season 2 premiere ahead of the spinoff’s arrival. While the 187+ episodes he’s starred in can’t touch the 502 installments of As the World Turns that he was in prior to all things Chicago, I dare say more fans will be upset about this than his soap opera exit. Especially considering he finally married Spiradakos’ Upton in Season 9 and made Upstead a legally binding shipper name, offering up hope that we’d get to see that relationship continue to blossom alongside their presumably complicated future with Jason Beghe’s Voight after the Season 9 finale

Alas, some of that will have to live on only in our imaginations, though fans can always relive the past nine seasons with a Peacock subscription both before and after his final episodes. 

In the past year, Chicago P.D. went through a showrunner change, with prior boss Rick Eid shifting his duties to focus on showrunning fellow Dick Wolf-produced dramas Law & Order and CBS' FBI, and P.D. writer/executive producer Gwen Sigan taking over. And when it comes to Wolf Entertainment projects, Soffer's exit is nearly as shocking as the recent news that Law & Order: SVU is losing Kelli Giddish's Amanda Rollins for Season 24. Or the rumors that NBC execs are thinking about eliminating the network's third hour of primetime programming as a cost-saving measure. 

Chicago P.D. Season 10 will join its fellow Windy City dramas when it premieres on Wednesday, September 21, at 10:00 p.m., as part of NBC’s One Chicago Wednesdays. Head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see all the other big fall debuts. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.