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This is Why Your Favorite Characters and Stars are Leaving One Chicago

Chicago Fire and Chicago Med showrunners gave detailed, honest explanations.

By Jackie Manno

With the upcoming departures of beloved One Chicago characters Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), and Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) — and the exits of Jesse Lee Soffer (Jay Halstead), Nick Gehlfuss (Will Halstead), and Brian Tee (Ethan Choi) last season— many fans are left wondering why the actors chose to step away from their roles around the same time. Luckily, a recent interview with TVLine has clarified this question for viewers. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 13 premiere of Chicago Fire Wednesday, September 25 at 9/8c on NBC

RELATED: Why Did Yuri Sardarov Leave Chicago Fire?

Why characters are leaving One Chicago

“Honestly, longevity is really just part of it. [In] storytelling and in terms of real life, 12 years is a long time and things need to change, just dynamic-wise. You want new characters and you want new dynamics,” Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman explained to the outlet. The series following Firehouse 51 first premiered in 2012.

The shows are also finding ways to keep things fresh. “Actor-wise, 12 years is a long [time]. Nobody expects in TV [that] they’re going to be anywhere for 12 years, I can say that for sure, from all sides,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Chicago Med (which first aired in 2015) showrunner Andrew Schneider backed up Newman's perspective on the recent departures.

Split of Chicago Fire's Sylvie Brett, Blake Gallo, and Hailey Upton

 “That’s really what the Wolf [Entertainment] company likes to do is have characters leave and bring in new characters in an effort to keep the shows fresh or find new dimensions to the show and new dynamics," he said.

"To really get to arc these things out and see these characters change. But you need to mix it up. It can’t be the same the whole time," Newman chimed in. 

RELATED: Where Did Severide Go on Chicago Fire?

However, Newman has a lot of confidence that Chicago Fire will as epic as ever for its 12th Season, which aired its premiere episode Wednesday, January 17. 

“There’s still Boden at the helm and Severide and Kidd. It still feels very strong, and it still feels, because we’ll see Matt Casey, like most people who’ve been part of it are still part of it in lots of ways. So that’s lucky for us, too," she said. 

For context, Gallo left Chicago Fire during the Season 12 premiere when his character moved to Michigan after leaning about the existence of his extended family, while Brett decided to move to Portland with her on-screen fiance, Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer).

As for Upton on Chicago P.D., the reason for her departure is yet to be publicly announced, but it has been officially confirmed by showrunner Gwen Sigan to Hello! that Season 11 will be the last for Spiridakos' character.

They will all be dearly missed, but fans will still have the same action-packed One Chicago shows that we all know and love.