Sorry, don't expect Jesse Lee Soffer to return to Chicago PD season 12 for this key reason

Jesse Lee Soffer is not expected back for Chicago PD season 12 and there is a good reason why fans shouldn't expect to see him returning as Halstead.
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Rage" Episode 902 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "Rage" Episode 902 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: Lori Allen/NBC) /

While we have learned to never say never, we feel pretty confident in saying fans should not expect to see Jesse Lee Soffer back on Chicago PD in the new season… and honestly probably anytime soon. 

The One Chicago franchise has a history of bringing back former cast members for both guest appearances and even multi-episode guest spots, but Chicago PD fans holding out hope that Soffer might be back as Detective Jay Halstead might want to begin accepting that Halstead probably won’t be back in Chicago for the foreseeable future. 

This isn’t because Soffer left the show on bad terms or is at odds with the studio, but rather the result of a major career development for Soffer. 

Jesse Lee Soffer joining the FBI: International cast basically rules out PD return

The reason we don’t expect Jesse Lee Soffer back on Chicago PD for season 12, or really anytime soon, is because Soffer has booked a new series regular role on CBS’s FBI: International that is going to make an appearance of any kind on Chicago PD nearly impossible. 

Yes, FBI: International and Chicago PD are both Wolf Entertainment productions and we have seen a crossover once before between the franchises but there are two key reasons this isn’t likely to happen again. 

First, Soffer is not reprising his role as Halstead on FBI: International and instead will be playing a new character. This means that even if a miracle happened and Wolf Entertainment found a way to stage another crossover between the One Chicago and FBI franchises, Soffer would be playing his new character and not Halstead. As cool as it was seeing Tracy Spiridakos crossover as Upton from Chicago PD onto FBI, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a crossover of this nature again. So crossover can be ruled out. 

Crossover dreams aside, the biggest reason we’re unlikely to see Soffer back on Chicago PD is due to the nature of his new role. He’s joining the cast of FBI: International as a series regular which means he’s under contract for a larger role on the show which makes booking outside jobs during the season nearly impossible as broadcast shows operate under tight schedules. 

Further complicating matters is the fact that FBI: International films internationally rather than here in the States. 

The good news is that while we won’t get to see Soffer back as Halstead on Chicago PD, we at least get to have him back on our screens as a series regular on FBI: International

Jesse Lee Soffer left Chicago PD in hopes of leading his own show

Funny enough, when Jesse Lee Soffer left Chicago PD after 10 seasons playing Halstead on the NBC drama, he did so out of a desire to find a role that would allow him to lead a show. 

In an interview with Variety, Soffer spoke of his desire to be the lead on a show, noting that while Chicago PD was indeed an ensemble, it was his costar Jason Beghe who was the lead of the series. 

PD is an ensemble — Jason’s definitely the lead and the strong patriarch on that show. I definitely think I’m ready to be a lead on a show and to have my own show. I’d put all of my heart and soul into it,” Soffer said at the time. 

While FBI: International is indeed an ensemble series as well, Soffer has booked a role that will allow him to be the lead of the series. When the news of his casting was announced, it was confirmed he was being brought in to replace Luke Kleintank, who had exited the series in season 3 after serving as the show’s lead and the Fly Team’s lead agent. 

It’s exciting to see that Soffer’s goal is about to come to fruition and we know he’s going to be amazing on FBI: International which is about to become a must-see series for Chicago PD fans not already following the show!

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