Why did Steven R. McQueen leave Chicago Fire?

Find out the real reason why Steven R. McQueen decided to leave the popular firefighter drama, Chicago Fire, below!

24th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Red Carpet
24th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Red Carpet / Rich Fury/GettyImages
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In the unpredictable world of television, even beloved characters can find themselves exiting the stage, and Chicago Fire is no stranger to this phenomenon with its ever-changing cast!

As we eagerly get back into the fiery excitement of Chicago Fire season 12, which premiered on January 17, 2024, our curiosity led us to revisit the departure of one of our beloved actors, Steven R. McQueen, who brought the character Jimmy Borelli to life from 2015 to 2016.

However, just as suddenly as Jimmy Borelli entered our TV screens at Firehouse 51, McQueen left the show after a mere 24 episodes! Now, if you're wondering whether there's a juicy behind-the-scenes story or if there's more to this departure than meets the eye, you're in the right place! Join us as we unravel the mystery behind Steven R. McQueen's unexpected exit from this popular firefighting drama and more below!

Steven R. McQueen
25th Annual Race To Erase MS Gala - Arrivals / Jon Kopaloff/GettyImages

While, for us, he'll forever be Jeremy Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries, for others, he's the unforgettable Jimmy Borelli from Chicago Fire. Jimmy joined Firehouse 51 as a firefighter during season 4, shouldering the weight of loss and grief after his brother's tragic death in the line of duty. His character navigated through various storylines, from a heartfelt relationship with Lily to a harrowing accident resulting in severe injuries. Ultimately, his journey on the show came to an end due to a career-ending incident -- a gas-fueled explosion, a direct defiance of Chief Wallace Boden's order.

Despite Steven R. McQueen's promising trajectory with Chicago Fire, the burning question remains: Why did he choose to depart?

Reports suggest that his exit was a result of the show's creative direction and the natural progression of the character's storyline. According to Executive Producer Michael Brandt, the departure was "strictly business" and aligned with the character's planned story.

So, fear not, nothing nefarious transpired when McQueen bid farewell to the show. Instead, it was a calculated move in line with the overall story arc. When Jimmy Borelli lost his job for disobeying a direct order, it not only marked the end of his firefighting career but also concluded his time on the show. Sometimes, in the world of TV drama, even heroes face the consequences of their actions!

New episodes of Chicago Fire season 12 debut every Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC, alternatively episodes will also be available for streaming on Peacock the next day!

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