Why are there so many One Chicago cast exits? Two showrunners have an answer!

One Chicago fans are a bit jarred at all the cast changes this year but two showrunners explain why it's happening!
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Port in the Storm" Episode 12006 -- Pictured: (l-r) Hanako Greensmith as Violet Mikami, ViKara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Port in the Storm" Episode 12006 -- Pictured: (l-r) Hanako Greensmith as Violet Mikami, ViKara Killmer as Sylvie Brett, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

One Chicago fans are used to some actors coming and going over the years. Yet it's jarring that 2024 (which already had all three shows delayed by the 2023 strikes) has been seeing some big turnovers.

It started with Chicago P.D. as it was announced Tracy Spiridakos was going to leave after season 11. Her character Hailey Upton departed in the season finale by leaving Chicago for a new federal job. 

Chicago Fire opened season 12 with Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) leaving with the explanation of Gallo moving to Detroit. Midway through the season, Kara Killmer departed with Sylvie Brett finally marrying her love Matt Casey. The season 12 finale then coincided with the shocking news that Eamonn Walker, a major star since the show began, was going as Wallace Boden was promoted.

Chicago Med appeared to be pretty steady only for word to come that Dominic Rains is departing after five seasons as Crockett. 

Granted, each show also had some new actors and characters coming in yet for all three series to lose some major stars in one year is unexpected. Thankfully, there's no need to worry as the showrunners are assuring fans these changes are a great way to keep it all fresh.

Why the One Chicago fans should embrace the cast changes

Any long-running network ensemble drama will have cast turnover, that's inevitable. It just seems bigger for One Chicago with so many happening at once. However, fans should understand that this isn't a sign the shows are in trouble. 

Speaking to TVLine, Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman addressed the cast changes directly. 

"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. 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."

Andrew Schneider, who actually stepped down as Chicago Med showrunner this spring, pointed out how fans of Dick Wolf shows like Law & Order and FBI should be more than used to cast turnover.

"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."

Fans may not like some of the cast departures but they are par for the course for the TV business. For these exits, they all made sense for the storyline and served the characters well. Gallo got to connect with his family, Sylvie got her happy ending with Casey, and Boden finally earned a long overdue promotion in the Chicago FD. Crockett has done so much at Med that he'll want a new challenge while Upton needed to leave the PD or she'd have broken. 

As noted by the showrunners, bringing in new characters is a good way to keep the shows fresh and exciting. Chicago Fire season 13 will get a lot of storytelling mileage out of Boden's replacement and how the gang adjusts while PD will be boosted by whoever replaces Upton. 

So fans of One Chicago may not like some cast exits but take it in stride as change is a part of life and it ensures this franchise continues for a long time.

Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med are all streaming on Peacock.