‘Chicago PD’: Jesse Lee Soffer Leaving the Show After Season 10

by Chris Piner

When it comes to television shows, it is hard to beat television producer Dick Wolf. While known for creating the Law & Order franchise, his credits include 69 different projects. He currently has nine shows in production. One of those shows is Chicago PD, which follows the 21st district and the police officers who make up the department and the Intelligence Unit. With the 10th season of Chicago PD just around the corner, it seems that the hit series is losing one of its pillar characters. Part of the show since its first debut back in 2014, Jesse Lee Soffer announced that the upcoming season will be his last. 

Again, with Jesse Lee Soffer there from the beginning, his character, Detective Jay Halstead, appeared in every episode. There are 187 episodes currently making up Chicago PD. Releasing a statement to Variety on Monday, the star wrote, “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.” 

Dick Wolf Shares Details On What The Future Holds For Chicago PD

With Jesse Lee Soffer leaving the show, fans wonder how Detective Halstead’s story will end. It’s nothing new for an actor to leave a hit show like Chicago PD. Looking at the show alone, the producers juggled the exit of Sophia Bush, who portrayed Erin Lindsay. She left at the end of season 4. During season 5, Detective Alvin Olinsky, played by Elias Koteas also left with his character tragically dying. 

While actors come and go, creator Dick Wolf continues to look at the bigger picture which includes creating a single universe for all Chicago shows. Deemed One Chicago, Wolf explained any character from One Chicago, Law & Order, and FBI could interact. “It’s a constant exploration of possibilities. There are 56 actors under contract. The concept is there are nine shows, and anybody who’s in any of the nine shows can appear in the other eight, even on different networks. It’s pretty cool.”

Thrilled about the future and the legacy Wolf Entertainment is leaving behind with Chicago PD, the producer concluded it isn’t over.  “It’s very comforting to know absolutely what the legacy will be into the future. This company has produced and has clear ownership [stakes] in the longest-running dramas in the history of television [‘Law & Order: SVU’ is wrapping up Season 23]. I don’t think anybody’s ever gonna catch us. And it ain’t over.”