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Jesse Lee Soffer Will Return to ‘Chicago P.D.’ as Director in Season 10 After Exit: Details

Jesse Lee Soffer Returns Chicago PD
Lori Allen/NBC

Welcome back to the Windy City! Jesse Lee Soffer may have made his final on-camera Chicago P.D. appearance — but he’s returning to the NBC series in the director’s chair.

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Variety reported on Thursday, October 20, that Soffer, 38, will be back to direct episode 16 of the Dick Wolf show’s 10th season after departing the procedural as Detective Jay Halstead earlier this month. The episode is set to air sometime in 2023.

Prior to his exit, the New York native starred in 189 installments of the series, he confirmed in August that he would be leaving after the first three episodes of season 10. Soffer — and his character — said goodbye to Chicago P.D. on the October 5 episode, when Jay resigned from the police force and parted ways with wife Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) for an army job in Bolivia.

“I took the job. I’ll be posted in Bolivia. It’s black and white. It’s good and bad. It’s right and wrong. It’s no more of this. I need that. I need that back,” Jay explained to Hailey during the emotional moment. “It’s not forever. It’s eight months, maybe a little longer. But I swear to you that we’re going to get through this because you’re the love of my life, and if I’m yours, then you’ll know that you have to let me go.”

Soffer initially announced in a statement on August 29 that he was leaving the NBC show.

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“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 EidGwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates and our incredible crew,” he told Variety. “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.”

The In Time star later took to social media to share the news personally with viewers. “This is sad but true. Just want all the fans to know how grateful I am. You guys are why we do it! It has been an honor. Love you all ❤️,” he wrote via Twitter.

At the time, Soffer’s costar Spiridakos, 34 — who plays half of the fan-favorite couple Upstead — showed her support for her onscreen love interest, writing via Instagram, “Jesse, what can I say, you’re the absolute best. Thank you for your kindness, your guidance and your friendship. You’re the greatest onscreen husband a girl could ask for. I’ll miss being on set with you every day. I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for you next. #upsteadforever.”

Related: One Chicago Stars Who Left the Franchise: Where Are They Now?

On the day of his departure, Soffer addressed his exit by live-tweeting his final moments with fans.

“I left it all out there for this one. Episode 1003 of Chicago PD, ‘A Good Man’ airs tonight at 10/9 central on NBC. Who’s watching with me?” he captioned several stills of the heart-wrenching episode.

Chicago P.D. airs Wednesdays on NBC at 10 p.m. ET.

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