No more waiting! Jennifer Love Hewitt has been absent from 9-1-1 for months, but fans will soon see her character, Maddie Kendall, again.
Maddie disappeared during an October 2021 episode of the Fox series, leaving her and boyfriend Howie “Chimney” Han’s (Kenneth Choi) daughter, Jee-Yun, at the firehouse. She explained at the time that their child was not safe with her since she was battling postpartum depression.
“I’m sure that you are confused, hurt and probably really scared. I don’t know what to say. You don’t need to go to the police or come looking for me. I’m not in any danger and no one is making me do this,” Maddie told Chimney in a message. “But Jee is not safe with me. Not now, and maybe — I know that you’re going to take really good care of her. And she’s better off without me. I love you. I love both of you, and I’m really sorry.”
Despite fans’ worries that she might be leaving the show, Hewitt, 43, teased in January that her character would be back during season 5, which returns from hiatus on Monday, March 21. “Oh Maddie how I have missed you,” she captioned a set of Instagram selfies. “Since you’ve been gone we both have changed. But coming back together feels good. See you guys in March. @911onfox.”
Later that month, the actress — who joined the show during season 2 in 2018 — shared an Instagram Story video of her and Choi, 50, on set together celebrating their reunion.
Off screen, Hewitt gave birth to her and husband Brian Hallisay’s third child, son Aidan, in September 2021. “Well this is how my kids sent me to the hospital,” she captioned an Instagram photo of stickers on her baby bump. “My belly was a big hit. ‘It is said that women leave their bodies in labor… they travel to the stars to collect the souls of their babies, and return to this world together.’ It was my greatest honor to go and collect you Aidan James. Now back to snuggles and resting.”
The former Client List costars, who tied the knot in November 2013, are also parents of daughter Autumn, 8, and son Atticus, 6.
Hewitt opened up in August 2019 about how her role on 9-1-1 has impacted her children.
“[My daughter was] studying emergency situations in school the other day and she was like, ‘Oh, if you get in an emergency situation, just call my mommy. She’s not going to help you. She’s going to send someone else to do it,’ and I was like, ‘Thanks a lot, babe,’” she told Us Weekly at the time. “She asked me, ‘How come you always answer the phone, but you don’t actually help anyone?’”
While Hewitt appreciates being able to set an example for her children, she sometimes takes her dedication too far — like when she broke face capillaries while filming the birth of Maddie’s daughter for an April 2021 episode.
“It was pretty exhausting,” she told Us at the time. “I had a sore throat the next day. I could barely talk. I literally laid in bed the entire next day after filming this!”
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9-1-1 returns to Fox Monday, March 21, at 8 p.m. ET.
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