Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 1 Release Date, Cast, Preview

After an extended hiatus due to Hollywood strikes, Chicago Fire finally returns for season 12 on January 17, 2024. The premiere picks up after a time jump from last season’s dramatic cliffhangers involving Severide’s disappearance and Brett’s reaction to Casey’s proposal.

Showrunner Andrea Newman confirmed key questions will be addressed while introducing new wrinkles for Firehouse 51. So, what’s in store for the season 12 opener?

Is Cruz Leaving Chicago Fire?

Gaps Get Filled After Season 11 Finale

Chicago Fire concludes its 11th season last spring with several unresolved storylines:

  • Stella is searching for missing husband, Kelly Severide,
  • Sylvie Brett weighing Matt Casey’s marriage proposal
  • Mouch hospitalized after getting shot on call

The season 12 premiere leaps forward without depicting the direct aftermath of those plots. Instead, viewers will learn what transpired through dialogue and references.

As Newman explained:

“There will be some time jump going into the premiere, and viewers and 51 are in it together.”

This allows the show to quickly resolve last season’s cliffhangers indirectly while introducing new drama.

New Character Joins Firehouse 51

In addition to tackling loose ends, Chicago Fire also greets a new series regular for season 12:

  • There will be a new firefighter joining Truck 81,” Newman revealed.
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So expect ripple effects from this rookie integration alongside the core cast. Newman depicted the freshman as “trouble with a capital T” – so anticipate some fiery dynamics!

NBC Sets One Chicago Return Date

After its longest hiatus ever, network NBC slots Chicago Fire back into its Wednesday night lineup:

  • January 17, 2024
  • 9 pm Eastern
  • 8 pm Central

Leading into the premiere…

  • Chicago Med airs at 8 pm EST
  • Chicago P.D. follows at 10 pm EST

So plan reuniting with the One Chicago universe for a tripleheader this January!

What to Expect from Season 12 Overall

Alongside launching new story arcs, showrunner Newman hopes the abbreviated 13-episode season 12 recaptures Chicago Fire’s early tone.

Back to Basics Formula

The writers intend revisiting more self-contained rescue stories that defined initial Chicago Fire seasons. Early on, episodes spotlighted daring firefighting scenes with less reliance on serialized storytelling.

Premiere director Joe Chappelle explained the back-to-basics approach starting season 12:

“We’re consciously going to focus a little bit back on the bread and butter of what Fire was in the first three seasons.”

So expect exhilarating emergency sequences again headlining episodes.

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Multi-Episode Arc Planned

While seeking a classic procedural feel, Chicago Fire still incorporates some ongoing arcs across season 12. Specifically, Newman has a “two-parter type story” planned further exploring Casey and Brett’s relationship.

So loyal viewers still get continuous drama unfolding amid the dangerous rescue missions.

Beloved Characters Confirmed Returning

Alongside newcomers, Chicago Fire season 12 also brings back other integral personnel to Firehouse 51.

Severide Back After Prolonged Absence

Taylor Kinney resumes his lead role as Lt. Kelly Severide following significant season 11 time away. Fans last saw Severide deployed overseas on a mission.

But what emotional state awaits Stella Kidd upon her husband’s homecoming?

Chicago Fire Season 12 Episode 1 Cast

  • Taylor Kinney as Lieutenant Kelly Severide
  • David Eigenberg as Lieutenant Christopher Herrmann
  • Joe Miñoso as Firefighter Joe Cruz
  • Christian Stolte as Firefighter Randall “Mouch” McHolland
  • Miranda Rae Mayo as Lieutenant Stella Kidd
  • Daniel Kyri as Firefighter Darren Ritter
  • Hanako Greensmith as Paramedic Violet Mikami
  • Jake Lockett as Firefighter Sam Carver
  • Eamonn Walker as Deputy District Chief Wallace Boden

Recurring Cast

  • Randy Flagler as Firefighter Harold Capp
  • Anthony Ferraris as Firefighter Tony Ferraris
  • Rome Flynn as Jake Gibson
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Brett at Career Crossroads

Meanwhile, paramedic Sylvie Brett continues weighing a major fork in her career and love life. Kara Killmer hints Brett’s answer to Casey hangs over early season 12 while she questions her calling.

Plenty of uncertainty lingers post-proposals from both Casey and former flame Kyle Sheffield.

So anticipate ripple effects from Brett’s eventual marriage response dictating her Chicago Fire path.

All told, the season 12 premiere kicks off a pivotal rebuilding year getting Firehouse 51 back to its roots while keeping viewers guessing. Tune into NBC on January 17 as One Chicago roars back, answering last season’s cliffhangers yet presenting new ones certain to burn slowly for the shortened ride.


  • Jenna Scaglione

    Jenna Scaglione, the Television & Series Expert at, is a dedicated connoisseur of captivating storytelling. With a discerning eye for quality content, Jenna provides insightful reviews, analysis, and recommendations across a spectrum of television genres. Her expertise elevates, offering users a curated and informed perspective on the latest and greatest in the world of television and series.

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