Last night news broke that Jesse Lee Soffer would be leaving the Chicago Police Department sometime during Season 10, and yes, we’re still a little stunned about it. We’re talking about someone who has been there from the beginning, and also an actor who played one of the most popular characters on the show in Jay Halstead. He had a definite moral compass, which of course made him a huge match for Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) a significant amount of the time. So why on earth would NBC’s series lose that character now?
We noted in our original story yesterday that there is no evidence that Soffer’s departure was something he personally wanted. Instead, it feels somewhat similar to what we saw with Kelli Giddish in Law & Order: SVU. This is the second Dick Wolf show to lose one of its biggest characters sometime this fall, and the situation feels like a cost-cutting move, if at all. Keep in mind that NBCUniversal in general seems to have this very much on their minds at this point.
There are rumors that they dropped the 10:00 p.m. fully during the week, and now we see how they cut their cast or come up with alternative options. We understand that TV is expensive and due to the myriad of other outlets/services the ratings have dropped across the board. But isn’t there another solution that could be considered? The assumption is that no matter what, people will keep watching and we are
I’m not 100% convinced of that at the moment. If we ever get anything more specific from the network or the studio, we’re sure they’ll release a statement praising Soffer and thanking him for his years of work; However, we are not sure if we can get more information.