Q: Can you tell me why the actress who played Dawson left "Chicago Fire"?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Gabby Dawson, a lead character since the beginning in the NBC drama "Chicago Fire," exited the series in dramatic fashion -- leaving her job, her home and her husband in order to do hurricane-recovery work in Puerto Rico. The actress, on the other hand, left the show for a pretty mundane reason.

"It's time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life," Monica Raymund said in an official statement on her Twitter feed. Translation: she wants bigger roles.

It's a mundane reason from the perspective of viewers, who see this fairly often with long-running ensemble shows, but it's anything but mundane for Raymund, because she's already landed just such a role.

She'll play the lead in a prestige drama series on premium cable -- the real big league for actors nowadays. She is booked to play a lesbian (that's important to the plot, I promise) fisheries officer who stumbles on a murder tied to the opioid epidemic in her city in the Starz drama "Hightown."

It has a lot of quirky details that make it perfect for pay cable -- such as the fact that she's a fisheries officer instead of a cop (or a firefighter), and the fact that it's set in "the gay mecca of Provincetown, Massachusetts."

All this adds up to a pretty good reason for leaving even a hit show like "Chicago Fire" -- from the actress's perspective, at least.


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