Maura Tierney is returning to television: The former ER star will reprise her role on Rescue Me, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.
Tierney's character, Kelly McPhee - a love interest for Denis Leary's Tommy Gavin in Season 5 - memorably ran into her burning apartment to retrieve an important box. Tommy and Kelly's budding romance also put Tierney's character in the middle of a love quadrangle that included Tommy's ex-wife, Janet (Andrea Roth), and his lover, Sheila (Callie Thorne). But don't look for more catfights this time around.
"When Maura comes back, it's a slightly different situation," said Leary, also the show's co-creator and executive producer. "She doesn't really get involved in the way that she did the last time."
Leary said Tierney, 45, has already filmed some of her scenes. But because the production is shooting Seasons 6 and 7 back to back, Tierney's character won't appear until Season 7 airs in 2011.
Leary and fellow creator and executive producer Peter Tolan both have been vocal about wanting Tierney to return. "We loved working with her - that was kind of a big deal to get her," Tolan told TVGuide.com last August. "We have a deal where we can use her for four episodes. And since we have that deal, we will take advantage of it."
At that time, Tierney snagged a role in NBC's freshman drama Parenthood. She eventually dropped out of that project to undergo breast cancer treatment. Tierney returned to work in the play North Atlantic in Los Angeles in February, and the show opened in New York last month.
"[Tierney] has finished treatment and is doing very well and is happy to move forward with the next phase of her life," Christina Papadopoulos, Tierney's rep, told TVGuide.com in a statement.
Rescue Me's sixth season premieres in late June on FX.
Are you excited to see more of Maura on Rescue Me?