“CSI” Axes Two Stars
It could be another gruesome CSI crime scene. Except this one doesn’t involve dead bodies. Just axed actors.
George Eads and Jorja Fox, who played two of the younger, hotter forensics experts you’ll find poking around a corpse, have been whacked from TV’s top-rated drama series, Daily Variety reported on its Website Thursday.
The firings came after both Eads and Fox reportedly made it known to their bosses that, in the tradition of employees everywhere, they’d like to make more money.
Eads expressed his desire for a bigger paycheck by skipping the first day of shooting Thursday for CSI’s fifth season, Variety said.
Fox, who did show up for work, drew the wrath of CBS execs for failing to, as Variety put it, “reply to a letter asking her if she had any plans to not show up for work.”
In both cases, CBS invoked breach of contract. Eads and Fox each had two years left on their TV standard seven-year contracts.
Not pausing for a moment at their chalk outlines, Variety said the network has already begun searching for Eads’ and Fox’s replacements.
“The network is not commenting,” CBS told E!
Eads, 36, played hair and fiber guy Nick Stokes on CSI. Like Fox, he had been with the show since its October 2000 debut.
Fox, 35, played material and elements point person Sara Sidle on the series.
If it sounds as CBS is trying to put the fear of God into its star employees, it may just be.
Last summer, the network steamed as Everybody Loves Raymond costars Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts and Peter Boyle called in sick for a variety of ailments over the first 10 days of production. Brad Garrett just stayed away–period.
The cast’s health, not to mention Garrett’s attendance, improved considerably once they were awarded raises.
The Eyeball, though, has not always been as amenable–particularly if the players aren’t name-brand stars. It once threatened to gut the cast of Becker (Ted Danson, not included) if its actors didn’t end a work stoppage.
Sometimes not even stars have been immune. In 1982, Dukes of Hazzard pin-ups John Schneider and Tom Wopat went to war over merchandising revenue. The Duke boys, Bo and Duke, subsequently were shown the highway, and replaced by two “fake” Dukes, Coy and Vance. (Duke and Wopat returned the following season.)
None of Thursday’s wrangling is likely to bolster the mood of CSI main man William Petersen. The actor/producer, who saw his show earn an Emmy nomination Thursday as Outstanding Drama Series, has been griping for months about CBS’ franchising of CSI, as evidenced in CSI: Miami and the upcoming CSI: New York.
Last spring, Petersen warned that this coming TV year would be his last on the show, which was TV’s top-rated drama, averaging more than 25 million viewers each week last season.
“CSI” Axes Two Stars