Actors Jorja Fox and George Eads were axed from CBS' megahit crime franchise, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Wednesday and Thursday. Although both actors had gotten raises, they wanted more money and were threatening to not show up for work.
CBS includes clauses in all actors' contracts that requires them to sign letters stating that they will adhere to the terms of those contracts. According to insiders, Fox hadn't returned that letter. Eads had, but failed to appear at work on the first day of shooting Thursday. Fox and Eads–who play investigators Sara Sidle and Nick Stokes, respectively–both were in the fifth year of seven-year contracts.
Several members of the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond staged a similar walkout last year, and CBS responded by handing out raises and backend interests in the syndication profits. Observers say CBS wanted to send a message that it expects actors to honor their contracts. CBS had no comment.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.