LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- In one of the industry's most surprising moves in recent memory, actors George Eads and Jorja Fox have been fired from CBS' top-rated drama "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" over breach of contract.
The duo was sacked after neither appeared for work yesterday, the first day of production on the show's fifth season. Both Eads and Fox had reportedly been looking for a pay raise from their current estimated salaries of $100,000 per episode. Many actors over the years have attempted to secure a pay raise by not showing up for work, as was the case for "Everybody Loves Raymond's" Brad Garrett last season.
No doubt expecting a similar situation, CBS had requested a letter from all of the show's actors confirming their intent to return to work. Both Fox and Eads were then terminated on Wednesday and Thursday respectively after the Eye didn't receive their letters. Both nevertheless insist theirs letters were sent and are mystified over their terminations. Co-stars Marg Helgenberger and William Petersen also failed to appear for work yesterday but each is said to be missing for legitimate health reasons.
Co-stars Paul Guilfoyle and Gary Dourdan, both of whom are in the same pay range as Eads and Fox, were also said to be looking for raises however each is understood to have accepted modest pay bumps in exchange for more air time this season. Peterson and Helgenberger, who make significantly more than their co-stars, have apparently not made any rumblings about raises, making their absences likely nothing but coincidental. Helgenberger is believed to make $200,000 per episode while Peterson, who also has executive producing duties on the series, pulls down $500,000 per episode.
Each of the show's principal cast members is in the fifth year of the industry standard seven-year contract.
Casting is currently underway for actors to play new characters that will replace Fox and Eads' roles on the show.
No statements have been released from either camp however the news will undoubtedly be a key issue during today's CBS session of the TCA's summer press tour.