July 24, 2004
NEW YORK - Actors George Eads and Jorja Fox will both be back on the job next week at "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" after learning a lesson in hardball network politics.
Eads reached an agreement Friday to return to television's most popular drama after he was fired for skipping work in what CBS believed was a contract dispute, CBS entertainment spokesman Chris Ender said.
He rejoins Jorja Fox, who came to her own agreement to come back on Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Eads did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Friday.
The actors portray investigators Sara Sidle and Nick Stokes on the Las Vegas-based forensics drama. Actors in a successful Hollywood production angling for more money is a long-established Hollywood tradition.
But CBS boss Leslie Moonves, who said the actors' deals had already been renegotiated after two seasons, played tough. "There comes a point where we feel a contract is a contract," he said.
In a similar situation last year with "Everybody Loves Raymond" actor Brad Garrett, CBS kept him on the job and gave him more money.
Eads was hired back at his old salary, a reported $100,000 per episode, said an executive close to the production who requested anonymity. Ender would not comment on terms of the deal.
This week, Eads had essentially pleaded for his job by apologizing before a group of reporters. He said that he had overslept on the first day of filming for the new "CSI" season and wasn't trying to apply pressure.
"It's a big misunderstanding, straight up," Eads told the Television Critics Association on Wednesday. "I want all this to work out. 'CSI' is a part of who I am."
Both actors will be back at work next week, Ender said.
"We are thrilled that Jorja and George could work things out with CBS and return to the show," said series creator Jerry Bruckheimer.