Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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One of the most successful television shows in the last 20 years, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” actually started in the 1990’s when Anthony Zuiker approached Jerry Bruckheimer with a script for a movie. Bruckheimer was enthralled by the script, and said that Zuiker’s idea would be even better suited for a television show. After FOX and NBC passed on the script, CBS executives decided to pick it up and put it in the fastlane for development, making its debut in 2000.
“CSI” was in the graveyard that is known as Friday night scheduling, but became so popular that it moved into a better timeslot and became a ratings juggernaut. In the years since then, there have been a lot of different stars and spin-off shows (including Miami, New York and Cyber). After more than 300 episodes over the course of 15 seasons, “CSI” finally came to an end in 2015 after a wildly successful run.
Some of the stars that are well remembered on “CSI” include Laurence Fishburne, Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue. While they might have some interesting stories from the set, producers were dealing with another pair of stars that they were having problems with behind the scenes. Jorja Fox played Sara Sidle as both a regular cast member and recurring character throughout the show’s entirety while George Eads played Nick Stokes, a regular for all 15 seasons.
Producers tried to hide the fact that Fox and Eads were actually fired for a very brief time four years into the show’s run, but the media caught wind of it. Much of the cast was receiving pay raises for the show’s success in 2004, and Eads was asking for a big bump since he was such an important character. The producers declined to give him a raise, so they ultimately fired him. As for Fox, she was let go because the producers say that she never returned a fax form saying that she would show up for shooting in time.
The two were hired back within just a couple of weeks, and the actors said that those weren’t the full stories. Eads had apparently woken up late, and told critics that “They think it’s about money, and it’s not. I overslept. I woke up white as a sheet three and a half hours after I was supposed to be on set.” When he called in to say that he was running late, producers told him not to “bother” because he was fired.
As a result of the firings, Fox and Eads didn’t have much leverage with the producers if they wanted to get back on “CSI”. They both compromised by returning to set for the original salary of $100,000 per episode that they were making before. It must have been tough, as all of the other actors were receiving raises of around $20,000 per episode. Perhaps the situation planted the seeds for future conflict between the producers and the Fox and Eads camps.
Fox took a break as a regular from “CSI” because she said that she wanted to take a break, and would later return after a two year diminished role to become a regular again. As for Eads, he got into it with the writers and producers on the set in 2013. Eads was not happy with the creative control that was going on, and took a leave of absence. Eads returned without missing significant time, marking two times that he left the show only to return.
The long running drama had its own drama coming behind the scenes, and it seemed to emanate from the same two actors. However, there would be a lot of cast members that left the show before it was ultimately put to a close. Eads left for good after 15 seasons, which is partly why the showrunners decided to wrap a bow in September 2015 with a pair of episodes that would act as the series finale. As for the spin-off shows, “CSI: Miami” ended in 2012 after 10 seasons, “CSI: New York” ended in 2013 after nine seasons and “CSI: Cyber” ended after two seasons in 2016.