This might be a moot point as CSI has not been renewed for next season and is heavily on the bubble, but if there is a 16th season of the veteran CBS crime procedural, it will be without original cast member George Eads. Sources confirm that he will depart at the end of this season. Eads is the only original CSI cast member who has been on the show for all 15 seasons to date. He, along with co-star Jorja Fox, were briefly fired at the beginning of Season 5 over a salary dispute but were quickly reinstated. Eads also was benched for a few episodes last season over an on-set altercation with a writer on the show. It is unclear whether Eads’ exit from CSI has any relation to that incident.
CBS is not commenting on the circumstances surrounding Eads’ character’s departure, but according to TVGuide.com — which first reported the news — it will be tied to the Gig Harbor Killer case.
Cast changeovers are normal for long-running procedurals. By the time Law & Order went off their air, there was not a single original cast member still on the show. (Mariska Hargitay on spinoff Law & Order: SVU is a major exception).
Eads is the last remaining CSI cast member who had been on the show since the pilot. Fox joined the veteran series after the pilot and also briefly left in Season 9 before coming back.