Back in 2004, “CSI” was the most-viewed drama on television (per Zap2it), and Eads and Fox were apparently looking to cash in. Although their contracts paid them $100,000 per episode, which amounted to $2.2 million per season, the actors (or, more likely, their representatives) felt the show’s wide viewership should earn them raises, and they were willing to play hardball to make it happen. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, the actors were threatening to skip work until they got their raises, and appeared to follow through with the plan. CBS fired them both to make examples of them after Eads failed to show up for work one morning, and Fox failed to fax back a signed pledge that she would not do the same.
But within days, the stars were issuing public apologies and offering exonerating explanations. Fox said she signed the pledge but put it in the mail, and Eads insisted he had only accidentally overslept. CBS relented and rehired both actors, but at a cost -– no new raises, even though some other cast members did see their salaries increased.
Eads was again given an involuntary “leave of absence” (via The Hollywood Reporter) after he initiated an altercation with a pregnant staff writer in 2013, and once again left the series just before the show’s finale two years later. He went on to co-star on CBS’s “MacGyver,” only to leave that series prematurely as well. Fox, too, briefly left “CSI” a second time, but her 2007 departure was amicable and short-lived -– she returned to the series the next season and stayed until the end. Now, she’s coming back for the newest version of “CSI,” and fans can only hope she’ll hold onto the job.