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George Eads CSI Series Finale

George Eads Opts Out of CSI Finale, Forcing Last-Minute Script Revision

Turns out not everyone will be returning for this fall’s big CSI farewell, as star Marg Helgenberger declared at Comic-Con last weekend.

TVLine has learned exclusively that George Eads has decided not to participate in the two-hour swan song, forcing series creator Anthony E. Zuiker to excise Nick Stokes from the already-completed script. 

While Eads never officially signed on to the project, I’m told Zuiker and his fellow producers were hopeful that the actor would reprise his role alongside fellow CSI vets Helgenberger and William Peterson (with more names expected to be announced soon).

It’s not clear why Eads opted out — production starts on July 29 in Los Angeles — or whether his absence will be addressed on screen. (I’m told the script did not have to undergo a major revamp since Nick — whose storyline was wrapped up in February’s Season 15 finale, Eads’ last episode as a regular — wasn’t critical to the central plot.)

Eads’ representative declined to comment for this story. CBS similarly had no comment.

“I’m excited… that all of us are going to be back,” Helgenberger told TVLine at Comic-Con (see video, below). “I think it’s going to be a really fun time.”

CSI‘s two-hour goodbye — tentatively titled “Immortality” — is set to air Sunday, Sept. 27 on CBS.

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67 Comments
  1. Dmac says:

    He sounds like a complete a**.

  2. LostInAnarchy says:

    William Petersen. Not Paterson.

  3. Kristen says:

    No Nick!! Boo!

  4. Glen Williams says:

    Guess George doesn’t think much of the fans of the show..he is just letting us all down.

  5. Vickie says:

    George should stay for this last episode of this great show, he should stay just for the fans who have loved him all these years. I will really miss seeing him on this last show.

  6. Loretta says:

    I never thought of him as a team player anyway, he has always been for self. He won’t be missed.

    • bookgirl021 says:

      He has always been a team player. A team player would not have been shooting when he was in tremendous pain with a spinal injury. He worked almost the entire season like that.

      I don’t blame him for not coming back. The way he’s been treated.

      • KevyB says:

        Yes, he was a team player when he didn’t show up to shoot as contractually required, was immediately fired, then magically showed up the next day after an “illness”, which Jorja Fox also apparently contracted – and recovered from – on the same day!

        He was also a team player when he screamed at a pregnant writer, which was apparently so bad he was written out of several shows immediately the incident.

        Both Gary Dourdan and Eads are on record saying Eads has a bit of an attitude on-set and Dourdan often had to pull him off-set to calm down his “diva” tendencies.

        The way he’s been treated!

  7. Lana says:

    It wasn’t going to be all of them without Warrick anyway.

  8. Mr. Tran K says:

    Disappointed that Nick Stokes won’t be back for CSI two-hour series finale after what went down when he left the Las Vegas crime lab to pursue another job.

  9. Guest2U says:

    Nick was written out in the last episode. Last year Eads was put on suspension/leave for several weeks by Mendelsohn for some kind of dust up with a writer and missed #300. We’ll never know, but I don’t blame Eads—for whatever happened, I believe he stuck up for the character and the writer threw a temper tantrum, not Eads! So I hope “Nick” has a great career in San Diego.

  10. javadude54 says:

    Great news. I disliked his arrogant, obnoxious and self-righteous character.

    • bookgirl021 says:

      No, that was Sara.

      • Jacob Taylor says:

        No definitely Nick. I liked him inthe first few years but his character changed and so it seemed to me Eades attitude/ego.

      • Not Impressed says:

        In reply to:
        bookgirl021 says:

        July 17, 2015 at 4:55 PM

        No, that was Sara.

        Sorry, sweetie. That wasn’t Sara. Sara brought so much humanity and empathy to her character and the show. She’s unconventional; and it took an equally unconventional man, Grissom, to appreciate her truth worth! Petersen said to Jorja last September when they held the Salute CSI event at Paley Center that Grissom fell for Sara because Sara got him; and he fell Jorja because Jorja got him, too.

        15 years of bashing Sara and GSR still not enough for you? Your own ‘ships’ have no leg to stand on and you took it out on a fictional character whenever you come to a message page? Give it a rest. Will you? It’s not attractive to be fueled and motivated by hate. I believe in karma. How about you?

    • bookgirl021 says:

      No, that was Sara.

      • Say No To CBS says:

        Grissom loves her for what she is. Deal with it – no matter what kind of jaundiced POV you hold towards a certain characters.

    • J. Norman says:

      I didn’t like Nick Stokes the character either. He has always been my absolute least favorite oo the show.

      As for George Eads, the character. I suspect that in his mind, this is some type of payback to the shows producers for nearly firing him years ago – when he (and Jorja Fox) – tried to run a coup and hold out.

      Only to come running back fast as soon as he saw they (showrunners) were going to call his bluff.

  11. Gail says:

    As long as William Petersen is the main character in the finale, I am good.
    It could be that George chose not to come back because he was just written out on the last episode aired. Also they said his character was not central to the plot. I don’t know how he was written out but he may have felt his character’s story was complete and his leaving may have been an important part of that season finale. If he had been off the show for a year or two he may have felt differently about coming back.

  12. Anne says:

    They should have dumped him years ago, maybe the show would still be on.

  13. mooshki says:

    Now if only Marg Helgenberger’s real face could come back for the finale.

    • Say No To CBS says:

      Finally, someone shared the same sentiment like the one I had. It’s just hard to look at her face on HD. And her upper lip, too. Don’t know what happened to this once fabulous face of hers. *sigh* Maybe that’s why she has to keep on wearing those low cut tops — so the viewers would look at her chest and not her face.

  14. albertj15 says:

    Is he playing with a full deck?

  15. Brandi says:

    Awe, I’m bummed. I’m wondering about Brass, will he make an appearance?

  16. Cas says:

    Hmm not sure I want to watch now. But I probably will.

  17. Alyse says:

    Elisabeth Shue isn’t returning either

  18. I’m sorry he won’t be in it. George gave all of the fans years of a wonderful character. I’m glad to see Lady Heather will be in the finale.

  19. Carol says:

    That show should have ended years ago.

  20. Yj says:

    The problem lies in the script – if he “wasn’t critical to the central plot” than why would he come back? Just to be a glorified extra? They treated him bad, he doesn’t have to take it anymore

  21. cookie says:

    George, Poncho how could u do this to ur fans?? We would have liked to see u move on from whatever story line in the finale. I was so connected to ur struggle as a CSI, but u now have let me down. When u were trapped in that box and buried ants eating at u was a powerful episode. And to denie ur fans closure is just wrong. I am not privy to what goes on in ur life or the show but really u couldn’t just suck it up for the finale??? This is not how I thought you’d go out this way. I’m am Really disappointed that you have bailed out.

  22. Gail says:

    Per the Wikipedia entry, the character of Nick does not appear to have been central in his final appearance. The description sounds like his leaving was the tag scene after the main plot was resolved. Perhaps after 15 years he felt more should have been made of his departure. An actor does not owe his fans anything but a good performance. An old but accurate saying.

    In “The End Game” (season 15, episode 18), Nick leaves Las Vegas when he is named the Director of the San Diego PD Crime Lab. Nick reveals to Sara that he’s got an offer that is too good to refuse, but it will mean walking away from the friendships he’s cultivated in good old Sin City. Sara reminds him that she’ll only be a car-ride away and reminds him what Gil Grissom would say to him: “You gotta go where you can do the most good”.

  23. Jeri says:

    He didn’t age well, or perhaps “aged too well & early.”

  24. Kate says:

    “I’m told the script did not have to undergo a major revamp since Nick wasn’t critical to the central plot.”
    While he’ll be missed, I really don’t blame Eads for not coming back. He was the only original actor who stayed with the series the entire run, and his character isn’t even a component of the central plot. That’s gotta sting. Of course having Petersen back is huge. But the writers could have made Eads more relevant to the arc in gratitude for his loyalty. Yes, there were a couple bumps during his time on CSI. But as I said at the outset: He’s the ONLY original member who stuck with the show for 15 season. He should have been shown a bit more respect by the producers, writers and CBS.

  25. GraceM says:

    What an idiot. It’s a finale TV movie, the least he could do was show up and make a cameo.

  26. aph1976 says:

    I wished George Eads would come back for the finale but maybe he already his closure when CSI ended back in February because he had decided to leave the show even before it was cancelled i think.So maybe he wants to look forward and not back in his career.

    • Kate says:

      I believe he did decide to end his character after S15, regardless of whether the show returned for a 16th season or not. I don’t blame him for not wanting to return for the movie, especially when his character isn’t being given a pivotal arc in the movie.

  27. Pamela says:

    Eads can kiss my a** !! It’s about the fans you jerk!

  28. John Hibert says:

    Not to change the focus. But still no word on 24. With Jack. Come on fox you got a solid winner. Very Disappointed viewer

  29. Jaxson Kelley says:

    Bash George/Nick all you want. He put in his time, and probably doesn’t feel like playing second fiddle to Catherine and Grissom anymore. I don’t blame him because of the shoddy treatment by the writers, show runners, and most likely co-stars too.

  30. Jacque says:

    It’s a shame that some CSI is leaving TV cuz I really enjoyed the showIt’ I don’t care for a cyber is a cyber it’s just not for me I just turned off and go to bed its not even worth watching

  31. James says:

    Eads is an ass! He’s a legend in his own mind!

  32. Terry says:

    No it will not be the same without Nick. He is being selfish this was + always be a great series. You would hope everybody from the cast would be there for the finale. I wish it would never end I watch reruns of it save the favorites on DVR. In my world it will always be watched never get sick of watching them. Farewell to all.

  33. Patti says:

    I think he is making a huge career mistake. CSI made him known to the world. He struggled for years before getting that role. He may find it difficult to get work now because of the decision not to be a “team player” in the final episode of CSI. He seems to be holding a grudge because he had to work through an alleged serious illness. Welcome to the real world, George, We all have to that if we have contracted to do a job.

  34. Jen pederson says:

    boy the haters are really spewing here…it’s just a show, get real how can you hate a character so much… you people need to get a life… what really ruined the show the last few years are the blondes, one is way too emotional and the other one with the attitude and know it all ,,,just stunk..and I am speaking of the characters…

  35. gail says:

    George Eads is such a loser. I’m glad he is not in the finale. Moving on.

    • Dixie says:

      George should have been added to the final. I watched every show and the writers should be ashamed.Why would people bash George for acting what the writers gave him?

  36. Carol says:

    He’s not missing much anyway.

  37. Marlene tighe says:

    Boooooo! Where is George Eads in the series finale??? I’m disappointed!

  38. Vickie says:

    Missing Nick! Wish he had signed on!

  39. Debbie says:

    I can’t believe George Eads couldn’t drop his ego to be in this movie. At least for his fans and friends.

  40. The Carpooler says:

    I realize his character is dead, but really missed Gary Dourdan in this. A flashback scene would have been great.

    Oh well. Overall I enjoyed it.

  41. SEC says:

    Who is the guy sitting in the middle of the couch?

  42. Jo-Ann Toth says:

    Hi I have enjoyed the last 15 years of CSI. Every week I would sit down to get my dose of it. It was fascinating to see the show grow and develop. It is sad to see it go but it is understandable. It has lasted longer than most but Mash will always beat most shows. It will be missed.