George Eads George Eads

CSI is losing another veteran team member.

George Eads, who has played the role of CSI Nick Stokes since the series' pilot, will exit the show at the conclusion of the current season, has learned exclusively. Sources say Eads' departure was amicable and that his character's exit will be connected to the resolution of the Gig Harbor Killer case. However, it remains unclear exactly how his character will be written out of the series.

Look back at the CSI cast through the years

Eads had no official statement about his departure.

Eads, who took an extended leave of absence last season after a behind-the-scenes dustup, is the last remaining original cast member on the show. His exit follows those of William Petersen and Gary Dourdan (Season 9), Marg Helgenberger (Season 12) and Paul Guilfoyle, who ended his run last season. Jorja Fox, who is a regular in the current cast, was not in the pilot and made only recurring appearances during Seasons 9 and 10.

Eads was temporarily fired from the show in 2004 after he failed to show up to set at the beginning of Season 5 as part of a reported salary dispute. Eads maintained that he simply overslept. He was eventually reinstated into the cast.

CBS recently trimmed CSI's order for this season to 18 episodes to make room for spin-off CSI: Cyber as well as other midseason dramas. Sources say Eads' exit is unrelated to the episode order and neither has any impact on the possibility for future seasons.

CSI airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS. Will you be sad to see Eads and Nick go?

(Full disclosure: is owned by CBS.)

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