The actor, fired last week by CBS, says he wasn't after more money, he just overslept

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 22, 2004 08:00 AM

Axed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation actor George Eads says he wasn’t involved in a salary-negotiating ploy when he missed work – he just overslept.

Eads, who plays Nick Stokes on the top-rated CBS drama, told TV reporters Wednesday that he hoped the “big misunderstanding” with the network and its boss, Les Moonves, would soon be resolved so he could return to work, reports the Associated Press.

“Yeah, definitely, I look forward to going back,” he said in the midst of promoting his July 30 TNT movie Evel Knievel.

Eads and his CSI costar Jorja Fox were fired last week after failing to report for the start of production on the upcoming fifth season. CBS said they had demanded raises beyond their contracts.

By early this week, Hollywood casting sheets contained calls for possible replacements for the roles – though there have been reports that Fox has already rejoined the show.

Eads and Fox reportedly were each making $100,000 per episode for the series, or $2.2 million a year.

“They think it’s about money and it’s not,” Eads said. “I overslept. … I woke up white as a sheet 3 1/2 hours after I was supposed to be on the set.”

He called in to report his tardiness, he said, but was told, “Don’t bother.”

The square-jawed, Texas-born Eads, 37, went on to tell reporters, “It’s like I’m the quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys and I overslept the first day of practice. I’d expect the coach to have me run hills and run wind sprints until the sun goes down, not you know, completely fire me.”

CBS has yet to comment on the possibility of rehiring Eads.