Nick Stokes will not be around for the most part of the upcoming fourteenth season of CSI. His portrayer, George Eads has been reported to take a leave of absence as a regular on the CBS procedural following an altercation with a writer.
According to THR, Stokes' will be part of the upcoming season's first three installments. On the fourth, his absence will be addressed when Catherine (Marg Helgenberger, who will reprise her role in the landmark 300th episode) hand-picks his character for an assignment in Quantico. The episode will air on Oct. 23.
A rep for CBS commented on the argument and said, "George Eads will not appear in several episodes during the first half of the season. We look forward to him returning to CSI very soon".
Feeling unhappy for the storyline of his character, the report added that Eads clashed with an eight-months-pregnant co-writer of a recent episode.
On Thursday, the aforementioned report from THR was denied by a spokesman for Eads. The rep issued a statement that says, "George will definitely be returning to the show and looks forward to participating once again in something he has passionately been a part of for 14 years. He has nothing but the greatest respect for the creative and professional choices of the producers and writers that are behind CSI."
CSI opens its new season on Wednesday, Sept. 25.