Friday, July 16, 2004

No Investigation Needed

CSI proves to me that the possibility of good television programming that emphasizes good characterization and good writing can exist, be popular, and most important in most programmers' minds, be profitable. But there is a demon in the freezer: greed. Once you smell a good thing, there is a compulsive desire to take all you can from it. When you are thirsty for milk, look for a dairy cow.

Well, folks, CBS's teet is dry. Jorja Fox and George Eads, two principal leads from the cast, got FIRED! Why, pray tell? These two good, although not excellent or peerless, actors wanted more green to make the scene. CBS told them to find a new scene.

Is this another case where sin makes you stupid? Were they being well-compensated? I would think so. Do they need more money? As there are no reports of new children or new adoptions or elder parents moving in with them, I would vote again "no." It would follow then that asking for more money is some sort of power play or ego boost or something in that line. It goes without saying that CBS could be, and in fact, are, equally complict in their departures as CBS is making a probable small fortune off the show. I say probable because I don't have access to financials for the company. It wouldn't kill them to up the pay a bit. In other words, in this little melodrama, you get to hiss freely at every one you see.

It seems to me though that this act of theirs is also profoundly selfish. While these two play prominent roles on the show, there are three other main actors. If Fox and Eads want more money, how about acting as an ensemble, or do they think they are that important? Because the show is built around an ensemble, there is a serious risk that the show might founder and be cancelled. Once you get a good chemistry, it is extraordinarily difficult to do it twice, that whole "catching lightning in a bottle" trick. It doesn't cross the viewing public's mind how many people are actually employed by a television series. If CSI goes off the air, then all those folks lose their jobs also.

So while I wish Fox and Eads the best in the future, this current moment leaves me a little peeved.

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