One of the original stars of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" will be missing in action from several episodes this season after having an altercation with a writer for the show.

As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, George Eads will take a leave of absence from the long-running CBS drama. The actor, who plays Nick Stokes, apparently got into a heated exchange with a pregnant writer over his character's story line.

Word of the incident is said to have gotten back to executive producer Carol Mendelsohn and resulted in a meeting that ended with Eads threatening to quit, according to THR.

Eads will be in this season's first three episodes, which have already been shot. But then he'll be gone -- at least for a while.

"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," a representative for CBS TV Studios said in a statement to THR.

The actor signed on to return as a regular, along with the rest of the cast, when CBS renewed the series in March. His absence, sources say, is not considered an attempt to renegotiate his contract. Eads -- and co-star Jorja Fox -- were both briefly fired from CSI in 2004 after a short-lived salary dispute with the network and and production company.

Sources told THR that Eads' absence will be addressed in the fourth episode of the season when Catherine (Marg Helgenberger) returns to the show and hand-picks his character to receive special training at Quantico. That will be the milestone 300th episode of "CSI," which returns Sept. 25.

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