Noting that two cast members from TV's highest-rated procedurals—CSI's Gary Dourdan and Law & Order: SVU's Diane Neal—would be leaving their series at the end of their contracts, TVGuide.com's Michael Ausiello has reexamined the evidence, and concludes that these seemingly friendly departures were more likely the result of some less-than-amicable shitcannings:
In the case of Dourdan, an insider at the show insists that he and CSI execs "mutually agreed" to part ways for "creative reasons." However, a CBS mole claims the 41-year-old actor was essentially fired, adding that producers are trying to be "as supportive and protective" of him as possible by portraying the departure as mutual. That same mole wasn't willing to share the specific reason for Dourdan's ouster, except to say that it involves an "ongoing problem personal to Dourdan." [...]
Over at SVU, the situation surrounding Neal has become equally suspicious. On Tuesday, a show spokesperson confirmed to me exclusively that the actress would be vacating her role as ADA Casey Novak in what appeared to be a mutual decision. However, shortly after I posted that story, a show insider says an emotional Neal gathered the crew together on the set and informed them that she had just been fired.
Of course, more definite clues could arise once we get a better look at how the show's writers choose to dispatch their series regulars. We're reminded of a similarly acrimonious parting of Prison Break's Sarah Wayne Callies, whose gruesome demise involved the discovery of her character Sara's decapitated head in a box. Should we tune in to the season finale of CSI to find Marg Helgenberger running a black light over Dourdan's battered, limp body to get a better look at the tell-tale semen stains left after his fatal gang-raping, we'll know producers were not entirely broken up about the actor's departure.
- Exclusive: Were Dourdan and Neal (Gulp) Fired [TVGuide.com]