Wagner: Tina Fineberg/AP
Kristen Baldwin
August 01, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Two months before NBC’s ”Dynasty”-esque drama ”Titans” hits the airwaves, the Aaron Spelling soap is undergoing a major casting change. A source close to the show tells EW.com that 52 year old Perry King (”Riptide”) — who costars as Richard Williams, the wealthy new husband of a conniving younger woman, played by Yasmine Bleeth — will depart after four episodes (likely via an untimely demise) and will be replaced by ”Melrose Place” and ”General Hospital” vet Jack Wagner, 40.

The former Frisco Jones (and Dr. Jekyll) will step in as Richard’s younger brother, the new owner of the Williams family comglomerate and an eventual love interest for Bleeth. The idea for the casting change came from NBC. Says one network insider, ”The show needed more mean people, and Jack Wagner plays a really good bad guy.” Before they could settle on Wagner, however, execs took a list of several possible replacements to Spelling’s camp, and the choice was finally made on July 31. ”It took a lot of convincing,” says the ”Titans” source, ”but now everybody’s happy.” Well, maybe not everybody.

(Additional reporting by Lynette Rice)

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