Robert Wagner

I have a confession to make. I've sort of known this disappointing news for a while, but out of respect to all involved have kept a lid on it. Now, with the cast and producers of ABC's new Charlie's Angels about to descend on Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, ABC and Sonyare finally allowing me break the news officially.

In a statement provided to me exclusively, the network and production studio say, "Due to his scheduling conflicts, Robert Wagner will need to step away from his duties as Charlie on Charlie's Angels."

Sad, as RJ, as the 81-year-old actor is known, had expressed to me as recently as May how well his voice recording had gone and how excited he was to follow in the footsteps of his late pal John Forsythe, who played the character in the 1976-81 series and two feature films.

Additionally, I hear the slick robotic sounding voice heard in the pilot sent to media in May was only temporary and casting is ongoing for the man who will ultimately give new angels Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), Eve (Minka Kelly) and Abby (Rachael Taylor) their marching orders this fall.

With TV's former Jonathan Hart now out of the running (I'm not going to probe into this for any further explanation), who would you like to hear step into this iconic role? What about an English man like former Star Trek skipper Patrick Stewart? Or perhaps the first female Charlie voiced by someone saucy like the smoky-voiced Demi Moore? Or are you a traditionalist who feels Charlie must forever remain an American male?

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