After the mercy killings of its cheerless comedies Daddio and Tucker, NBC brings much-needed malice back to Monday nights with Titans, which debuts tonight in its new 8 pm timeslot. Can the Peacock replicate the ratings upshoot Fox enjoyed after moving another Aaron Spelling sudser, Melrose Place, from Wednesday to the more female-friendly Monday? Titans dreamboat John Barrowman hesitates to hazard a guess, but the actor — who plays martini-soaked malefactor Peter Williams — seems glad to raise hell any night of the week.

"Good guy parts are unmemorable," Barrowman tells TV Guide Online as he reclines on a blue velvet chaise lounge in his dressing room. Even during his white-hat wearing days on CBS's Central Park West, he admits he was occasionally mistaken for lookalike co-star Justin Lazard. But no more. When Barrowman's Peter strolls into a scene — almost always with a martini in hand — viewers get set to be shaken and stirred by his vodka-fueled venom. "Drinking is Peter's excuse to lash out at people," he says. "He's like a child vomiting. He doesn't care, he just walks into the room and spews all over everyone!"

Given what Barrowman cheekily calls the "heightened reality" of an over-the-top melodrama, his character's verbal affronts often lead to fisticuffs. "I do my own stunts, so I do get injured on the job," he grins. "Once, I punched a cop in a strip bar and actually had a bloody bruise on my arm [from wrist to elbow.] And it was embarrassing in another scene where Chandler (Casper Van Dien) threw me against a table, because I had to wear a back brace that made me feel like a hunchback. But as long as they keep sending those checks, I'm willing to suffer for my art."

Come the holidays, Barrowman takes a break from the warring Williamses — whose portrayers include Yasmine Bleeth, Victoria Principal and Jack Wagner — to spend time with his off-screen family. "It's been awhile since I did a musical," the theater vet says, "and my parents are afraid my singing has fallen by the wayside for television. So this Christmas, I'll be at the First Presbyterian Church in Haines City, Florida, where they've asked me to sing three songs."

For those who can't travel to the land of dimpled chads to hear him croon, you can log onto Amazon.com to buy Barrowman's latest album, Reflections from Broadway.