While the much-rumored "Friends" reunion that circulated across the Internet this week won't be happening, another classic series is getting a reboot. CBS announced on Wednesday that it is bringing back the classic 1978-82 TV series "The Incredible Hulk" for a series of reunion movies set to air beginning in the fall of 2014. Bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno will reprise his role as the green-skilled Hulk and, for the first time ever, a deceased actor will star in a TV special. Officials at Universal, the studio that owns the rights to the franchise, will dig up the grave of Bill Bixby, who portrayed tormented scientist Dr. David Banner in the series but passed away in 1993, open the casket, remove the carcass and film it in various poses in front of hyperdroxate high-definition cameras. By fusing together some of Bixby's dialog from the original series, they plan reconstruct the character of David Banner from the ground up.
"This is bound to raise an eyebrow or two, and we understand that, but nobody can play this character like Bill Bixby -- he was a great actor -- so rather than attempt to recast the Banner character, we figured this was worth a shot," said series creator Kenneth Johnson, who will helm the new movies. "Bix was a great man who may or may not have had a problem with what we're gonna do."
If this idea takes off, other carcasses could be dug up to portray classic TV characters in future reunion specials. "Face it, Hollywood is fresh out of ideas," said an industry insider who didn't want to be named. "For the love of God, they brought back 'Knight Rider' a few years ago. If the Bixby experiment works, we could see other actors brought back from the dead. It's either that or someone sits down at a desk and comes up with an original idea. Now which do you think is easier?"
When reached for comment, Ferrigno said: "This is in extremely poor taste, and if I hadn't been unemployed for 31 years, I would have no part of it. But I really need the dough, so I'm willing to star as the alter ego of a dead guy if I have to. I just don't get how Bill is making twice the money I am on these new movies when he's been dead for 20 years."
Nobody knows how the Hulk specials will turn out, but CBS is banking on them generating high ratings.
"Everybody is gonna make it a point to watch these movies and see what it looks like to have a dead guy star in a television show," said CBS president Leslie Moonves. "Yes, we're gonna dig up a grave and remove a carcass. But we're gonna make a fortune, and TV history, in the process. This will literally be groundbreaking, no pun intended."
When reached for a comment on CBS' and Universal's plans, Bixby's estate released the following statement:
"What the fuck?"