'Gladiators' Hulks up

NBC Uni's TV series, film team for promotion

Hulk smash! NBC will air a special "Incredible Hulk"-themed episode of "American Gladiators" with guest star Lou Ferrigno sharing the arena with host Hulk Hogan.

Ferrigno played the bulky green avenger in the 1970s TV series version of "The Incredible Hulk." The "Gladiators" episode will include a hulked-out Gladiator Arena and an exclusive 60-second preview from the upcoming movie "The Incredible Hulk."

The effort represents a cross promotion for NBC Universal, whose Universal Pictures is producing the "Hulk" film along with Marvel Studios.

The "Hulk"-themed "Gladiators" episode airs June 9; the film opens four days later.

For the episode, the show's Los Angeles Sports Arena will be revamped with Hulk theming.

About 1,000 pairs of Hulk Hands will be given to audience members to wear throughout the episode, and some also will wear Hulk masks. Gladiators will use Hulk Hands while competing in the Gauntlet.

The arena's water will look green. Titan will be green. There will be green lighting, green graphics, green balls for Powerball. Pretty much everything will be green.

The effort is part of Universal's efforts to reintroduce the Hulk for its big-screen do-over of 2003's disappointing "Hulk." The studio has tie-ins with such partners as Burger King, 7-Eleven, Kmart and Pringles. (partialdiff)