Show creator Hanson wanted the star, who passed away on Monday (03Sep12), to return to the show after Duncan's Bones spin-off The Finder was not picked up for a second season.
Hanson had planned to shoot a crossover episode which would feature characters from both Bones and The Finder, and explain the whereabouts of Duncan's character.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We put all that on hold when he had his heart attack in July, but we were hoping he'd be back. (Bones star) David Boreanaz directed a Finder episode, and David and MCD (Duncan) really bonded. They're both team-playing, big-hearted, noisy, jock-type wonderful guys. We're just now coming to grips with the idea that MCD is gone. I sure hope we can think of something that would do him proud."
The 54 year old, who will be laid to rest at a private memorial service on Monday (10Sep12), died after failing to fully recover from a cardiac arrest he suffered in July (12).