March 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

MOVIES Can you believe that nobody has remade The Poseidon Adventure till now? That’s why reality TV idea man Mike Fleiss is the smartest chap in Hollywood! The Bachelor creator, along with director Wolfgang Petersen (Troy), is producing a redo of the 1972 disaster classic about an upside-down cruise liner (best line: Ernest Borgnine’s wrenching ”MY LINDA!!!”). Getting the rights — believe it or not — was a snap! ”You call up about remake rights all the time, and most of the time it’s like someone else has optioned it or Oprah’s company owns it forever,” Fleiss says. ”No one else was doing it, which was the freakish thing.”… Kate Beckinsale will once again don the black vampire catsuit. She’s on for a sequel to Underworld, last year’s bloodsucker-wolfman lovefest horror movie.

TV The Deal Report is all over the Earnhardt beat. As for Dale Sr., the NASCAR driver who died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500, Barry Pepper is gonna play him in an ESPN original biopic called 3. And Dale Jr.? He’s gonna guest-star on Yes, Dear this season…. Everwood’s Marcia Cross will join Sports Night’s Felicity Huffman and RadioShack’s Teri Hatcher in Desperate Housewives, a one-hour dramedy that ABC is producing as a pilot.

COMICS Bryan Singer is the X-Men master! First he helms two hit movies, now he’s X-ed a deal to write 12 issues of the monthly Ultimate X-Men comic book, with the first to appear as early as the end of 2004.

BOOKS When Junior gets home from school, does he turn on The O’Reilly Factor? Apparently lots of kids do, and feedback from them has helped inspire Fox News big shot Bill O’Reilly to write The O’Reilly Factor for Kids, a ”Survival Guide for America’s Youth” that will include O’Reilly’s thoughts on bullying, cheating, smoking, moms and dads, sex, drugs, alcohol, God, and death. It hits stores Oct. 26.

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