By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 30, 2003 02:43 PM

In a story ripped from the headlines, former “Lois & Clark” Superman Dean Cain, 37, has been cast to play accused murderer Scott Peterson in USA Network’s TV movie “The Perfect Husband,” says the Hollywood Reporter.

The news comes just as the real-life Peterson, 31, is in a Modesto, Calif., courtroom at a hearing to determine whether he will stand trial for the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn child, who was to have been named Conner.

According to the trade paper, “The Perfect Husband” will chronicle the story of the fertilizer salesman, starting with the mysterious disappearance of Laci last Christmas Eve. It will also reportedly follow the lengthy search for her and the grim discovery of the remains of both Laci and her baby along San Francisco Bay.

The story is set to wrap up with Peterson’s arrest in the San Diego area.

Though no airdate has been announced, filming is scheduled to begin early next month in San Diego. Dee Wallace-Stone, best known for her role as the mother in “E.T.,” will play Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha.

“Dean is a perfect choice for the role — he combines classic, all-American good looks with an ability to convey the startling contradictions beneath the surface,” said Jeff Wachtel, a USA executive.

As for Wednesday’s hearing in the Peterson case, opening testimony dealt with DNA analysis as prosecutors attempted to link a 6-in.-long hair found on pliers in Peterson’s boat to Laci. The parents of both Scott and Laci were in attendance (but reportedly did not so much as look at each other).

Peterson’s defense lawyer Mark Geragos is disputing the admissibility of the hair evidence and suggests that someone may have tampered with the hair in the boat, the Associated Press reports.

It was originally listed as a single strand, but prosecutors said it broke in half during their investigation.