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Brooke Burke: Beautiful Women Don’t Try To Hold onto 20s

What's the best way to age gracefully? "One of the most important things is not to try to hold onto your 20s," says Brooke Burke, a drop-dead gorgeous 38. "You see these people trying to turn back time and it doesn't work. The best approach is to look your best at any age."

With her latest job — taking over as host of TV Land's "She's Got the Look" competition reality show for wannabe models of 35 years and older — Burke has given the topic of lovely women of a certain age quite a bit of consideration.

"We have a 55-year-old woman this season who is stunningly beautiful, confident and certainly capable of giving the women in their 30s a run for their money. Feeling beautiful is a big part of it — the mental attitude," she says. "You can see that as you watch these women finding their own confidence."

For Burke, "She's Got the Look" fits nicely into the world of women she's been communicating with and pitching to on her ModernMom.com website — women with children, women who buy her Tauts belly shapers, women past the twentysomething and single season of life.

The industrious Burke, who rose to fame hosting the E! channel's "Wild On!" and appearing in Playboy pictorials is, these days, into the juggling season — with four kids and her man, hunky David Charvet, in addition to her career.

And what a busy career. She'll be seen on E! getting ready for this Sunday's (8/29) Emmy awards. On Monday (8/30), she'll be joining Tom Bergeron to announce the celebrities participating in their next season of "Dancing With the Stars." (Insists the Season 7 winner-turned-co-host of the show, "No, I don't know anything yet. I'm completely in the dark.")

Soon after that, she'll be turning in the manuscript for the autobiographical book she reports that Penguin plans to publish in February. "I'm excited; although, I have to say it does make me feel very vulnerable. It's really an emotional thing to go back and dissect your life and think about the things you did right and wrong. It's very revealing. I'm sharing most of my experiences very honestly," she says. "It's in three parts — mother, lover, woman."

HOLD ALL CALLS: Look for the Sept. 1 finale of the CW's "Plain Jane" to "up the stakes" of the reality show in which insecure young women undergo makeovers while preparing to make confessions of affection to their dream crushes. That's according to Allison Grodner, who produces the show along with partner Rich Meehan.

"We have a woman who recently lost a lot of weight — she's still not skinny; she's average size for America — who has a workplace crush. Imagine professing your love to someone, knowing that whatever the outcome, you still have to see them every day. And her workplace colleagues were aware of what was happening."

Grodner's hopeful for a pickup of the summer show hosted by fashion expert Louise Roe. "The idea was to make a show different from all other reality shows — to make a mini-movie, like a real-life romantic comedy. I'm a lover of romantic comedies. It's so much fun to be rooting for the underdog — usually, it's the girl — hoping she gets her guy."

If there's a Season 2, will there be turnabout — a "Plain Joe"?

"I think that could be terrific, to see this from the male perspective at some point. There's a lot of room to tell a lot of different stories," she notes. "It's not always the girl with the glasses in the corner."

Super producers Grodner and Meehan own a large chunk of summer viewership thanks to "Plain Jane," "You're Cut Off," "She's Got the Look" — and the show that started it all for them, "Big Brother." The latter continues as a summer behemoth; last week, all three editions turned up in the Top 10 ratings.

Grodner shrugs off the apparent rip-off factor of certain current reality shows and her "Big Brother."

"Yes, there are a plenty of imitators out there. I think that's OK. We're flattered by that," she says. "I like that we're one of the shows that shaped reality television competitions, along with 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race' and 'American Idol' in this whole turn that's really happened this century. I can't believe we've been going at this now for 10 years. It's a testament to the format that it's stayed strong, that we still have diehard fans that are watching in the show on all its platforms — something we pioneered," she says, speaking of the "Big Brother" house's continuous Internet coverage and its Showtime After Dark offshoot.

She also feels, "We've been helped by the fact we're a summer show. People have to wait for it, then they commit to it. Other shows can work in higher frequency, but I think 'Big Brother' has benefited by being on only once a year."

Still, "I think every year, we're surprised to come back again," Grodner confesses.

"This season, we have a likeable group. I don't think there's anyone so hate-able they're turning people off, as has happened in the past." She laughs. "Though, there might be people who disagree with me."

INDUSTRY BITS: With Jim Carrey now officially set to play the title role in the big-screen adaptation of the beloved children's book "Mr. Popper's Penguins" for Fox, casting is under way for his offspring, described as being "alienated from their workaholic dad." Those are son Billy, age 8-11 to play slightly younger, and a younger sibling, per casting notices, "a boy or girl child."

With temperatures in the triple digits, you have to know it's time to film holiday TV movies! Casting is under way for an ABC Family movie called "Hunky Santa." It's about a "workaholic mall manager," a female, who gets a brainstorm to hire a Santa who can bring in a whole new kind of jolly. Ho, ho, ho.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.


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