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One Wedding, a Spider and Rings floor moviegoers

Pasadena (California), Jan. 13 (Reuters): At the People’s Choice Awards yesterday, it seemed the people couldn’t quite decide

Spider-Man and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring shared top film honours at the 29th annual awards show that chooses winners in movie, television and music categories from nationwide polling and online voting.

Big Fat Greek Wedding, about a woman, her man, and the family dramas that arise when the two get married, was named best film comedy while epic adventure Fellowship of the Ring claimed a second trophy for favourite film drama. The stars of Rings and Spider-Man were not on hand to accept the trophies and applause, so Greek Wedding star Nia Vardalos and co-producers Rita Wilson and Wilson’s husband, Tom Hanks, grabbed the spotlight for film fans. Like so many others, Wilson said the awards meant a great deal because they came from moviegoers, and Vardalos said she knew exactly who those people were. “All my fans, I’m related to,” she joked with reporters backstage. “My family voted... We put them online.

When asked how winning made her feel, she replied: “Rita and I are happy. We get to shave our legs and wear dresses.” Musical winners at the annual awards show came from a wide range of acts that included rapper Eminem, country and western star Faith Hill and rock band, Creed.

In television groups, Friends took two awards, one as best comedy and the other as favourite actress for star Jennifer Aniston, who limped on stage with the help of a cane. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was picked as the favourite drama while its spin-off, CSI: Miami, was best new drama. “No committees, no critics, just people who like watching TV. What an award to win,” said William Petersen, who plays a sleuthing medical investigator on Crime Scene Investigation.

The People’s Choice Awards are the first awards telecast of the year, but instead of winners being picked by industry associations or critic groups, popular favourites are chosen by moviegoers, music lovers and TV watchers who were polled by the Gallup Organisation and who voted online.

While the awards do not figure into the important critics’ or association awards — the Oscars for movies, Emmys for TV and Grammys for music — the show is generally a popular television programme with movie, TV and music fans because some of their favourite stars show up to accept.

Others don’t, however, and among no shows were Mel Gibson, named favourite film actor, and Julia Roberts, who took the award for favourite film actress for the fourth straight year.

Joining Aniston in the TV acting categories was Ray Romano. He was named favourite TV actor for the second straight year for Everybody Loves Raymond and he brought his twin sons on stage to read his speech.

Last year, he tied with Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer. Romano echoed what many winners said — that winning at the People’s Choice was meaningful because it came from fans. “It’s a cliche, but if the people like you, then that’s the bottom line,” he said backstage.

Long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives was named favourite daytime drama and 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter starring John Ritter, was chosen as the top new comedy series on TV.

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