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PEOPLE CHOICE AWARDS (article first published : 2005-01-11)

“It’s official,” say M-Net organisers. “We now know who the most popular US entertainers are.”

The winners of the 31st Annual People Choice Awards were announced on January 9 at a glitzy ceremony in Pasadena, California.

In the television category the American public chose the smash hit Desperate Housewives as the best new drama series of the year and the best new comedy award was given to Friends spin-off Joey. M-Net has confirmed that both these shows will be screened on the pay channel in 2005. Joey will start on M-Net on March 23 at 19h30, while the first episode of Desperate Housewives will be aired early in May.

Matt LeBlanc, who plays the title role in Joey, also garnered the award for Best male television star. Best male action movie star winner was Will Smith who stars in Bad Boys 2, one of the channel’s movie premières in February.

Previously the nomination and awards process for The People Choice Awards were based on a national poll. This year, however, the magazine Entertainment Weekly, the People Choice production team and pop culture fans were responsible for the nominations. Thereafter the American public could vote online. Some 21 million votes were cast.

The People Choice Awards is the hors d'oeuvre in an appetizing menu of award ceremonies honouring the world’s finest performers. The main dishes will all be broadcast on M-Net, from start to finish. The Golden Globes will be screened on January 17 at 20h30. Next in line is the Grammys on February 14, and all movie fans can tune in to watch the Oscars on February 28.

The complete list of People Choice Award winners include: Motion picture - Fahrenheit 9/11 and Drama motion picture - The Passion of the Christ.

Shrek 2 won Comedy motion picture; Animated motion picture; Favourite sequel; Animated movie star (Donkey voiced by Eddie Murphy), and Movie villain (The Fairy Godmother voiced by Jennifer Saunders).

Favorite on-screen chemistry - Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates. Female movie star - Julia Roberts; Male movie star - Johnny Depp; Female action movie star - Angelina Jolie; Male action movie star - Will Smith; Leading lady - Renee Zellweger; Leading man - Brad Pitt; Funny female star - Ellen DeGeneres, and Funny male star - Jim Carrey.

Television drama series - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Television comedy series - Will & Grace ; New television comedy series - Joey ; New television drama series - Desperate Housewives; Female television star - Marg Helgenberger; Male television star - Matt LeBlanc; Late night talk show host - David Letterman; Daytime talk show host - Ellen DeGeneres; Reality show competition - American Idol; Reality show – makeover - Extreme Makeover Home Edition; Reality show -- 24/7 - Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica .

Crest fans favourite smile - Julia Roberts; Pantene fans favourite hair - Jennifer Garner; Cover Girl fans favourite look - Kate Hudson; Favourite group - U2; Female singer - Alicia Keys; Male singer - Usher; Favourite remake - "The First Cut is the Deepest" by Sheryl Crow; Favourite combined forces - "Yeah" by Usher/Lil Jon/Ludacris; Country group - Brooks & Dunn; Country female singer - Shania Twain, and Country male singer - Tim McGraw.




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