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Skirting writers strike, People's Choice Awards ceremony honors winners on location

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January 9, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The stars of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" were among the fan favorites at the 34th annual People's Choice Awards on Tuesday, as CBS scrapped its usual live broadcast of the show in favor of a strike-friendly, pre-taped program.

The two-month-old Writers Guild of America strike has taken a toll on Hollywood's awards season, leading to the cancellation of the Golden Globes and the scaling-down of People's Choice. The fate of other shows, including the Oscars, remains in question.

The People's Choice Awards announced last month that it would replace its traditional live show with "a new format" that had its crews deliver trophies to music, film and television stars on location.

Robin Williams accepted his award for favorite funny male while on tour with the United Service Organizations in Kabul, Afghanistan. Members of Rascal Flatts picked up their prize for favorite group at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and Patrick Dempsey found out he was the favorite male TV star while at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The show couldn't be canceled entirely, host Queen Latifah said Monday.

"The thing about the People's Choice Awards that's different from everybody else is it's the people's choice," she said. "So as much as we actors and writers and everyone are dealing with the writers strike and supporting the Writers Guild, you can't disrespect the people who keep us working, and that's the people. Ten million people logged on and voted for everyone, so out of respect for them, we have to" present the awards.

Other winners in categories that spanned from movies to television to music included Johnny Depp of "Pirates" as favorite male movie star, Katherine Heigl of "Grey's" as favorite female TV star, "Dancing With the Stars" as favorite reality show, Ellen DeGeneres as favorite talk show host and Justin Timberlake as favorite male singer.

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