Stephen M. Silverman
January 13, 2003 08:27 AM

The 29th annual People’s Choice Awards, based on votes by the public, shined down Sunday night on Ray Romano and Jennifer Aniston as favorite TV performers.

“Friends” also was named favorite TV comedy, while “Survivor: Thailand” was named favorite reality show and “CSI,” dramatic series.

Humorously comparing the People’s Choice Awards to the 300 other award shows scheduled to take place between now and June, favorite dramatic TV actor, “CSI” star William Peterson, 49, told the crowd, “No committees, no critics, just people who like watching TV. What an award to win.”

Romano, 45, brought his two young sons onstage to read his acceptance speech for him, while Aniston, 33, according to the New York Daily News, sported a cane to assist her walking to the stage.

According to the paper, she also deserved the evening’s unofficial award for the star “most obviously not wearing any underwear.”

“Spider-Man” and “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” tied for favorite movie, with “Rings” also winning for dramatic movie. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” took the movie comedy prize.

Backstage, reports Reuters, Nia Vardalos, 40, who wrote and starred in “Wedding,” said she knew who voted for her. “All my fans, I’m related to,” she joked. “My family voted … We put them online.”

Faith Hill, 35, was picked as favorite female performer.

Among the no-shows at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium were favorite male musical performer Eminem, favorite film actor Mel Gibson and favorite film actress Julia Roberts, who took that category for the fourth straight year.

The Dixie Chicks, who tied with Creed for favorite musical group or band, conveyed their thanks via satellite, with Natalie Maines, 28, quipping that they now had to go dangle Michael Jackson off their hotel balcony.

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