'Friends' favorite among People's Choice Awards nominees

Los Angeles -- It was a friendly night for NBC's No. 1 comedy, "Friends," at the 30th annual People's Choice Awards.

"Friends" was named best comedy, and Jennifer Aniston was awarded favorite actress. Other big winners were Ray Romano for favorite male performer and "CSI" as best drama.

"Survivor" won best reality-based program. Oprah Winfrey beat Jay Leno and David Letterman for best talk show host.

A Gallup poll determines the People's Choice Award recipients.

'Big Fish' beats 'Rings'

Los Angeles -- In a claim disputed by other studios, Tim Burton's "Big Fish" took in $14.5 million to slip past "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" as the No. 1 weekend movie, according to studio estimates Sunday.

"The Return of the King," the top film the previous three weekends, came in at $14.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $312.2 million.

New Line Cinema, which carries "Lord of the Rings" films, said Colombia's "Big Fish" estimates sounded too high.

Here are other estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final results are released today:

3. "Cheaper by the Dozen," $12 million.

4. "Something's Gotta Give," $8.2 million.

5. "Cold Mountain," $7.9 million.

Aiken brings back bacon

Charlotte, N.C. -- "American Idol" star Clay Aiken returned to his alma mater to present a $20,000 donation to the school and perform during halftime at a men's basketball game.

The game between the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and East Carolina on Saturday was the first sellout of the season, and hundreds of teenage fans were waving signs in Aiken's honor.

Aiken, wearing jeans and a green No. 49 Charlotte basketball jersey with Aiken on the back, performed "The Way" and "Invisible" at halftime of Charlotte's 81-65 win over East Carolina.

Aiken, who was runner-up in the popular "American Idol" television show last year, graduated from Charlotte in December. His first album, "Measure of a Man," debuted No. 1 and went double-platinum.

Former Grammy nominee arrested with gun at airport

Ronkonkoma, N.Y. -- Country music songwriter Hugh Prestwood was arrested after a loaded gun was found in his carry-on luggage at Long Island MacArthur Airport, police said.

Prestwood, 61, who lives in Greenport, was on his way to Nashville on Friday when a screener spotted the .38-caliber revolver, Suffolk County police Sgt. Darrell Dabe said.

Authorities also found two medicines that Prestwood had without prescriptions, Dabe said.

Prestwood was charged with one weapon possession count and two drug possession counts. A call to his home seeking comment during the weekend was not answered.

A staff songwriter for BMG music, Prestwood has written hits for country singers including Randy Travis and Crystal Gayle. He won a Prime Time Emmy for Trisha Yearwood's "The Song Remembers When" and has been nominated for three Grammys.


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