After a star-studded flurry of premieres in December, the kudocast season kicked into gear last week absent many of the A-listers these fetes were designed to showcase.

At last week’s People’s Choice Awards and American Music Awards, much of the buzz was about who showed up and who didn’t.

Julia Roberts skippedthe People’s Choice Awards, which producers tried to camouflage by showing a clip of her past acceptances. The tactic only called more attention to her absence. Mel Gibson also passed on Pasadena, but Tobey Maguire and Sean Astin managed to tape their thanks for the shared motion picture win for “Spider-Man” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”Jennifer Aniston was one of the bigger names present, gamely limping onstage with a broken toe to accept her win as female television performer.

Across town at the AMAs the following evening, Eminem, the Dixie Chicks and Creed all missed their chance to pick up multiple awards. Double winner Ashanti did appear at the Shrine to take home her trophies for favorite new artist in both pop/rock and hip-hop/R&B categories.

Given that fickle attendance, the fledgling DVD Premiere Awards at the Wiltern Theater (mounted by Variety sister publication Video Business) did manage to draw a crowd that had people talking.

“Is this not the ‘Twilight Zone’ of awards shows?” queried soundtrack winner Robbie Robertson. “I keep expecting David Lynch to jump up and yell ‘Cut!’ “

Miramax honchos Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino and Gary Sinise were among the notables — along with the Olsen twins.

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