Tom Cruise, Frances McDormand and Gywneth Paltrow won big, but weren't around to collect their trophies Wednesday, in the first ever Golden Satellite Awards--the upstart alternative to the far glitzier and much better-attended Golden Globe Awards.

Just in case you missed it, and you probably did, the Golden Satellites is Hollywood's latest entry in the annual award avalanche, honoring movies, television and new media.

The awards are voted on by the 185 disgruntled foreign journalists in the International Press Academy--established to protest the cliquish Hollywood Foreign Press Association, parent of the Golden Globes.

The first Satellite ceremony, however, was not exactly ready for primetime. Fewer than 100 people turned up to witness the event. The presenters tripped over the pronunciation of about every third name, often getting prompting from the audience. 101 Dalmatians was misspelled as Dalmations throughout the program. And one Italian journalist grumbled that the swordfish was undercooked.

The only celebrities to show up were lifetime achievement award winner Rod Steiger, host Stacy Keach, presenter Renee Taylor of The Nanny and Eric Roberts. Joe Bologna, who was also supposed to hand out awards, skipped out to record voices for the Superman cartoon.

Unlike other awards ceremonies of marathon length, the Satellite program sped along at a breathless rate because nobody was on hand to make long-winded acceptance speeches.

The pace was set after Taylor announced the first TV winner and nobody came up to claim the trophy. "Who's going to be accepting...Nobody? Well it's a beautiful award, isn't it? We can always use more awards, the more the merrier," she said holding up the marble and gold statue.

Later, filmmaker Robert Young hopped on stage to accept the screeplay award for Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo. "I've skied with them. I know of them. And I'm sure they'd be happy to know they won," he said.

Event organizer and IPA president Mirjana Van Blaricom blamed the sparse attendance on an L.A. downpour and interference from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Van Blaricom, former president of the HFPA, suggested her rivals used their considerable clout to lean on studios and agents, preventing A-list guests from coming.

That didn't keep away Steiger, though, who received a standing ovation for his body of work. "I don't pay much attention to the politics of Hollywood. I'm too old to be bothered by that," he said, adding that he'd be going to the rival Globe awards Sunday.

If, like the Globes, the Satellites are an accurate predictor of Oscar, than the field is wide open. Fargo, Evita, Jerry Maguire and The People vs. Larry Flynt took home major awards with Independence Day and The English Patient dominating the technical awards. One of the most peculiar choices came in the dramatic best actor field as Geoffrey Rush of Shine tied with James Woods, who was honored for his turn in the obscure Killer: A Journal of Murder.The X-Files and The Larry Sanders Show claimed the top TV prizes.

Here's the complete list of winners of the first ever Golden Satellite Awards:

Best Motion Picture, Drama: Fargo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Frances McDormand, Fargo

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama (tie): Geoffrey Rush, Shine and James Woods, Killer: A Journal of Murder

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture in a Supporting Role, Drama: Courtney Love, The People vs. Larry Flynt

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture in a Supporting Role, Drama: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Shine

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Evita

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture in a Supporting Role, Musical or Comedy: Debbie Reynolds, Mother

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, in a Supporting Role, Musical or Comedy: Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire

Best Motion Picture, Foreign: Breaking the Waves, Denmark

Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Best Director of a Motion Picture: Joel Coen, Fargo

Best Motion Picture Screenplay, Original (tie): John Sayles, Lone Star; Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, The People vs. Larry Flynt

Best Motion Picture Screenplay, Adaptation: Anthony Minghella, The English Patient

Outstanding Original Score: Gabriel Yard, The English Patient

Outstanding Original Song: "You Must Love Me," Evita

Outstanding Cinematography: John Seale, The English Patient

Outstanding Visual Effects: Volker Engel, Douglas Smith, Independence Day

Outstanding Film Editing: David Brenner, Independence Day

Outstanding Art Direction: Catherine Martin, W. Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

Outstanding Costume Design: Penny Rose, Evita

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Gulliver's Travels

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Alan Rickman, Rasputin

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Kathy Bates, The Late Shift

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Stanley Tucci, Murder One

Best Television Series, Drama: The X-Files

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama: Christine Lahti, Chicago Hope

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama: David Duchovny, The X-Files

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy: The Larry Sanders Show

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: Jane Curtin, 3rd Rock from the Sun

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy: John Lithgow, 3rd Rock from the Sun

Best Education CD-ROM: "101 Dalmatians" Storybook

Best CD-ROM Game: Monty Python & The Quest for the Holy Grail

Best Entertainment CD-ROM: Cinemania '97

Best Home Video Game: Super Mario 64

Outstanding New Talent: Arie Verveen

Outstanding Contribution to New Media: Bill Gates

Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment Industry: Rod Steiger

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