Yet another awards show? Critics' Choice Awards wants to be first

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On Friday, American journalists jump on the bandwagon of saluting the best films of 2009, with the annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, televised on VH1, MTV's sister channel in the US. In a season crowded with awards shows, what does another have to add?

The producers want to be the first show to call the winners, as a bellwether event predicting the Academy Awards. Since it airs only a couple days before the Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes, many stars are in Hollywood to attend this event, too. Almost all major acting nominees have committed to attending.

A-List presenters include Jason Bateman, Emily Blunt, Vera Farmiga, Heather Graham, Samuel L. Jackson, Tobey Maguire, and Susan Sarandon. Bradley Cooper ( The Hangover), Josh Duhamel ( Transformers), and comedians, such as outrageous comic Sarah Silverman will also be part of the show.

Only in its 15th year, the Critics' Choice Awards, founded in 1995 by the Broadcast Film Critics Association of 200 television, radio and online critics, is not as splashy as the Hollywood Foreign Press affair, established 67 years ago.

The CCMAs are telecast live at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT from the Hollywood Palladium with host, Emmy and Tony winner, Kristin Chenoweth (TV's Pushing Daisies, Broadway's Wicked). The Jonas Brothers' Nick Jonas and his band, The Administration, will perform.

John Krasinski ( Away We Go, The Office) and Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler ( Alvin & the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel) will present a tribute to the late John Hughes, director of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Meryl Streep presents Kevin Bacon with an award for philanthropic efforts with his Six Degrees Foundation connecting people to causes and charities.

Among the 25 categories, only covering film, nominees for Best Picture, besides Up and Up in the Air, include the critically-acclaimed The Hurt Locker, Precious, An Education, and A Serious Man. In addition, there are some more overlooked films nominated, such as Nine, Invictus, and Inglourious Basterds. Of course, Avatar is also on the list.