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TV Note: 5/21/02

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Another Survivor crowned

Vecepia "Vee" Towery had to wait five months after coming home to find out, but it was well worth the wait: She won the grueling "Survivor: Marquesas" contest and the $1 million prize.

Towery, a 36-year-old office manager from Portland, Ore., beat Neleh Dennis, a 21-year-old psychology student from Layton, Utah, after the parchment ballots were tallied live at the conclusion of CBS's "Survivor 4" Sunday night.

In an interview after the telecast, Towery said she plans to finish work on the home she and her new husband have been renovating, and to invest the rest -- but all that will come after "tithes and offerings to my Father," she said.

What makes her most proud? Being the first black contestant to win.

This is also the first "Survivor" where women emerged as the two finalists. Both were outspoken in their Christian faith during the series, and were condemned by some rivals as "Bible-thumpers."

Though hardly the ratings or cultural blockbuster of the original "Survivor," which aired during the summer of 2000, the weekly "Survivor: Marquesas" was the eighth-rated series during the 2001-02 season.

In overnight ratings, the "Survivor" finale beat the competition, pushing CBS to first place for the night. NBC, with its "Cosby Show" reunion, ranked second. Fox, with its "X-Files" series finale, came in third. ABC ranked fourth, brought down early in the night by the movie "Dinosuar," though the second hour of "The Practice" came in second at 10 p.m.

A fifth "Survivor" series, set in Thailand, is scheduled for this fall.

(Frazier Moore, Associated Press)

Election coverage

The Pennsylvania Cable Network, PCN, will have coverage of today's elections, including the gubernatorial primary, throughout the day with results beginning to air at 9 p.m.

Pittsburgh's PCNC will begin coverage at 8 p.m., go to an election-themed "NightTalk With John McIntire" at 9 p.m. and return with a one-hour newscast at 10 p.m.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

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