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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Wednesday on Utah TV: You can root for BYU prof on "Survivor" and root against some of her teammates

The thing about a good reality/competition show is that viewers have a rooting interest. We love some contestants and root for them; we hate other contestants and root against them.

And that's the explanation for the "Fans vs. Favorites" subtitle in Survivor: Caramoan (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2). A bunch of those favorites are people we've rooted against in seasons past.

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Some of the "Favorites" are nice folks - like Utahn Dawn Meehan, the BYU English professor from South Jordan who was the 11th person voted out in "Survivor: South Pacific" in 2011. She's definitely somebody you can get behind.

That's certainly not true of all the other members of her tribe. She's teamed up with some real winners. And by winners, I mean losers, including:

-Brandon Hantz, the bratty nephew of "Survivor" super villain Russell Hantz who seemed somewhat unbalanced in his previous stint.

-John Cochran, the back-stabbing nerd.

-Phillip Sheppard, whose psycho behavior was part of his game - or maybe just part of his personality.

The 10 returning players are in one tribe; 10 longtime fans of the show are in the other.

Host Jeff Probst is promising this is one of the best seasons ever. We'll find out starting with tonight's 90-minute season premiere.

Elsewhere on TV ...

The Middle (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Sue's ex-boyfriend invites her to a Valentine's Day dance.

Whitney (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Whitney blurts out her feelings about Alex's obnoxious brother.

Nature (7 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Wolves and buffalo are "cold warriors" in Canada.

American Idol (7 p.m. Fox/Ch. 13): The remaining female contestants perform.

Arrow (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): After he's shot, Oliver recalls a significant event from the island.

The Neighbors (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Marty and Larry Bird get makeovers.

Guys with Kids (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Chris tries to reinvent himself.

Modern Family (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Claire and Phil's Valentine's Day romp ends with Claire in the hospital.

Law & Order: SVU (8 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): The detectives team with an FBI agent on a 25-year-old rape-murder case.

Nova (8 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): Satellite data reveals some amazing facts about the planet Earth.

Supernatural (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Kevin deciphers the tablets and figures out how to close the gates of hell.

Southland (8 and 9:06 p.m., TNT): In the fifth-season premiere, Sammy is determined to save a dog he shot accidentally.

Suburgatory (8:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Tessa takes Ryan to an art film on Valentine's Day.

CSI (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A Cuban singer's sister dies under mysterious circumstances.

Nashville (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Rayna tells her daughters about the impending divorce.

Chicago Fire (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Dawson tries to help her brother.

The Americans (11 p.m., FX): Stan investigates Robert's death.

Hot In Cleveland (11 p.m., TV Land): Joy discovers something unusual about Elka.

Necessary Roughness (11 p.m., USA): Dani tries to get to the bottom of a quarterback's anger issues.

Happily Divorced (11:30 p.m., TV Land): Fran flies to London to surprise Elliot.



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