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OWN Slates Comedy Specials Deadline

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is trying its hand at comedy. Deadline.com reports that the channel will televise a pair of comedy specials July 13 and July 20, with comedian Wanda Sykes hosting.

The all-female summer specials, “Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious,” will focus on emerging female comedians.

“The one-hour original comedy specials will be hosted and produced by Sykes and Page Hurwitz’s Push It Prods., in conjunction with Harpo Studios,” the story reports. “The shows will be taped in front of a live studio audience at Harpo Studios in Chicago, the former home of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’”

Among those set to perform are Andi Smith, Gloria Bigelow, Marina Franklin, Tracey Ashley, Carmen Lynch and Dominique Witten, the piece reports.

The report adds: “Kym Whitley from OWN’s Raising Whitley is among those scheduled for a guest appearance. Sykes also will appear with her guests in a series of comedy shorts that will air throughout each hour.”

Executive producers are Sykes, Hurwitz and Harpo’s Jill Barancik, with Sykes collaborators Lance Crouther and Alyson Fouse on board as writers.

The report notes: “Sykes hosted and produced her own late-night talk show ‘The Wanda Sykes Show’ on Fox. She also co-created/executive produced and toplined the Fox comedy series ‘Wanda at Large.’ Sykes has done three stand-up specials: ‘Wanda Sykes: Tongue Untied’ for Comedy Central and two HBO specials ‘Wanda Sykes; Sick and Tired’ and ‘I’ma Be Me,’ both of which were nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards.”

Thumbnail image for wanda-sykes.jpgWanda Sykes