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Showtime pays homage to black entertainers

Lathan helming special

Showtime has begun production on “It’s Black Entertainment,” a 90-minute special which will pay homage to the most memorable musical performances by African-American in film over the past 70 years.

Peter Guber’s Mandalay Media Arts is producing the spec for Showtime in association with Russell Simmon’s Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food,” “Light It Up”) will host the show, slated to premiere in February.

Notables to appear

Stan Lathan (“Moesha,” “Martin”) will direct the special, which will feature interviews with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Gregory Hines, Little Richard, Berry Gordy, Busta Rhymes, Jamie Foxx, and Smokey Robinson.

“This special will underscore the unique and dazzling stamp that black entertainers have put on music and the movies,” said Showtime Networks exec VP of original programming Mark Zakarin.

Simmons, Lathan, John Davies and Steven Lewis will exec produce.

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