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Mr. Lewis, who once teamed with comedian Dean Martin, grew into a film icon with antics and characters including Julius Kelp in “The Nutty Professor.”

He was nominated in 1977 for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the telethon and muscular dystrophy relief.

Oprah calls her new cable venture a tough climb

Oprah Winfrey says creating her new cable network has turned out to be a steep climb.

“I’m climbing Kilimanjaro,” she told advertisers Thursday at a presentation for the Oprah Winfrey Network. She quickly explained that her Kilimanjaro is at the offices of OWN.

The network has struggled to build an audience since its launch in January 2011. It recently announced severe staff layoffs and a management shake-up with Discovery Communications, the company that has bankrolled it with more than $300 million.

But Miss Winfrey struck a hopeful note in her brief remarks, even as she acknowledged she’s still nowhere near the channel’s summit of success.

“With our restructuring and right-sizing and getting into the sauce of what needs to happen every day, I feel like I can at least now see the summit,” she said.

OWN was unveiling four new prime-time series, including “Elura and Michele Take Staten Island,” a reality series with two outspoken former prosecutors who tell people how to straighten out their problems; “Iyanla Fix My Life,” starring the author and inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant; “Married to the Army: Alaska,” which focuses on Alaska-based wives and families of military troops who are off serving in Afghanistan; and “Six Little McGhees,” about high school sweethearts Mia and Rozonno McGhee, parents of the first sextuplets born in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, OWN will introduce a new game show, “Are You Normal, America?” It measures its contestants’ opinions and habits against those of the nation overall.