CBS developing first Black daytime soap in 35 years: ‘The Gates’

The new soap opera is set to follow a wealthy Black family living in a "posh, gated community."

The daytime soap opera is getting a new take. CBS has announced the development of “The Gates,” a series that has the potential to be the first daytime soap opera with a predominantly Black cast in 35 years.

A large sign and logo greets visitors to CBS’ Television Studios on April 26, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series will take place in “a posh, gated community,” following the lives of a wealthy Black family living within it. Production of the series will come from a CBS Studios/NAACP production venture in partnership with P&G Studios, a division of Procter & Gamble.

Daytime Emmy winner Michele Val Jean (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), will write the series and serve as showrunner. Throughout her career, Val Jean has written, “more than 2,000 episodes of daytime TV.”

“‘The Gates’ will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective,” Sheila Ducksworth, president of the CBS Studios NAACP venture, shared in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

“This series will salute an audience that has been traditionally underserved, with the potential to be a groundbreaking moment for broadcast television. With multi-dimensional characters, juicy storylines and Black culture front and center, ‘The Gates’ will have impactful representation, one of the key touchstones of the venture.”

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The last daytime soap opera with a mainly Black cast, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, was “Generations.” The series premiered in 1989 as a half-hour drama, making history as the first U.S. soap to center around a Black family from the beginning. Fox’s hit series “Empire” is also considered a soap opera, but rather than a daytime soap, it was a primetime drama.

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