For the first time in 35 years, there will be a Black daytime soap opera – here’s what we know

Stephen Nartey March 11, 2024
Renowned writer and showrunner Michele Val Jean, known for her work on "The Bold and the Beautiful," has joined the team behind "The Gates" project. Image via YouTube

A groundbreaking development is underway in the realm of soap operas after CBS Studios and the NAACP announced a forthcoming daytime series titled “The Gates,” featuring a predominantly Black cast.

The show, set in a luxurious gated community, will delve into the lives of a wealthy Black family. It’s the first time since 1989, when “Generations” premiered, that CBS has come up with a soap opera with a predominantly Black cast, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Renowned writer and showrunner Michele Val Jean, known for her work on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” has joined the team behind “The Gates” project. The aim of the series is to showcase stories centered around people of color while delivering the familiar drama that daytime TV viewers anticipate.

Currently, in the developmental stage, CBS will eventually decide whether to officially greenlight “The Gates” for television placement, as reported by People.

“The Gates will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective,” president of the CBS Studios NAACP venture Sheila Ducksworth said in a statement.

“The Gates” series aims to explore culture and character, placing a strong emphasis on the Black experience, as explained in the announcement. The show is poised to celebrate a historically marginalized audience and has the potential to be a groundbreaking moment for broadcast television.

With a focus on multidimensional characters, compelling storylines, and the foregrounding of Black culture, “The Gates” is expected to provide impactful representation, reflecting one of the project’s core values, as noted by Ducksworth.

“I’m excited to develop this project with CBS and P&G, two of the longest and most passionate champions of broadcast and daytime television, and the NAACP, whose enduring commitment to Black voices and artists is both powerful and inspiring,” Ducksworth said.

“The Gates” has the potential to revolutionize Black representation on television and breathe new life into the soap opera genre.

While classics like “Days of Our Lives,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “General Hospital” have enjoyed enduring popularity, CBS hasn’t introduced a new soap opera since 1987.

The most recent network soap opera, “Passions,” premiered on NBC in 1999. Therefore, “The Gates” could mark a significant shift in the landscape of both representation and programming in daytime television.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 11, 2024

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