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CBS is developing its first Black daytime soap opera in 35 years

CBS has teamed with the NAACP to develop <em>The Gates</em>, which would become the first daytime soap with a predominately Black cast since NBC's <em>Generations</em>. Here, the CBS logo seen at the CBS Television City Studio in Los Angeles.
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CBS has teamed with the NAACP to develop The Gates, which would become the first daytime soap with a predominately Black cast since NBC's Generations. Here, the CBS logo seen at the CBS Television City Studio in Los Angeles.

CBS and the NAACP are teaming up to develop an all-new soap opera — the first new daytime drama with a predominantly Black cast to air on TV in decades.

The series, currently titled The Gates, will follow the lives of a wealthy Black family in a "posh, gated community," according to a news release from the NAACP.

The show is set to air on CBS and is produced by both CBS Studios and the NAACP, which formed a new production venture to help elevate diverse voices and increase the visibility of Black creatives on TV and streaming media.

The Gates will be written by daytime soap opera veteran Michele Val Jean, who will also serve as executive producer and showrunner.

Val Jean has written more than 2,000 episodes of daytime television and won multiple Daytime Emmy awards for her work on The Bold & The Beautiful and General Hospital — two of the three remaining daytime soaps currently on TV, the NAACP said.

"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 said in a statement.

Ducksworth, who was appointed in 2020 to lead the joint venture between CBS and the NAACP, added that the series will have "impactful representation," as it will salute an audience that has routinely been underserved.

"I'm so profoundly touched by the overwhelmingly positive response to #TheGates," Val Jean wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, following the series announcement.

So far, there has been no word about when the series will come to TV or who will star in it.

The last daytime soap to feature an all-Black family at its center was Generations, which aired on NBC in 1989 and ended in 1991 after just 13 months on air, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Currently, there are only three surviving soap operas on broadcast television: General Hospital, (which airs on ABC), The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, (which both air on CBS).

In September 2022, Days of Our Lives moved from NBC to its streaming platform Peacock.

The last time a TV network debuted a new soap opera was 25 years ago with NBC's Passions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Passions lasted for nine seasons and aired its series finale in 2008.

CBS's last new daytime drama to come from the network was The Bold & the Beautiful, which first aired in 1987.

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Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a reporter on the Newsdesk covering both race & identity and breaking news.