“The Gates”, First Black-Led Soap Opera in 35 Years, Promises 'a Fresh Perspective' on Daytime Genre

CBS's 'The Gates' could be the first, new soap opera to air on any network since 1999

<p>Earl Gibson III/Getty Images</p> Sheila Ducksworth

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Sheila Ducksworth

For the first time in 35 years, a soap opera will have a predominantly Black cast.

According to a release from CBS Studios and the NAACP, CBS’s upcoming daytime series The Gates will follow the lives of a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the show is first to do so since the series Generations aired in 1989.

Michele Val Jean — known for The Bold and the Beautiful — has signed on as writer and showrunner for the project, which aims to prioritize POC stories along with all the usual drama daytime TV viewers expect.

Related: Soap Opera Couples Who Met and Fell In Love on Set

<p>Courtesy of Sean Smith/The Bold and The Beautiful </p> The Bold and The Beautiful

Courtesy of Sean Smith/The Bold and The Beautiful

The Bold and The Beautiful

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.

Culture and character will be at the forefront of the series, with an emphasis on Black experience, the statement continued. “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,” Ducksworth added. “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.”

Related: Soap Stars Who've Played Their Roles for 40 Years or More

<p>Joe Pugliese/NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection</p> Passions

Joe Pugliese/NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection


Not only could The Gates be groundbreaking in terms of Black representation on screen, but it could single handedly revive the soap opera genre. Though shows including Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital have been widely beloved by viewers for decades, there hasn’t been a new soap to premiere on CBS since 1987. The latest soap across networks was NBC’s Passions, which premiered in 1999.

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No casting or premiere news has been announced for The Gates at this time. 

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