The Gates, First Black Daytime Soap in 35 Years, a Go at CBS


CBS is opening The Gates.

The Paramount Global-backed broadcast network has handed out a formal series order to The Gates, the first Black daytime soap opera in 35 years.

The network on Monday announced that the series, following the lives of a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community, will debut in January 2025. The specific time period, launch date and other details will be revealed later.

The official series pickup comes a month after CBS announced it was teaming with the NAACP to develop The Gates, with the news marking a show of confidence in the script. Michele Val Jean, who previously penned more than 2,000 episodes of The Bold & the Beautiful and General Hospital, will serve as showrunner and exec produces alongside Sheila Ducksworth, president of the CBS Studios/NAACP venture, as well as Leon Russell, Derrick Johnson and Kimberly Doebereiner. 

The Gates will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective,” Ducksworth said in March when development of the project was first announced. “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. 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.”

As The Hollywood Reporter reported last month, the last Black-themed daytime sudser came in 1989 with NBC’s Generations, which also was reportedly the first U.S. soap to center around a Black family from its inception. Fox also received credit for Empire, the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong drama that launched in 2015 and was regarded by some as a primetime soap.

Soap operas have become a dying breed. There are only three surviving daytime soaps on broadcast: The Young & the RestlessBold & the Beautiful and General Hospital, with Days of Our Lives having moved from NBC to streamer Peacock a few years ago. ABC made headlines in 2011 for cancelling two long-running soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live, with Prospect Park having attempted to revive both online. CBS recently renewed the 51-year-old Young & the Restless for four additional seasons.

The Gates was developed by CBS Studios and the NAACP, with P&G Studios — a division of Procter & Gamble — also involved.



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