Soaps ain't dead yet: CBS set to produce a brand-new "groundbreaking" daytime drama

Posted Wednesday, March 06, 2024 3:40:27 PM
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The four remaining daytime dramas are about to get some company. CBS is in the process of launching the first new soap opera in decades.

And then there were... five? After years of talking about the demise of the soap opera, it now appears that the daytime drama genre is about to get new life thanks to CBS.

The network that currently airs The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful has entered into a partnership with the NAACP to develop a brand-new soap called The Gates based around the lives of "a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community."

Veteran soap writer Michele Val Jean will be The Gates' showrunner, both writing and executive producing the new series. The Emmy-winning writer announced her departure from the B&B writing team just two weeks ago. In 2000, when Val Jean was named head writer of General Hospital, it marked the first time in history that a daytime drama series had an African American head writer. Val Jean was a writer on daytime's first Black family-focused soap, Generations, which ran for just 13 months on NBC from 1989 to 1991.

Procter & Gamble Studios, the company that practically gave birth to the soap opera genre, is the production company behind the soap. P&G has not produced a daytime drama since 2010, when As the World Turns left the CBS airwaves.

"The Gates will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective," Sheila Ducksworth, president of the CBS Studios said in a statement. "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. I also want to thank CBS' George Cheeks, NAACP's Derrick Johnson and P&G's Marc Pritchard for their personal involvement and support to take our next step forward with THE GATES."

There is no word yet on where The Gates will fit into CBS' daytime lineup or when the series might premiere. The Young and the Restless was recently renewed for another four years. The Bold and the Beautiful's current contract doesn't expire until 2025.

There have been just four soap operas in production since the demise of the short-lived streaming reboots of All My Children and One Life to Live in 2013. The last time a new soap opera premiered was 1999 -- 25 years ago -- when NBC's Passions hit the airwaves.

What do you think? Will you watch a brand-new soap? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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