CBS Developing First New Soap Opera In Almost 40 Years 

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

CBS Studios, in collaboration with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has unveiled plans to bring back the allure of daytime soap operas with their latest project, The Gates. Set to be the network’s inaugural soap since the iconic The Bold and the Beautiful, which first premiered in 1987, the announcement could mark a significant resurgence of the genre on broadcast television.

FIrst Soap Opera Since 1987

The Gates promises to offer audiences a captivating glimpse into the lives of a wealthy Black family residing within the confines of an exclusive gated community. Co-produced by P&G Studio, a division of Procter & Gamble renowned for its contributions to daytime dramas like As the World Turns and Guiding Light, the CBS series aims to inject fresh vitality into the realm of daytime television.

Developed By Soap Opera Veterans

days of our lives

Renowned soap opera veteran Michele Val Jean, who has a remarkable resume encompassing over 2,000 episodes of daytime drama, including General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful, is set to spearhead the scripting process for The Gates. Jean’s unparalleled experience, coupled with her involvement in projects like Generations (daytime television’s first-ever Black soap opera), positions her as a formidable force in shaping the narrative landscape of the new CBS series.

Designed From The Ground Up For A New Audience

The brainchild of Sheila Ducksworth, CBS Studios’ NAACP venture president, The Gates is poised to defy conventional norms and cater to an audience historically underserved in daytime television. Ducksworth, along with co-executive producers Leon Russell, Derrick Johnson, and Kimberly Doebereiner, is committed to delivering a groundbreaking viewing experience that celebrates Black culture while exploring multifaceted characters and compelling storylines.

A Gamble For CBS

Commenting on the collaboration, Ducksworth expressed her enthusiasm for the CBS project, emphasizing the significance of inclusive storytelling and the enduring commitment of the NAACP to amplify Black voices in media. The Gates represents a pivotal moment for broadcast television. It aims to redefine the narrative landscape and set new standards of representation.

Decades Of A Lucrative Partnership

The Gates marks CBS Studios’ ongoing partnership with the NAACP, forged in 2020 to cultivate a diverse array of scripted and unscripted content for television and streaming platforms. George Cheeks, President of CBS Entertainment Group, hailed the collaboration as a testament to the network’s dedication to inclusive storytelling and the exploration of diverse perspectives.

The Gates Could Air For Decades

While it’s been 37 years since CBS has developed a new soap opera, in terms of soap opera timelines, that’s not very long. The network’s most recently developed show, The Bold and the Beautiful, first aired in 1987, and it’s the youngest airing daytime soap among its peers, including The Young and the Restless (which has been airing for 51 years), General Hospital (has been airing for 61 years), and Days of Our Lives (ran for 57 years). This means that if The Gates takes off, it will likely also air for decades.

A Pivotal Moment For Television

With its potential for longevity, The Gates could mark a pivotal moment in television history beyond being the first soap opera CBS has developed in nearly 40 years. As viewers await its premiere, The Gates is ready to captivate audiences and redefine the landscape of daytime television for years to come.