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The first Black daytime soap in more than 30 years, ‘The Gates,’ is in development

The first Black daytime soap in more than 30 years, ‘The Gates,’ is in development
Posted at 11:45 AM, Mar 12, 2024

The NAACP is partnering with TV network CBS and P&G Studios (a division of Procter and Gamble) to create the first Black-centered soap opera in more than 30 years, the civil rights organization announced last week.

“The Gates” will follow the lives and loves of a wealthy family in an exclusive neighborhood — much like its fellow CBS daytime dramas “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

“‘The Gates’ will be everything we love about daytime drama, from a new and fresh perspective,” said Sheila Ducksworth, president of the CBS Studios-NAACP venture and an executive producer on the show, 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.”

The new soap will include “juicy storylines” that put “Black culture front and center,” she continued.

Ducksworth, shown above, was was appointed to lead the CBS-NAACP partnership four years ago “to create and distribute truly groundbreaking content that speaks to the Black experience,” she said at the time.

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“The Gates” follows in the footsteps of “Generations,” an integrated NBC soap that lasted only a brief time from 1989 to 1991. That drama told the story of two Chicago families, the Marshalls and the Whitmores. Two of that show’s stars, James Reynolds and the late Kristoff St. John (shown below), went on to become legends of daytime TV.

Kristoff St. John accepts Emmy Award
AP Photo/Matt Sayles

“Generations” also starred the late Richard Roundtree, of “Shaft” fame, and was one of Vivica A. Fox’s first big gigs. Fox played Roundtree’s daughter, Maya, and was a later addition to the cast.

“The fact that I got to work with Richard Roundtree — it was like, ‘Shaft is going to play your dad,’” Fox recalled to Entertainment Weekly in a recent tribute to “Generations.” “And I was like, ‘Get out of here!’ My character just came in and took off. Kristoff and I, we got so much wonderful press. I remember feeling like, ‘Oh my gosh, I made it.’”

Former “Generations” writer Michele Val Jean will be on board at “The Gates” as well. Now an Emmy winner and an established daytime TV pro, she’ll be an executive producer, showrunner and writer for the new project. Other executive producers include Leon Russell, Derrick Johnson and Kimberly Doebereiner.

It’s still early days, so there’s no word on any casting choices or premiere dates yet. More to come, daytime drama devotees!

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