The Gates: CBS developing new daytime soap

Emelee

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Monzo

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I have to admit, the description "following the lives of a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community" doesn't appeal to me at all because I'm afraid that once again nothing will be shown of the wealth. In a small living room of this huge (not visible) mansion family members will be talking about how great the ride in the Ferrari was after they had previously taken a trip on the yacht. I would have liked a look into the life of a down-to-earth black family with everyday problems that can escalate to a soapy level, but maybe US audiences actually just want to see exaggerated rich-people dramas on daytime soaps.

I live in a country (Germany) where a new daily soap is constantly being launched, not always successfully. If a new daily starts in Germany, like "The Spreewald Clinic" next fall, the preview of the plot might not fit for US daytime. If you are interested, here is the translated preview of the next German daily soap:

Dr. Lea Wolff gave her daughter up for adoption shortly after her birth 20 years ago. In search of her, the doctor travels from Hamburg to the Spree Forest. She hasn't actually practiced as a doctor for years, but she still takes a job at the Spreewald Clinic. She hopes to learn more about her daughter there. But she also feels that she is needed there. So she finds professional fulfillment in the clinic and an ally in the head physician, Dr. Barbara Berg. She fights with her every day for people's lives and often against their stubbornness. The young nurse Nico is also at her side. Lea also meets her childhood sweetheart Paul again. Is he hiding something from her? Then there is the attractive doctor Erik, who Lea seems to ignore. But she doesn't find him completely uninteresting. Will Lea finally be able to find her daughter and reconcile?
 
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Carrie Fairchild

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I have to admit, the description "following the lives of a wealthy Black family in a posh, gated community" doesn't appeal to me at all because I'm afraid that once again nothing will be shown of the wealth. The Ferrari is standing in front of the mansion while in a small living room of this huge (not visible) mansion family members are talking about how great the ride in the Ferrari was after they had previously taken a trip on the yacht. I would have liked a look into the life of a down-to-earth black family with everyday problems that can escalate to a soapy level, but maybe US audiences actually just want to see exaggerated rich-people dramas on daytime soaps.
While I agree, that as we already have two soaps focused on wealthier characters (Y&R and B&B), it would’ve been good to see something different (I’d love a modern day Edge of Night), I’m just glad we’re getting anything at all. It’s such a surprise for a new soap to surface in this day and age, that I’ll give anything that they put out a go. Particularly as this’ll be the only time, other than Sunset Beach, that I’ll have the opportunity to watch a US daytime soap from the beginning in real time.

Regarding production, it’ll be interesting to see how they convey the wealth for sure. For continuity, the homes and offices etc will have to be sets but I wonder how creative they’ll get with location filming. Anyway, we’ve a long nine months of speculation about every minutiae of the show ahead of us!
 

Monzo

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Particularly as this’ll be the only time, other than Sunset Beach, that I’ll have the opportunity to watch a US daytime soap from the beginning in real time.
That's why I still watch B&B. Santa Barbara and B&B are the only US daytime soaps where I was able to witness the beginning. With Sunset Beach too, but I quickly put an end to that, while I couldn't let B&B go until today.

I'm already thinking about which soap I'll give up if I like The Gates and want to watch it permanently. In recent years I've given up on Neighbours and then Hollyoaks due to lack of time. Swapping B&B for The Gates wouldn't really do me any good in terms of running time, so it'll probably be Days vs Gates for me.
 

Daniel Avery

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I'm assuming that the show's title has a double meaning, that they're referencing the "gated community" concept but also the family in question has the surname "Gates". If that is the case, they're more likely going to be a half-hour series, since an hour-long soap would certainly need multiple core families. I think a half hour would likely be easier to work with and more "watchable" by those with short attention spans.
 

Monzo

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If the focus is only on one family, I hope writers don't make the mistake of closing some doors too quickly and saying that the (grand)parents are now deceased or that the patriarch and matriarch were the only children. It would be better to mention a child at boarding school who joins the series in the summer, or the grandmother who is currently on a cruise and returns sometime in the spring with a younger lover. What I liked about the launch of B&B was that there were four adult children; on SB, I liked the intergenerational dynamic of the Lockridges. Hopefully The Gates creators will look at what has worked well in other daytime soaps.

As for the cast, I wonder if CBS is dreaming big, for example with Blair Underwood and Vivicia A. Fox as parents, or if they're going to use the cast of the many Tyler Perry shows, or if they're going to use well-known daytime faces, even poach black actors from other soaps. Mishael Morgan and Sal Stowers as sisters and/or Lawrence Saint-Victor and Donnell Turner as brothers, for example. I wouldn't be surprised if Mishael Morgan was part of the show because she's a great daytime actress, but since she left Y&R twice it might be a big risk to hire her. I would like to see Lawrence Saint-Victor play a role that challenges him more than Carter on B&B.
 
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Daniel Avery

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It's interesting you mention Tyler Perry alumni, since Gavin Houston (who played Jeffrey Harrington on The Haves and the Have Nots) was hired last year to play the role of Portia's brother on General Hospital, but due to various backstage changes his character just sort of disappeared. Houston already had daytime experience prior to HAHN so he could definitely be someone to audition for this new show. Both he and Peter Parros (who played Jeffrey's father) worked for P&G soaps (Houston for GL, Parros for ATWT) so the producers might have an eye on them already.

If they were to hire Angela Robinson (who played Jeffrey's evil bitch mother, Veronica) to play the show's villainess, I would be thrilled. No way could they top Veronica's antics, but just having her around wearing that evil smile of hers would be enough to make me tune in.
 

Emelee

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Gavin Houston (who played Jeffrey Harrington on The Haves and the Have Nots) was hired last year to play the role of Portia's brother on General Hospital, but due to various backstage changes his character just sort of disappeared.

Many GH fans want Gavin Houston back. He made an impact during his short stay. It would be great if he was cast on The Gates. All soaps need eye-candy who are also interesting characters.

I'm hoping for a nice blend between soap vets and newcomers on the new show. B&B did great in 1987 with that.
 

Rove

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but it needs a really good plot to keep the audience sticking around
Sounds like a great title thread. If we had the option to create a new series how would you start it? If I had an opportunity I'd start with a wedding. Guests arrive at a grand church. The groom, best man and attendants are standing at the alter. The traditional bridal march commences and the heavy doors are cast open. The bridesmaids enter followed by the bride and her father. As they near the alter a gunshot rings out. The bride looks at her father, looks down and sees blood beginning to stain her wedding dress. She collapses. Standing in the aisle is a lone woman holding the gun. As the scene fades to black we hear screams from the guests....

....12 months prior to this event and we begin our introduction to a new series. But we wonder if the bride was worthy of a bullet or was the shooter someone we should feel sympathy for.
 

Monzo

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So CBS and Procter & Gamble have teamed up again. I wonder whether initial meetings discussed reviving a canceled soap, GL or ATWT. I think a new soap is the better way when it comes to streaming, because the secondary use is probably a big incentive for the new soap in addition to live TV.
 

Monzo

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I know that some soaps didn't start with one hour episodes, but expanded there over time. What will it be like at The Gates? Was there actually ever the opposite case, where the broadcast time was halved? In Germany, two daily soaps that I watch are going to be halved from 48 to 24 minutes next year, but at least they have been renewed until 2027.
 

tommie

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I dunno
I know that some soaps didn't start with one hour episodes, but expanded there over time. What will it be like at The Gates? Was there actually ever the opposite case, where the broadcast time was halved? In Germany, two daily soaps that I watch are going to be halved from 48 to 24 minutes next year, but at least they have been renewed until 2027.
The only case when a US soap has cut back is when Another World went to 90 minutes (!) and eventually went back to an hour because it tanked the ratings.

But no, no soap has ever gone back to a half hour. I just don't think the economics back when soap after soap was being cancelled would've made such a cut back make sense - one of the main drivers for The Gates happening is probably because there's so many second-window options for a soap these days (ie streaming), while the cheap replacement talk shows just aren't being watched on those platforms.
 

Daniel Avery

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It might not be considered the same thing, but when Prospect Park tried to revive All My Children and One Life to Live as online soaps, the episodes were half-hour rather than hour-long. The whole thing was such a mess (over-promised and under-delivered, accompanying lawsuits, etc.) that I sometimes feel they tarnished the memory of the originals.
 

Daniel Avery

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I'm not sure if this person knows what they're talking about, but I read a discussion thread about The Gates with the writer claiming that there is a lot of BTS confusion and chaos, that they don't even have the storyline Bible completed. The CBS/Paramount people are "young" execs who don't know how to start up a soap opera because no new soaps have been created in 25 years!

What bothered me most, however is their assertion that CBS is producing the series in Atlanta to help keep the production costs down. I know from the Dynasty reboot that it is a major challenge to get "name" actors to relocate from LA or New York to do Atlanta-based productions for any length of time. A month-long film or a guest spot is okay, but a soap is 250 episodes, all year round. The stars of the series will either have to move there in a semi-permanent way or will have to be lesser-known talents based there already. While I understand the need to keep costs lower-than-low, I fear they won't be able to draw any "ideal" soap actors whose name recognition might help kick the show into gear. NuDynasty had great production values and I felt they looked just as professional as a regular network production from LA or New York, but the general feel of being "cut off" from their LA-based lives made the actors unhappy and more eager to leave (especially Nicollette Sheridan and Ana Brenda Contreras). I have to worry that The Gates will have similar recasting issues or turnover, issues that basically defined NuDynasty in the press.
 
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