Thursday, April 18, 2024

Will CBS’s “The Talk” Get the Axe to Make Way for a Black-Themed Daytime Soap: Something on the Schedule Will Have to Go


People involved in CBS’s daytime schedule got a shock yesterday.

The network announced that through its alliance with the NAACP and with Procter & Gamble — which itself is really weird — they are working on a Black-theme afternoon soap.

They did not say whether it was for CBS or Paramount Plus exactly, but CBS was the network mentioned.

“The Gates” will be executive produced and written by veteran Michele Val Jean, who just quit her job at CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

That soap, on the air since the 1980s, was recently given a one year renewal, which surprised fans and people with the show. Sister show “The Young and the Restless” was rewarded with a four year renewal.

So is “Bold” in danger of being replaced by “The Gates”? That’s one assumption since the 30 min “Bold” would be the likely spot for the new show — if it gets through development.

But “Bold” still has decent ratings and a strong following, particularly in international territories. Pulling the plug would cause a lot of unhappiness among soap fans and not be a good way to introduce a new show.

CBS, however, only has a couple of hours to choose from in the afternoon. Now my sources — who know a lot about the network — say “The View” could easily be cancelled. The talk show has foundered with low ratings for a long time. No one talks about it really, as opposed to ABC’s “The View.” I’m told “The Talk” could end without much protest, and “The Gates” could easily fill that hour.

As for the P&G part of this story: so weird they’re involved. They once ruled the afternoon airwaves with a dozen popular soaps including “As the World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” and “Another World.” But P&G hated the shows, and conspired to push away viewers and kill those shows. They are all gone now. Why would they want to be part of this scenario? To pitch products to a Black audience? After flushing away all that opportunity? Really weird!

PS Val Jean worked on a Black soap called “Generations” on NBC that ran from 1989 to 1991 and failed to attract an audience. Maybe it was before its time. We’ll see.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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