Wishful casting: Imagine these popular soap stars on The Gates

Posted Thursday, March 07, 2024 10:40:41 AM
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The newly announced soap The Gates has a treasure trove of soap stars to pick from for its cast.

The soap world came alive on March 6 when news broke that CBS is developing what could be the first new daytime soap in 25 years. Centered around a wealthy Black family, The Gates is a joint production between CBS, the NAACP, and P&G Studios that will be executive produced and written by veteran soap scribe Michele Val Jean.

"I'm so profoundly touched by the overwhelmingly positive response to The Gates," Val Jean wrote after the news broke. Val Jean noted that the response was so positive that she was inundated with messages. "[K]now I'm humbled and grateful for your support. Wow. Let's do this."

Soap fans rejoiced in the knowledge that the soap opera genre might see a resurgence -- and were quick to choose some past and present popular stars who could lead The Gates to success. Soap Central has compiled a list of some of the most-suggested names and added a few of our own.

Victoria Rowell

Rowell seemed to be the most popular choice of soap fans when browsing social media -- and with good reason. The actress was mega popular as Drucilla Barber Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1990 to 2007. The last time she appeared was as herself in 2019 during a memorial episode for longtime co-star Kristoff St. John. Rowell has also fought hard for diversity on soaps and would be the perfect headliner for a new diverse soap.

Debbi Morgan

All My Children's Dr. Angie Baxter Hubbard is a soap legend, as is the actress who played her off and on from 1982 to 2013. Morgan made her mark on daytime as the daughter of wealthy parents who fell for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. She also spent one year on daytime's only other Black-centered soap, Generations, from 1989 to 1990. She has also appeared on The Young and the Restless and was part of the original cast for ABC's Port Charles. We would love to see the Emmy winner help launch another soap.

Darnell Williams

Morgan's on-screen other half on AMC was Williams' Jesse Hubbard. His first run on All My Children began and ended in the 1980s, but he certainly made his mark and was welcomed back in 2008 when a dead Jesse was found to be alive and reunited with his wife, Angie. The chemistry between Williams and Morgan was always palpable, so imagine them paired as a mature couple on The Gates.

Mishael Morgan

Fans were devastated when Y&R killed off Hilary Curtis after the show came to a contract negotiation impasse with Morgan. She returned as Hilary's twin the next year but left town again. While it's nice to see Amanda Sinclair pop into Genoa City and Y&R every once in a while to spar with Devon and Abby, Morgan deserves much more than that -- and could be given much more if The Gates snatched her up.

Sean Blakemore

General Hospital seems to have no interest in using this popular Emmy winner, so perhaps The Gates should do so instead. His Shawn Butler returned to the soap briefly in 2022 but was quickly written off after Shawn oddly moved to California and left Alexis in charge of his newspaper. GH's voluntary loss can be The Gates' gain.

William Christian

Christian has not been seen on daytime since his longtime role as Derek Frye on AMC came to an end, but in 2022 he proved he still had it when he was cast as Lani Price's biological and abusive father, T.R. Coates. It was a short role that ended when Lani killed T.R. to protect her mother, Paulina Price. So Christian might be available -- to play a good guy cop or a bad guy creep -- if The Gates comes calling.

Aaron D. Spears

As Justin Barber on The Bold and the Beautiful, Aaron D. Spears was Bill Spencer's right-hand man for years -- until he tried to put Bill behind bars and take over his company. Bill banished him from his life, and except for a few brief appearances after that, Justin has been MIA, as has his portrayer Aaron D. Spears. Again, another CBS soap's loss could be The Gates' gain.

Rome Flynn

Another B&B actor that could make a splash on The Gates, the Emmy-winning Flynn jumped from daytime to primetime in How to Get Away with Murder. He has dabbled in music as well as feature films, which might make luring him back to soaps challenging.

Brytni Sarpy

When was the last time we saw Sarpy's Elena Dawson in a story on Y&R? Heck, when is the last time we have seen her on-screen at Y&R at all? Elena's romance with Nate ended, and that seemed to be the end of her character's story. Sarpy is a proven soap actress who was popular but underutilized as Valerie Spencer on GH and now as Elena on Y&R. She'd be an ideal addition for The Gates.

Boris Kodjoe

With ABC's primetime drama Station 19 coming to an end, Kodjoe would be free to explore other opportunities. The easy-on-the-eyes and talented actor has never done a daytime soap, but he has a loyal following that could make his addition to The Gates a good move. And if he doesn't want to commit long-term, perhaps he could do what Ryan Phillippe did for the launch of Big Sky.

Renée Elise Goldsberry

She may be known as Broadway's Angelica Schuyler now, winning a Tony for telling the story of Alexander Hamilton, but before that Renée Elise Goldsberry made her soap mark -- and earned a Daytime Emmy nod -- on One Life to Live as Evangeline Williamson from 2003 to 2007. She has since moved on to Broadway, primetime, and feature films, but maybe a brand-new soap with a Black core family could lure her back to daytime.

Keith Hamilton Cobb

Keith Hamilton Cobb made a splash as All My Children's Noah Keefer, was out of this world in Andromeda, and showed off his versatility in Noah's Arc. The actor is also a trained Shakespearean actor. With that kind of wide-ranging talent, it should not be hard to create a role on The Gates that would be perfect for him.

Gavin Houston

Houston most recently captured attention as Zeke Robinson on General Hospital -- and fans clamored for more of him. For whatever reason, that hasn't happened. Prior to GH, Houston had a three-year run as Remy Boudreau on Guiding Light and an eight-season run on OWN's soap The Haves and the Have Nots.

Kim Zimmer

With Procter & Gamble getting back into the soap game after more than a decade, it would make sense if the company reached out to some of its best-known talent from P&G-produced soaps past. Surely P&G could tap Zimmer to return to daytime to play a matriarch on The Gates. She has a proven soap history, won multiple Emmys, was mega-popular as Reva Shayne on Guiding Light from 1983 until the show left the airwaves in 2009, and is a big name that can attract fans.

Gina Tognoni

Soap vet Gina Tognoni got her soap start back in 1995 as One Life to Live's Kelly Cramer and went on to play Dinah Marler on Guiding Light. She later returned to OLTL before doing the seemingly impossible -- making the role of Phyllis Summers her own on Y&R. Tognoni was unceremoniously let go to make room for Michelle Stafford's return, but The Gates could scoop her up for its cast.

Vincent Irizarry

Vincent Irizarry made a name for himself on soaps as Lujack Luvonaczek on Guiding Light way back in 1983 and later played Lujack's twin, Nick Henry, on the same soap. But this soap vet didn't stop with Guiding Light and also made his mark on AMC as David Hayward. Other shorter-term soap roles have been as Scott Clark on Santa Barbara and Deimos Kiriakis on Days of our Lives. Every once in a while, Irizarry shows up on The Bold and the Beautiful as Dr. Jordan Armstrong, but perhaps CBS can give him a bigger leading role on The Gates and use this actor properly.

Cady McClain

Though she is best-known as AMC's Dixie Cooney Martin, McClain has been all around the soap dial, playing Rosanna Cabot on As the World Turns and Kelly Andrews on Y&R. McClain was last seen on DAYS as a recast Jennifer Deveraux, for which she won her third Daytime Emmy award, but DAYS doesn't seem to want to use her on a regular basis. Maybe The Gates will.

Victoria Wyndham

If we are hoping and wishing, it would be amazing to see Victoria Wyndham cast in any role on a new P&G-produced soap. Wyndham is best known to soap fans as Rachel Cory Hutchins on Another World. The actress has turned her attention to another form of art since AW's cancellation in 1999 -- sculpture. A renowned sculptor, perhaps there is a need for someone to own and operate an art studio outside The Gates gate.

What do you think? Who would you choose to head up the cast of The Gates? 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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