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Groundbreaking Star of ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Julia’, Diahann Carroll Dies At 84

Photo JPI

One of the beautiful and beloved actresses in the world, Diahann Carroll, has passed away in heartbreaking news on Friday.  Carroll died at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, according to her daughter,  producer-journalist Suzanne Kay.

Carroll, who was first-known for her amazing singing voice, and then as an actress, received a Tony Award and an Oscar nomination in her legendary career. She also make television history for her turns on Julia and Dynasty.

In her role as Julia, Carroll, became the first African American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series . Julia, premiered in September 1968, finished No. 7 in the ratings in the first of its three seasons, and Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work.

Photo ABC

And later in her career, after loving ABC’s primetime soap, Dynasty, Carroll got the attention of producer Aaron Spelling to create a role on the show for her. And thus she became the one and only Dominique Deveraux … the half-sister of Blake Carrington (John Forstyhe).

That part broke ground as well, for Diahann in 1984, became the first featured African American character on a prime time soap.  Carroll later appeared on the Dynasty spinoff, The Colbys,  In films, Carroll earned her Oscar nomination for her work in Claudine (1974),

Diahann was married four times.  In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her grandchildren, August and Sydney.

For more on the passing of Diahann Carroll check out the Hollywood Reporter.

Share your remembrances and condolences on the passing of Diahann Carroll via the comment section below.

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very sad news, Diahann Carroll was a wonderful actress. she was a very classy, sassy lady. may she RIP.

I always thought Diahann was one of the most beautiful women in show business. I remember “Julia” when I was a child, and knew back then she was a classic beauty. I always wanted to see her play Halle berry’s mother in a movie. Huge loss, sad news.

A classy lady

Such a beautiful and talented singer and actress. She was wonderful as Dominique Deveraux and definitely held her own when going toe to toe with Alexis. I was a huge Dynasty fan.

Thank you Ms. Carroll for sharing your wonderful talent with all of us. Rest in peace.

Someone dying in their 80’s is not ‘heartbreaking news”. It is a natural, expected part of life at that age. It is sad for her family and loved ones, for sure. But she lived a full, wonderful life. She had a groundbreaking career and touched many lives. My point here….it just bothers me a bit when a celebrity dying at age 84 is classed as heartbreaking and news. When a non celebrity dies at an advanced age, it is never sensationalized as tragic, or heartbreaking. It is sad, but she she was old, and it was her time. A glorious celebration of her life should ensue, not grim depressing adjectives.

I hope that was cathartic. Cathartic: providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.

When does a non-celebrity death make the headlines of an entertainment website? The news is sad, heartbreaking, upsetting (pick an adjective) for her many loyal fans and admirers. She was a beloved actress. The state of mourning is not one size fits all. Bottom line is fans can mourn her loss however they wish and words like “heartbreaking” are okay to capture the sentiment.

I adored her so lovely !

A game-changer, grounbreaker and trailblazer. Rest peacefully Ms. Carroll.

R.I.P. Julia was one of our favorite night time programs we were allowed to watch on school nights. I was a wee lad of six back then. That along with The Flying Nun, Bewitched, Ed Sullivan-(except for Tina Turner episode)-LOL-we literally got sent to bed. The FBI, Land of the Giants, Lost in Space, Brady’s, Giiligan,and Peyton Place and the Honeymooners. We consumed A LOT of TV in the 60’s and it was fabulous! AND we slept on the porch and didn’t bother to lock the door at night, or during the day. Back then it was like, why you lock the door?

Peyton Place actually featured African American actors on its prime time soap in the late 60s long before Dynasty…

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CBS Orders Michele Van Jean Soap Opera ‘The Gates’ to Series; Set to Debut January 2025

Great news! Soap fans are getting the first new daytime drama in 25 years with the news today that CBS has moved Michele Van Jean’s The Gates to a series order.

In addition, the show is set to bow in January 0f 2025, which means that it appears that the new soap will replace The Talk, which was just canceled and will end after its upcoming 15th season in December of 2024.  No specific time period, or exact premiere date has been set as of yet.

In the premise of the The Gates it follows lives of a wealthy Black family who live in a luxurious gated community.

Photo: CBS

The Gates has Val Jean as its writer, showrunner and one of its executive producers. Soap fans know Val Jean’s work best for her work on the writing teams of General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful.  Taking to X, Michele shared: “It’s go time” citing the news on the show coming to CBS in 2025 via Deadline.

Sheila Ducksworth, Leon Russell, Derrick Johnson and Kimberly Doebereiner will serve as executive producers on The Gates production team. The soap has been in development through a the joint venture between CBS Studios and the NAACP, which was established to help elevate a diverse range of voices and increase the visibility of Black artists.

The series will be produced by the CBS Studios/NAACP venture in partnership with P&G Studios, which is a division of Procter & Gamble, who used to be very big in the soap opera game.

Are you excited to know that we are truly getting the first new soap opera in over two and a half decades added to a network TV line-up? Comment below.

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‘The Talk’ Renewed For 15th and Final Season to End in December; Does Its Cancellation Make Room for ‘The Gates’?

Things just got very interesting over at CBS daytime with the announcement today that The Talk is going to end its run on the network after its 15th season, and that season looks to be shortened as the series will come to its conclusion in December of 2024.

In a joint statement, Amy Reisenbach, President, CBS Entertainment and David Stapf, President, CBS Studio, shared, “The Talk broke new ground when it launched 14 years ago by returning daytime talk to CBS with a refreshing and award-winning format. Throughout the years, it has been a key program on CBS’ top rated daytime line-up as it brought timely, important and entertaining topics and discussions into living rooms around the globe.”

Reisenback and Stapf added, “It goes without saying that hosting and producing a year-round talk show is no easy task, and we express our sincere gratitude to our amazing hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood, our Executive Producer/Showrunner Rob Crabbe and the hardworking producing team and crew.

Photo: CBS

Giving props to those who co-hosted or worked on the show through the years including: Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen Moonves, Carrie Ann Inaba Leah Ramimi, Marissa Janet Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Eve, Aisha Tyler, and Sharon Osbourne, the joint statement added, “We also want to acknowledge our former show hosts and colleagues who contributed throughout the seasons. We truly appreciate the skill, creativity, and dedication everyone involved brought to the show every day.  And of course, we thank the numerous guests who appeared, and the millions of viewers who tuned in daily. For the final season, we plan to celebrate the show and give it the proper sendoff it deserves when it concludes in December 2024.”

While no firm decision or announcement has been given at this time, it seems most likely that The Talk’s time slot could be given to the new soap opera in development The Gates from CBS Studio Ventures and from longtime soap opera writer. Michele Val Jean.  As previously reported, The Gates features the lives of a wealthy Black family who reside in a posh, gated community.

Photo: JPI

The Talk was originally the brainchild of Sara Gilbert, who had developed the show when it launched back 2010 and it replaced the beloved As the World Turns which went off the air after 54 years when CBS canceled it.

So, what do you think of The Talk being canceled? Will this make room for The Gates to begin to air in its spot beginning in 2025? Share your reactions to the news via the comment section.

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O. J. Simpson Dead at 76: Real-Life Murder Trial in Which He Was Acquitted, Changed the Trajectory of Soap Operas

Former Pro Football superstar, O. J. Simpson, who became infamous for being on trial for the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, has passed away at the age of 76 of cancer.

Simpson’s family put out a statement sharing, “Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

It was the murder trial that overtook the airwaves back in late 1994 and through most of 1995 that changed the landscape of daytime television forever, and in particular soap operas that many will recall.

Photo: AP

On June 12, 1994, Nicole Simpson, O.J.’s former wife, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally murdered. When O.J. became the prime suspect, a wild pursuant of him by the police while in his white Ford Bronco was viewed on every network by some 95 million viewers. This June marks 30-years since the incident.

Ultimately, Simpson was charged with Brown Simpson and Goldman’s murders, though he was acquitted in what was dubbed The Trial of the Century.

The trial permeated the airwaves of every network and any time of day. Networks consistently interrupted soap operas while covering the day in and day out of the spectacle that was this star athlete and TV and film star’s trial.

With many of the soaps pre-empted on a regular basis, the public fascination of Simpson’s trial was to many better than a soap opera as it has all the ingredients. Writer Dominic Dunne noted the themes via an article in Vanity Fair of “interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy.”

Because of the trial, soap operas lost a significant amount of their audiences. The murder trial went on for 11 months from November 9, 1994, to October 3, 1995.  They never were able to fully rebound as reality television became the next big thing.

O.J. Simpson is survived by four children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

So, do you remember being frustrated that your favorite soaps could not air during the O.J. trial, or did you find the murder trial more intriuing than the soaps themselves? Comment below.

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