soap operas The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time  

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From daytime to primetime, soap operas have been a staple of television since Faraway Hill first aired in 1946. However, it wasn’t until the 50s that soaps really took off. Many of the most popular soap operas from the 50s first began as radio programs. For the next 6 decades, soap operas ruled the airways during both daytime and primetime, becoming obsessions for millions of people. Many of these soap operas spanned decades, introducing many new characters and twisty plots all the time.

Many soaps dealt with the same types of settings. "Days of Our Lives," "General Hospital," and "The Doctors" were all set in hospitals, while many other popular soaps like
Dynasty" surrounded the lives of wealthy families. There were also a few supernatural soap operas over the years, such as "Dark Shadows," "Passions," and "Port Charles."

"As the World Turns," "General Hospital," and "The Young and the Restless" were the highest rated soaps at one point in time. Primetime soaps, airing only once a week, have become incredibly popular as well.

What are the best soap operas ever? This list of the best soap operas of all time has been ranked by the community. Cast your votes for the greatest soap operas below and see how the soaps you think are great rank.

list ordered by

1
+ - 231 187
Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dynasty John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins

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2
+ - 277 159
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dallas Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

3
+ - 207 165
The Young and the Restless is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Young and the Restless Eva Longoria, Shemar Moore, Tatyana Ali

4
+ - 148 173
Melrose Place is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Melrose Place Heather Locklear, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith

5
+ - 227 162
Days of our Lives is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Days of our Lives Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig, Melinda Clarke

6
+ - 176 148
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dark Shadows Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles

7
+ - 182 142
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Knots Landing Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark

8
+ - 118 139
Falcon Crest is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Falcon Crest Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Chao Li Chi

9
+ - 218 147
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
General Hospital Eva Longoria, James Franco, Kelly Monaco

10
+ - 156 157
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Desperate Housewives Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

11
+ - 128 128
The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Bold and the Beautiful Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo

12
+ - 137 148
Beverly Hills, 90210 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Beverly Hills, 90210 Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

13
+ - 74 110
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Peyton Place Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen, Ryan O'Neal

14
+ - 125 134
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Guiding Light Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer, Brittany Snow

15
+ - 75 123
Dawson's Creek is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dawson's Creek James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams

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16
+ - 163 121
All My Children is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
All My Children Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew

17
+ - 96 137
EastEnders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
EastEnders Steve McFadden, Adam Woodyatt, Pam St. Clement

18
+ - 151 119
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
One Life to Live Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross

19
+ - 119 119
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
As the World Turns Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen

20
+ - 59 97
Neighbours is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Neighbours Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie

21
+ - 34 12
Friends is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Friends Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

22
+ - 89 127
Coronation Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Coronation Street Ian McKellen, Michelle Keegan, Helen Flanagan

23
+ - 56 103
Hollyoaks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Hollyoaks Gemma Atkinson, Roxanne McKee, Emma Rigby

24
+ - 36 91
Central Park West is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Central Park West Raquel Welch, John Barrowman, Lauren Hutton

25
+ - 61 88
Home and Away is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Home and Away Isla Fisher, Chris Hemsworth, Melissa George

26
+ - 114 138
Grey's Anatomy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Grey's Anatomy Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson

27
+ - 77 68
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Charmed Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

28
+ - 95 146
Passions is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Passions Lindsay Hartley, McKenzie Westmore, Galen Gering

29
+ - 106 105
Another World is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Another World Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe

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30
+ - 53 84
The Colbys is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Colbys Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Ross

31
+ - 58 94
Emmerdale is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Emmerdale Jenna Coleman, Patsy Kensit, Sammy Winward

32
+ - 59 53
Bewitched is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent

33
+ - 70 91
Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Ryan's Hope Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker

34
+ - 43 70
Dynasty: The Reunion is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dynasty: The Reunion Heather Locklear, Joan Collins, Linda Evans

35
+ - 105 113
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Santa Barbara Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Wright, Judith Anderson

36
+ - 41 93
Models Inc. is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Models Inc. Carrie-Anne Moss, Garcelle Beauvais, Emma Samms

37
+ - 33 77
Flamingo Road is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Flamingo Road Mark Harmon, Morgan Fairchild, Stella Stevens

38
+ - 20 9
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan

39
+ - 19 8
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson

40
+ - 37 66
Capitol is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Capitol Teri Hatcher, Kelly Preston, Carol Alt

41
+ - 18 7
Will & Grace is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Will & Grace Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

42
+ - 53 95
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Search for Tomorrow Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon

43
+ - 50 69
Sisters is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Sisters Swoosie Kurtz, Patricia Kalember, Sela Ward

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44
+ - 15 6
The Wonder Years is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Wonder Years Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

45
+ - 61 90
One Tree Hill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
One Tree Hill Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton

46
+ - 62 71
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann

47
+ - 42 44
Brothers & Sisters is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Brothers & Sisters Sally Field, Emily VanCamp, Rob Lowe

48
+ - 53 104
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Doctors Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Terry O'Quinn

49
+ - 34 74
Brookside is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Brookside Anna Friel, Jennifer Ellison, Claire Sweeney

50
+ - 59 99
Gossip Girl is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Gossip Girl Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley