Longest Running US Soap Operas TV Programs

Longest Running US Soap Operas

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List of the longest-running soap operas in US history. These TV soaps have more episodes than any others in American television. Some of the shows ran and have since gone off the air or been canceled, while others remain ongoing and are still being produced. Typically, these shows were collected into "seasons" of television, each with a pre-set amount of episodes. Sometimes, these seasons were broken up, in some cases with years or even decades between production of the series, while still being considered the run of a single TV show. (Spin-offs and other shows that were reinvented and debuted as new series are not considered.) This list contains all the longest-running soap operas in the history of US TV.

Because they typically run 5 days a week, long-running soap operas tend to have a staggering number of episodes, with some series coming close to or even breaking the 1000 episode barrier. The serialized nature of the programs means that they can run for many years - or even decades - continually, just by changing around the cast of characters as time passes. Before leaving the air in 2009, the CBS series "Guiding Light" was the longest-running drama series on television, and remains one of the record holders for the longest running broadcast programs of any kind in world history. (The show had debuted in 1937 as a radio serial, just days after the second inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.)
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  1. 1
    Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Knots Landing Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark 14 Seasons. 344 Episodes.

  2. 2
    The City is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The City Jennifer Esposito, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Weatherly 352 Episodes.

  3. 3
    Dallas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Dallas Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

  4. 4
    The Nurses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Nurses Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Alan Alda 395 Episodes.

  5. 5
    Return to Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Return to Peyton Place Mary Frann, John Hoyt, Frank Ferguson 426 Episodes.

  6. 6
    Generations is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Generations Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford, Richard Roundtree 470 Episodes.

  7. 7
    Sunset Beach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Sunset Beach Kelly Hu, Susan Ward, Laura Harring 755 Episodes.

  8. 8
    Bright Promise is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Bright Promise Dabney Coleman, Coleen Gray, Anthony Geary 605 Episodes.

  9. 10
    Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Peyton Place Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen, Ryan O'Neal 514 Episodes.

  10. 11
    A Flame in the Wind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    A Flame in the Wind Richard Thomas, Margaret Ladd, Jane Elliot 515 Episodes.

  11. 12
    Loving is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Loving Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Mitchell 3169 Episodes.

  12. 13
    Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Ryan's Hope Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker 3515 Episodes.

  13. 14
    As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    As the World Turns Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen 54 Seasons. 13858 Episodes.

  14. 15
    Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Guiding Light Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer, Brittany Snow 57 Seasons. 15762 Episodes.

  15. 16
    Another World is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Another World Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe 8,89 Episodes.

  16. 17
    Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Love of Life Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider 7500 Episodes.

  17. 18
    The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Edge of Night Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin 7420 Episodes.

  18. 19
    General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    General Hospital Eva Longoria, James Franco, Kelly Monaco 12401 Episodes. Currently in production

  19. 20
    Days of our Lives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Days of our Lives Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig, Melinda Clarke 11679 Episodes. Currently in production

  20. 21
    Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Search for Tomorrow Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon 9130 Episodes.

  21. 22
    The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Secret Storm Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider, Audrey Landers 5195 Episodes.

  22. 23
    The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Bold and the Beautiful Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo 6036 Episodes. Currently in production

  23. 24
    The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Doctors Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Terry O'Quinn 5280 Episodes.

  24. 25
    One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    One Life to Live Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross 43 Seasons. 11096 Episodes.

  25. 26
    All My Children is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    All My Children Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew 10712 Episodes.

  26. 27
    The Young and the Restless is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    The Young and the Restless Eva Longoria, Shemar Moore, Tatyana Ali 9730 Episodes. Currently in production

  27. 28
    Port Charles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Port Charles Kelly Monaco, Amy Weber, Linda Purl 1633 Episodes.

  28. 29
    Somerset is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Somerset Sigourney Weaver, Ted Danson, JoBeth Williams 1710 Episodes.

  29. 30
    Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Santa Barbara Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Wright, Judith Anderson 2137 Episodes.

  30. 31
    Passions is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Passions Lindsay Hartley, McKenzie Westmore, Galen Gering 10 Seasons. 2231 Episodes.

  31. 32
    Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Dark Shadows Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles 1225 Episodes.

  32. 33
    Love Is a Many Splendored Thin... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Susan Lucci, Donna Mills, Paul Michael Glaser 1415 Episodes.

  33. 34
    Capitol is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Capitol Teri Hatcher, Kelly Preston, Carol Alt 1270 Episodes.

  34. 35
    Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Dynasty John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins 220 Episodes.

  35. 36
    Melrose Place is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Melrose Place Heather Locklear, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith 7 Seasons. 227 Episodes.

  36. 37
    Falcon Crest is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Falcon Crest Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Chao Li Chi 9 Seasons. 227 Episodes.

  37. 38
    Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Greg Mullavey, Louise Lasser, Graham Jarvis 2 Seasons. 325 Episodes.

  38. 39
    A World Apart is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas

    A World Apart Susan Sarandon, Susan Sullivan, David Birney 325 Episodes.

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