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

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

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    Jennifer Esposito, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Weatherly 352 Episodes.

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    Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy

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    Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Alan Alda 395 Episodes.

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    Mary Frann, John Hoyt, Frank Ferguson 426 Episodes.

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  6. 6

    Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford, Richard Roundtree 470 Episodes.

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  7. 7

    Kelly Hu, Susan Ward, Laura Harring 755 Episodes.

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    Dabney Coleman, Coleen Gray, Anthony Geary 605 Episodes.

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

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    Richard Thomas, Margaret Ladd, Jane Elliot 515 Episodes.

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    Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Mitchell 3169 Episodes.

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    Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker 3515 Episodes.

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  13. 14

    Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen 54 Seasons. 13858 Episodes.

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  14. 15

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

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  15. 16

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

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  16. 17

    Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider 7500 Episodes.

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    Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin 7420 Episodes.

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

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    Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig, Melinda Clarke 11679 Episodes. Currently in production

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    Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon 9130 Episodes.

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  21. 22

    Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider, Audrey Landers 5195 Episodes.

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    Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo 6036 Episodes. Currently in production

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  23. 24

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

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  24. 25

    Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross 43 Seasons. 11096 Episodes.

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    Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew 10712 Episodes.

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    Eva Longoria, Shemar Moore, Tatyana Ali 9730 Episodes. Currently in production

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    Kelly Monaco, Amy Weber, Linda Purl 1633 Episodes.

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    Sigourney Weaver, Ted Danson, JoBeth Williams 1710 Episodes.

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    Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Wright, Judith Anderson 2137 Episodes.

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  30. 31

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

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    Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles 1225 Episodes.

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    Susan Lucci, Donna Mills, Paul Michael Glaser 1415 Episodes.

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    Teri Hatcher, Kelly Preston, Carol Alt 1270 Episodes.

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    John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins 220 Episodes.

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  35. 36

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

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  36. 37

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

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  37. 38

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

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  38. 39

    Susan Sarandon, Susan Sullivan, David Birney 325 Episodes.

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