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The Best 1970s Soap Operas

Updated July 29, 2021 3.6k votes 557 voters 31.8k views26 items

List RulesVote up the best daytime soaps that aired new episodes between 1970 and 1979.

In the 1970s, television was filled to the brim with some of the top soap operas to ever air. Old '70s soap operas like As the World Turns, Another World, and Guiding Light were the highest-rated soap operas of the decade, not only continuing their success after decades of being on the air, but later continuing into the new millennium. This list of the best daytime soap operas that aired from 1970 to 1979 has been voted on and ranked by your votes.

The '70s saw the introduction of many new soap operas. Some of them became huge hits that lasted for many years, such as The Young and the Restless, Ryan’s Hope, and All My Children. Other 1970s soap operas didn’t enjoy the same level of success, including Bright Promise, Somerset, A World Apart and How to Survive a Marriage. The series Love is a Many Splendored Thing ended its run in 1973 after being on the air since the mid-60s. The top daytime soap operas of the 1970s saw about 10 million viewers an episode.

What are the best '70s soap operas? Did the daytime soaps you think were the best make this list? Vote up the 1970s soap operas you think are the best of the decade and see where the soaps you loved to watch during the '70s rank.


  • Photo: user uploaded image
    Another World is an American television soap opera that ran on NBC for 35 years from May 4, 1964 to June 25, 1999. It was created by Irna Phillips along with William J. Bell, and was produced by Procter & Gamble Productions at NBC Studios, 1268 East 14th Street in Brooklyn. Set in the fictional town of Bay City, the show in its early years opens with announcer Bill Wolff intoning its epigram, “We do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand other worlds,” which Phillips said represented the difference between “the world of events we live in, and the world of feelings and dreams that we strive for.” Another World focused less on the conventional drama of domestic life as seen in other...  more
    • Actors: Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe
    • Premiered: May 4, 1964
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, originally airing for 13 years on ABC from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989. It revolves around the trials and tribulations within a large Irish-American family in the Riverside district of New York City....  more
    • Actors: Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker, Dana Delany, Yasmine Bleeth
    • Premiered: July 7, 1975
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network from April 29, 2013, to September 2, 2013, via Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont. The original series featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most popular characters. The title of the series refers to the bonds of humanity. All My Children was the first new network daytime drama to debut in the 1970s. Originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company...  more
    • Actors: Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew
    • Premiered: January 5, 1970
  • Photo: flickr / CC0
    The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran as a live broadcast on that network for most of its run until November 28, 1975; the series then moved to ABC, where it aired from December 1, 1975, until December 28, 1984. 7,420 episodes were produced, of which some 1,800 are available for syndication....  more
    • Actors: Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin, Larry Hagman, Kate Capshaw
    • Premiered: April 2, 1956